Revealed: What Did David Say to the Engineer at the End of 'Prometheus'?

What did David say to the Engineer at the end of Prometheus
Michael Fassbender in Prometheus
Photo: 20the Century Fox
NOTE: Obviously, this post contains spoilers.

Stu Holmes of The Bioscopist interviewed Dr. Anil Biltoo of the SOAS Language Centre in London, who served as the Linguist Teacher on Ridley Scott's Prometheus. In his chat learned what David (Michael Fassbender) said to the Engineer at the end of the film as there were no subtitles and it has been something many have wondered given what happens next.

Is David uttering nonsense or is there an actual language being spoken here? Stu has the answers for us as he first mentions the scene in which we see David studying Proto-Indo-European (PIE) Linguistics, in which a holographic professor, takes him through the ABC's and recites "Schleicher's Fable."

The holographic professor in this scene actually is Dr. Biltoo and he isn't at all against revealing what it is Fassbender's David says at the end of the film (listen to some isolated audio from the scene here):

The line that David speaks to the Engineer [which is from a longer sequence that didn't make the final edit] is as follows:

ida hmanəm aɪ kja namṛtuh zdℇ:taha ... ghʷɪvah-pjorn-ɪttham sas da:tṛ kredah

A serviceable translation into English is:

"This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life."

Biltoo also said, "We're all going to have to wait for the Director's cut to see if the conversation between the Engineer and David -- and there was indeed originally a conversation, not merely an utterance from David -- yields any fruit."

Scott has spoken of upwards of 30 additional minutes that will be available on the Blu-ray, but as to whether these minutes will be incorporated back into the film in the fashion of a director's cut (which Scott has done for numerous of his films) or will simply be included as deleted and/or extended scenes remains to be seen. You can preorder the Blu-ray here, but a release date has not yet been announced.

Interestingly, it would seem David's statement is rather innocent and since we didn't know what he was saying originally we could assume David had either bungled his translation or had ulterior motives. Now it seems the lengthier discussion may be where the Engineer's anger originated from.

If you haven't yet joined the discussion pertaining to the film you can read my personal dissection and theories here and thanks again to Stu for forwarding along the information he gained from Dr. Biltoo.

I'm curious, does this new found piece of information takeaway or add to your curiosity surrounding the scene?

  • Danny

    i know alot of people want answers but they seem to be giving away all the film's secrets before the supposed extended cut comes out on video or a sequel gets made.

  • Aakash

    Plz some of us haven't seen the movie yet.
    Discuss the movie within the article if u must but try to keep the headlines less spoilerish..plz?

    • Gabriel

      All you would have known by reading the Headline was that David said something to an Engineer. Nothing more, Nothing less. Your fault for clicking on the article.

      • Aakash

        I didn't read a word of the article.
        Still I don't want to know who said something to what at the end of the I know David lives till the end and there is this engineer.

        What if you haven't seen Empire, would you like someone discussing the conversation Vader and Luke had at the end?
        What if you haven't seen Se7en, would you like someone discussing the conversation Spacy and Pitt had at the end?
        SO many examples are there..

        I ain't saying do not discuss the ending..just leave the Headlines less revealing..This Headline could have just been 'Prometheus ending further detailed' or whatever.

        • Hugh Lilly

          "This Headline could have just been 'Prometheus ending further detailed' or whatever."

          Erm, no. Not this late in the game. I really hope you're not on Twitter.

          • raieven


          • Aakash

            Such mentality is why the state of the internet is in the shape it is.
            Am I expecting every movie to come out to have spoilers in every movie site?
            Twitter spoilers can easily be avoided..ROP headlines cannot, its just there...idiot

            "Not late in the game?" 2 weeks is late in the game? 2 weeks!...idiot

        • Cliff

          Oh boo hoo. Movie has been out for two weeks now go do something about it.

          • Aakash

            I would have but it has not released in the Shit country I am right now.
            Don't want to download horrible prints.

            I have been coming to this site before you knew what the internet was and this was a suggestion to Brad, not trolls like you guys

          • Greg

            I'm with Aakash on this one. I've seen Prometheus but I totally understand where he's (she's) coming from.

