Obviously there are spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen Prometheus yet, you might want to read this later.
If you have seen Ridley Scott’s thought provoking sci-fi thriller, Prometheus, then like me, you probably have a lot of questions. One such question might stem from the Lost in Translation moment near the end of the film when David (Michael Fassbender), a synthetic trained to speak the language of the Engineers, asks the being a question. Leading up to this moment Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) and Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) had been throwing questions to David to ask the Engineer, both with very different motives. David looks as confused as an android can possibly be, torn between obeying his “father’s” commands and following his own curiosity to ask the more profound questions that Dr. Shaw is delivering. He then turns and asks the Engineer a question in his language, and as a result has his head removed by the large creature. We are given no subtitles and no answer from the Engineer to be able to determine which path David went with the single question.
Find out what David asked the Engineer:
Dr. Anil Biltoo of the SOAS Language Centre in London (who actually appears in the film as the language professor instructing David in a hologram) worked as the Linguist Teacher on the set of Prometheus, and he is now revealing just what it is that David asked in a recent interview with Stu Holmes of The Bioscopist.
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.”
Sadly, it turns out that David was a good little boy.
There will be more information on this moment in the DVD commentary, where screenwriter Damon Lindelof acknowledges that subtitles were originally in play for the scene, but that Ridley Scott did not want them included. There is also said to be 20-30 minutes of deleted footage which may include an extended conversation between David and the Engineer.
Does this peak your interest in why the Engineer attacked the inquisitive humans (and David)? Would you be interested in a “Director’s Cut” of the film including a much longer conversation between David and the Engineer? Does this information change any of your theories or opinions on the film? Let us know!