What Did David Say To The Engineer In Prometheus?

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davidThere are many mysteries surrounding Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. The greater mysteries, questions left unanswered and general messiness of the film itself is why some people love it. One of the big questions left hanging in Prometheus is what exactly did David say to the Engineer? Here’s the answer.

David (Michael Fassbender) was studying an ancient language at the beginning of the film. According to The Bioscopist the language was actually Proto-Indo-European (PIE), which Michael Fassbender learned from Dr. Anil Biltoo, the language consultant on the film, of the SOAS Language Centre in London. He explains that there was a longer piece of dialogue edited out of the final cut of Prometheus.

Here’s line David spoke to the Engineer and Dr. Biltoo’s translation:

/ida hman?m a? kja nam?tuh zd?:taha/…/gh??vah-pjorn-?ttham sas da:t? kredah/

Which loosely translates to:

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

It’s a small detail in the scope of the film but an interesting tidbit nevertheless. It’s unclear if this makes the movie better or worse but it does give insight to Peter Weyland himself, as a man wanting to live forever and willing to do anything to achieve it. It’s also unclear why the Engineer would kill someone for this request. Post your theories in the comments below.


  1. Matt Bevis says:

    I think the engineers generally hate mankind

  2. becausethere bigger than us and can steal our sweeties and we cant stop em >,<

  3. Thomas Simmons says:

    The engineer killed Weyland because it only made the situation more ironic–they were about to destroy all of humanity and this guy wants them to save him. By the way, Weyland is a figure in Norse mythology, a master blacksmith, or basically an engineer in the iron age. Double irony. The human engineer killed by the Engineer.

  4. BadKarma975 says:

    If one thing is true in every religion, one doesn’t question God or think they are His equals. They were smote for their combined impudence in the face of their maker.

  5. don’t know why the engineer didn’t help, nor why he caressed david’s (who was god’s favorite) face, then ripped his fuckin head off

  6. Brian McNeil says:

    You get a lifetime, if that’s not enough then tough. Weyland has, obviously, already had all the life-extending treatments available at the time the film is set.

    I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to assume that humanity’s long, ignominious, history of gross inequality, selfishness and brutality towards each other could have been predicted by the Engineers from interacting with our ancestors.

    When a perfect example of what they may-well despise about us enough to consider genocide turns up and gets a ‘manufactured slave’ to beg immortality, Weyland gets his just desserts.

  7. Kevin Karlen says:

    Sweet, always wanted to know what he said

  8. wattz says:

    the engineer didnt look like he wanted to kill anyone until he touched davids face and relised thaht he was a machine thats when he went nuts …

  9. ThanosImperative says:

    I think David the character said/meant something different but as an actor when filming Michael said those words as part of the script. By that I mean he had to say something right? So he said what he did the that [PIE] language because people wouldn’t understand it. If that all make ANY sense.

  10. I think the sheer arrogance of the question insulted the Engineer.
    They are a culture that seems to accept death, so Wayland’s request could have
    been blasphemous. The question coming from an artificial human (David) could
    have added to the insult.

  11. I think the idea was that Weyland was searching for God, and I think most people think of God as benevolent. When the Engineer killed Weyland, it raises the question: What if we found God, and it turned out he was actually not benevolent?

    • Mike. says:

      I felt the Engineer would have been outraged that, not only did humans on Earth survive, they created intelligent life themselves ie David, in their image, as the Engineers had created humans in theirs. Not only this, but humans had then had the audacity to find the Engineers, wake one, then have David speak the Engineer’s language to request a dying old man have his life extended. If the Engineers view themselves as Gods, then humans as their creations are far below them, and androids (presumably without a soul) even lower. The way the Engineer reacted is no different than the vengeful God of the Old Testament, and besides, since the Engineers still wanted to destroy human life on Earth, why wouldn’t they hesitate to kill the Prometheus landing party?

      • mark says:

        The idea of creating is to improve. By your logic our tools would stay as stone. More specifically i mean that one must use lesser object ideas and designs to create the next level of any tool. Progession is our word for “this”. I deduced that engineers are not our gods but we are the improvment in their false, which is a good reason to hate us. Maybe not in whole but i could imagine that their govt may have regulation against our creation.
        A scene i found powerful was the seemingly religous opening, the ssacrfice, to create something weather to be more pure or evil.
        Of course this is all lay, and just a less crdical interrertation as we obviously do not know the entire story and can not accuratly make assumtions based on notions.