        • Steve-o

          Besides the overall reaction to this movie, this has got to be the biggest over reaction about this movie so far. This comment thread about the title of the article was actually pretty entertaining to read.

        • Dean

          Why go on a article written about something you haven't seen,but you want to see it you my friend are fucking stupid

  • Akd1287

    Following David's statement I personally thought I saw an amused look on the Engineer's face, as in, why is this insignificant being speaking to me in such a manner or speaking to me at all? Am I the only the only one that saw this? It was almost as if whatever was asked or told amused the Engineer and he sort of brushed them aside and continued with his task.

  • bzzd

    I think the anger would be in the inherent greed displayed by beings the engineers had already decided to destroy. Imagine meeting your descendents from across the stars and the first thing the white trash mention is their inheritance.

    Not only that, but the humans can't even be bothered to know your language, they leave that to the robot.

    David clearly knew this message would not be perceived well.

  • AS

    So this just confirms what I already knew: there really isn't anything interesting or thought provoking going on in this movie at all.

    It's a credit to the talent of the marketing team that there have been so many articles written about Prometheus trying to dissect it in a attempt to uncover hiding meaning. The only thing these articles have accomplished is proving that there isn't anything separating this film from any number of summer blockbusters.

    The whole "concept" behind the film is that the Engineers wanted to create another life form, so they made us. They were disappointed with how we turned out so they sent Jesus. We killed Jesus and so then they decided to travel to earth and kill us. Unfortunately for them, all but one Engineer was killed so they never got around to finishing the job. Cue Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender and the rest is Prometheus. Big whoop.

    • AS

      Edit: "Hidden" meaning.

      • bzzd

        There's a lot going on in Prometheus. It doesn't lead to the best narrative for sure, but it is a thought provoking movie. The way you have whittled the plot down can be done to make any movie sound simplistic.

        You're saying you don't want to know more about Space Jesus? What killed the Engineers? Where they're from? You don't want to see the other worlds they've engineered(Pandora!)?

        Maybe Sir Ridley and Lindelof won't give us all those answers, but you're saying you aren't interested no matter what? No way.

        • AS

          Yeah... not really.

  • DD has the film coming out on october 9th.

  • Katie

    I wanted to link this to my website, but the film hasn't been released in Italy yet (Oct 19th.....) and the title is too spoilerish.......

  • markymark

    Their was a whole conversation?? Seems their was a lot missing from the film.

  • Khaira

    " Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight " ~ Rossiter W. Raymond.....

    That seems to be the philosophy of the engineers....if eternal life is what he was looking for, thats wat he got by way of death....

  • oldskool138

    David said "Rip my head off and attack these people".

  • Winchester

    I'm starting to think that a Director's Cut would be a better option for fixing some of the issues in the film rather than just put them on as a supplemental.

    It wouldn't make the film excessively longer but it would quite possibly fill it out a bit better. Given Scott was able to do a DC for 'Robin Hood' I don't see how he seems unwilling to do so for 'Prometheus'.

    But that line certainly seems to fit elements of Brad's theory and the other one he linked to in his main article.

  • raieven

    I preferred it when I thought David had intentionally said something different to the Engineer. This is actually really disappointing.

  • The Jackal

    Thank you Brad for posting this. I've been wondering what David said to the engineer that enraged him so. I think it's like what Nitzche said in Thus Spake Zarathustra (and I am paraphrasing here): "What is the ape to man? The ape is but a cruel joke, a painful embarrassment; so too will man seem to the Superman." The Engineer, in my opinion, is filled with disgust and anger at the humans. How dare they make any requests of him. How dare this sub-species think it can even begin to communicate at the level of their creators. It would be like a cow demanding to have human rights, instead of being butchered on a massive scale as a source of food.

    For me, the anger makes sense. Though perhaps it is unfair. But, a higher being cannot be expected to be bound by human understandings and constructs of morality. It's like Ash (the android from the original Alien) and his explanation for why he admired the Xenomorph: "I admire its purity. A perfect organism...unclouded by conscience or delusions of morality."

    Can't wait to explore this film more when it is released on Blu-ray.

    Thems the facts

  • Mr Stark

    Cool! The same thing that was whispered in the end of Lost In Translation.

    Fassbender 4 Eva!!