What Did David Say To The Engineer In Prometheus?

By Rudie Obias | Published


There 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. Though that’s clearly not a universal feeling. It’s a mixed bad, for sure.

One of the big questions left hanging in Prometheus is what exactly did David say to the Engineer? What was their “conversation,” such as it was, and why did the Engineer have such a violent (to say the least) reaction to it?

David (Michael Fassbender) was studying an ancient language at the beginning of the film, something that would be key in at least getting us to the little talk near the end.

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

Here’s the line David spoke to the Engineer in Prometheus 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 Prometheus 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. Heck, he flew across the galaxy to find these dudes.


It’s also unclear why the Engineer would kill someone for this request, though it does lead to some questions there. If the Engineer didn’t understand and was simply scared or confused (he’d been in stasis for a long time), then an immediately over-the-top reaction could be explained.

At the same time, there’s a chance the Engineer understood David and immediately thought that the request meant humans didn’t “deserve” to live. After all, they were looking to live eternally. That could be a scary prospect, maybe even one the Engineers were working on themselves.

In Prometheus, if humans were looking to sidestep death, the Engineer could have found this to be a biological non-starter, akin to a mortal error. Now, David isn’t human so getting his head ripped off doesn’t accomplish much. But the point is at least taken.

Regardless of the reason, the Prometheus scene was pretty confusing when it happened. Not knowing at all what David said/ asked of the Engineer made the response feel almost out of nowhere. And getting really no clarity didn’t help either.