  12. You guys are looking for too deep a meaning in all of this. My thought is they did not like what they had pushed in a direction to mimic themselves or saw that mankind would one day have the ability to threaten or surpass them and decided to release their ultimate nullifier on them. Remember they did not create the planet, it was there already. They were not mankinds creators, they just prodded things along in their own image, by mixing their DNA with what was already there. Much the way David did with the “Alien” DNA when he slipped it into the Dr.’s drink. The other thought on a different tangent is that the ‘Engineer’ who seeded Earth with his own DNA was a rebel or rogue of their breed who did this without their consent or agreement. Perhaps they merely watch worlds and civilizations being born and do not interfere, and perhaps this guys experiment went too far, and their own rules and laws do not allow them to merely wipe out a species, then have to use this bio weapon to eradicate everything.remember, we never saw them have any evidence of weaponry, at least that I can remember.

  13. Craig Stitt says:

    I think Ryan, below, nailed it. The Engineers are all about sacrifice and to give your life to create more life is what they do (at least for this ‘group’ of Engineers… no planet, culture, people, or even family are all EXACTLY alike, especially when it comes to ideas and philosophies.. so who knows what Shaw will find when she get’s to the Engineer’s home world!?!?). Wayland’s request was the worst possible thing he could have asked. He wanted to cheat death at all costs, and like pointed out, it was asked by an artificial human. If the Engineers had a reason to want to hit the ‘reset’ button on Earth 2000 years ago, Weyland’s question and attitude, just verified the concerns the Engineers had about Mankind.

  14. Dale Hoppert says:

    Wasn’t it pretty clearly established the the Engineers were on their way to Earth to ERASE us when they fell victim to their own bioweapons? The question is why they want us dead.

  15. Graham Miller says:

    Prometheus’ script had more holes than swiss cheese. It’s simply sloppy writing posing as art. Why would the “engineers” (what a stupid name) want to build us then destroy us? Why would David infect the humans and then want to help Dr. Shaw at the end? Why would they run in a straight line when the alien vessel is about to fall on them? Why did Weyland’s make up look so terrible? When will the engineers become male models and make their own calendar? Our expectations as movie goers have gotten very low. We deserve better. And this is coming from a huge sci-fi fan.

    • Mark says:

      One whoe seeks a hole, merely will fall.

    • Dorko says:

      I agree. I’m hoping sequels will prove me wrong but my gut tells me Ridley chose the wrong writer. What’s his resume, Lost and Cowboys and Aliens? Eeesh, lame!

    • Via- aliens.wikia.com (one circulating theory stemming from novels, comics ect)
      The Mala’kaks, also known as “Space Jockeys or engineers” created mankind as guinea pigs to perfect their genetics weapons of mass destruction. Since there was a huge civil war on their home world they have many enemies such as the yautja or “predator” and possibly others.
      Hope that website answers some questions for you.

    • William says:

      ‘why would david infect the humans’
      to this question, i have written a post elsewhere to explain it. to put it shortly, i think as humans have the tendency to rebel against creator, so does an android who wants freedom and must rebel to achieve it. david’s act seems trivial, but i think it’s a defiance tendency within all creatures to rebel.
      i have written a full commentary here: http://tso1989.blogspot.hk/2012/07/prometheus-2012.html

    • Then make sure to not watch the sequel.

    • Christopher says:

      Didn’t you watch the movie? The characters themselves were as confused as we are.. I have a feeling that this seemingly dull and indention-filled plot of Ridley’s will slowly reveal answers and will ultimately blossom into a masterpiece.

  16. bertie says:

    The engineer was just pissed these insignificant beings woke him from his beauty sleep!

  17. Brandon Hubbard says:

    My own personal theory of prometheus is that the engineers werent trying to make a virus but trying to send life to planets in those pods. And what started black goo like organic matter turned into a new species of fast evolving aliens. Its almost like the sludge sped up the cellular evolution of a species. Maybe one day we will look like the aliens from the movies lol

  18. dean66683 says:

    Just seen it and obviously a ‘alien spin off’ after 10 minutes. All a bit predictable really (an i hadn’t even read anything about it). But interesting bit about them seeding different life in the universe. At least it answers where the alien ‘queens’ came from. There demise on the “DNA bank planet” wasn’t to clear or why the 1st race acted as he did.

  19. Circadia says:

    Time should be taken into account here. Over thousands of years humans have evolved, changed, gone through upheavals in government, changes in philosophy. There is some indication that the “Engineers” who seeded Earth at the start of the movie are no longer the same. The first Engineer is in a flowing ceremonial gown. The ship he arrives in appears to be a giant egg shape (indicative of life and birth). When we later find the Engineers, they are in a war vessel with imposing armour. Remember, this is like millions of years later. The Engineers’ society may have changed. They too may be out to rid themselves of the oppression of their own parents, and to destroy the life they created just as the rivalry between David and his sister. This could be another splinter of the Engineers with a different agenda just as all humans don’t have the same agenda.

  20. JessSayin says:

    A better question would be, What was Ridley thinking when he made this senseless piece of garbage?
    “Engineers”… It’s a movie, not a religion! And a bad movie at that. Get over it!

  21. baby fart mcgeeziaks says:

    I don’t understand why this was left out… this would have made the film make much more sense. The engineers are obviously disgusted with humanity, we can only speculate on why (Space Jesus anyone?) but they seem to have gone from teaching humans (as seen in hieroglyphs) to giving up hope and deciding to destroy them. This alien was given the mission to destroy these “disgusting humans” 2000 years ago and now wakes up to humans asking him to make them live forever. Hmm… maybe it’s the greed and ambition of humans that have made the engineers give up on them? Maybe the engineers are themselves disgusted that they created such a species. And maybe, to then wake up to this species asking you for immortality was enough to make the guy want to snap some necks. Imagine if a human scientist had genetically engineered children only for them to turn out to be money grubbing homicidal maniacs… the scientist would probably want to destroy them at all costs, no? Interesting as the Prometheus title then gets a bit of further alliteration as Frankenstein’s original subtitle was “The modern Prometheus”

  22. The above is what he THOUGHT he said. What it REALLY meant was “There is no coffee and the nearest Starbucks is a billion lightyears away. Oh, and they guys out in the hall ate all the doughnuts.” Now, if someone had told you that after you had been so rudely awakened, after being asleep for 3000 years, don’t you think you’d rip someone’s head off too?

  23. Rodney James says:

    I think that the “Engineers” saw that their work had become “flawed or weak”. They were trying to make the perfect beings to replace them, beings who would not get sick, grow old or die. But the whole batch was ruined and so they were going to Earth to destroy their creation and start over somewhere else.

  24. Imagine.That says:

    I think we might find a situation like the “Children of the Gods” series from Stargate. Where there are a number of humanoid species in the universe with a couple of common threads to their existence.
    It would be interesting to find out that the introduction sequence we saw in the beginning was not a sacrifice to credit life, but a sacrifice to end it. I think we will find that the opening sequence was not on earth but elsewhere. This is due to the nature of the goo.
    If it was an evolutionary accelerator, why has humanity hit something of a brick wall, yet the Black aliens keep developing?
    In the end I believe we will find that the “Engineers” were not engineers at all but a species bent on elimination of every other human like species because they discovered that they were not the only ones.
    i think we will find that the “Predators” and the “Aliens” were different designs of mercenaries that failed the “Engineers” .
    I think it would be interesting to see what we thought was the opening sequence was actually the ending sequence of the trilogy.

  25. Kenton says:

    Thanks for the info on David’s communication with the Eng. My 2 cents is the Eng thought that the humans may have been infected therefore he began killing them to prevent an out break of the alien life form.

  26. Jake Hamilton says:

    I think the Engineer felt davids face and discovered he was a synthetic, and came to the realization that the humans were becoming engineers themselves, building their own beings. I think the engineer felt threatened by this, and that it further enforced his mission to destroy humanity on Earth and thats why he left in such haste.

  27. Spaldinadliotistapiss says:

    The movie sucked. I walked out after the 1st hour. The 3rd movie this year I walked out of. They included John Carter and the Grey. This one was so cookie cutter and CGI’d to death. I wanted to like this one so bad, but it just sucked.

  28. The Engineers didn’t create life on Earth; God did. Also, human languages were never based off of alien languages. Evidence for the origin of human language can be found in the Old Testament (Bible). So when David tried to communicate with the
    Engineer, in a language he couldn’t have possibly been able to understand, he definitely said something wrong. The Engineer snapped and killed everybody because he was a common criminal. LV 223 is actually a prison colony, used by the Engineers to house the worst offenders of their race. All the engineers died because they were trying to escape after a riot, which activated a global security system, controlled by robots, which wiped them out, before they could escape.

  29. JMC says:

    In the end, the Engineer looks at ‘David’ curiously, and then rips his
    head off… Based on this, and the *seeding* of a planet at the
    beginning of the movie, I believe the Engineers to be -God-. In the
    bible it says something about ‘not recreating the image of God’ or
    something like that. I think the Engineer was mad that we created
    *life* in the form of a cyborg… I also believe the *canisters*
    simply contained primordial ooze. They humans activated them, and it
    transformed the earth worms in the soil, into those snake-like
    creatures. They tested the primordial ooze on the guy to see how it
    would recreate. If it improved his health without altering him, David
    would have used it on Wayeland…

  30. YES MAN says:

    they do not hate mankind completely. the fact that they sacrifice themselves to create us is a selfless service. one thing 1 out of a 1000 people may have. they likely see this as a great flaw and sought to recreate life on earth.
    not to mention the barbarism shone on the first encounter durring the awakening from stasis. attacking someone for asking much more valid questions. besides who is to say the engineer did not understand english.