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What David actually said to the Engineer. Mystery Revealed.

What David actually said to the Engineer. Mystery Revealed.

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sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPJun-20-2012 6:15 PMSPOILER: This is about the meaning of what David said to the Engineer. If you are one of those people who doesn't want to know, don't read this. These are the words that David said to the Engineer: [i]ida hmanâm aî kya namrrtuh zdêêtaha. gwhivah-pyorn-îttham sas daatrr kredah.[/i] And what does it mean? Literally it breaks down to: this man (is) here because not-die he-desires. life_increase_wish to-him you-(can)-give he-believes. And what is the best approximation of what that means in everyday English? What would the sub-title have been if there had been one? This man is here because he does not want to die. He believes you can give him more life. And where did this information come from? It was supplied by Dr. Anil Biltoo of [url=http://www.london.ac.uk/2396.html]SOAS[/url] at the University of London. Dr. Biltoo was hired by Ridley Scott to design the Engineers’ language, teach it to the actors who learned it, and appear on screen as David's language instructor. If you've seen the film, you know what he looks and sounds like. That's also him teaching David while the rest of the crew is still in hibernation. [img]http://masempul.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Anil-Biltoo.jpg[/img] The Engineers’ language is based on Dr. Biltoo's own version of reconstructed [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language]Proto-Indo-European[/url]. In the fictional context of the movie, it is assumed that over 5,000 years ago contact between the Engineers and humans exposed us to this mother language whose human "daughters" are now spoken by roughly [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_languages]3 billion humans[/url]. Because of this fictional "real link" in human past to the Engineers and their language within the logic of the storytelling, David is able to communicate with them. One of David's features is that he knows all forms of human communication. Some of the words in "Engineer," as it was apparently commonly called during the production, actually have a recognizable connection to modern English. You'll likely recognize «hmanâm» as "human" or simply "man." The verb at the end. «kredah» ("he believes"), has echoes in English "creed," which is a "set of beliefs." For those who are interested in getting even more flavor of what the language is like. Here is the full version of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleicher's_fable]Schleicher's Fable[/url] in the version that the Engineers would likely understand. [i]hyewîs yasmâ hwælnâ nahâst aqwhunsâz dadrrkta, tâm ghêrmha vagam ugênthâ, tâm magham bhrrma, tâm hâmanam hêhok bharânt. hyewîs aqwhobyun vakta; mya kêrt xnutâya vizât hmanam aqwhunsâz uh-gnathâ. aqwhunz vaktantâ: kludh hyewa! kêrt xnutâya vîvîzdama: hâmanas patâsa hyewasya hwælnam swah gwhârmam vastram hyewîzbya hwælnâ nahâst. tod aklawa hyewîs agrâm abhogtâ.[/i] Apparently Michael Fassbender spent hours and hours committing the entire fable to memory, only to have the first line of it used in the film. Poor Fassy. Corroboration [url=http://thebioscopist.com/2012/06/20/the-linguistics-of-prometheus-what-david-says-to-the-engineer/]HERE[/url] of the translation.
130 Responses to What David actually said to the Engineer. Mystery Revealed.

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-24-2012 6:54 PMThe way it's all cut in "The Engineer Speaks" bonus material, I think the Engineer is supposed to be asking essentially two things: 1) Why are you here and what do you want? (Engineer is a bit surprised by alien (human) presence, but essentially neutral in his question.) 2) Who does HE (Weyland) think he is to ask for more life?! (Engineer is outraged at Weyland's presumption.) I think this based on the way the voice was created (attitudinally; its tone) and inserted into the cut in ADR; not because of the words themselves. Again, they are meaningless gibberish. Clearly it was critical for the Engineer to rip David's head off. That couldn't be redacted from the plot/action. So, the REASON that it happened had to be justified. They had to make the Engineer seem angry enough to justify his actions; as opposed to having him kill the human interlopers due to a policy that he must obey due to the structure of his society. I have to say though, that if you watch his face and gestures, he seems fascinated by the humans. This continues into his encounter with Shaw hiding behind the bar in Vicker's escape module. I wish that the production had been able to leave the Juggernaut "awakening" scene in tact as originally filmed. Oh well... I do think that having done it the way they did leaves things more free to make the Engineers more complex and interesting in subsequent films. That's all I hope for... And that they'll never resort to gibberish again...

ZILLA68

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-26-2012 4:17 PMTHANK YOU

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-28-2012 1:47 PM@ZILLA68 You're very welcome.

Malakak

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-28-2012 2:19 PM@sukkal Thank you for all this information. Without it, I think I would have too many questions on this film to actually like it. Do you have an idea of what the Engineers say during the sacrifice? I think it is one of the big questions (why?), and possibly the language originally used would be nearer to the actual ancestral language - if its reconstruction is actually what was pretended. Since all ancestral languages clearly must have had lots of specialized words and formalisms for sacrifice and religious ceremonies, I am sure that dialogue is the nearest this constructed language could be to the old one. Do you have any idea of what they said, in English and - if possible - in the Engineer language? Thank you again.

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-28-2012 3:32 PM@Malakak, I am aware of it, and I have to agree with your assertion that it might speak to *something* (but certainly not everything) to do with the bigger picture of *why* the Engineers engage in what Ridley refers to as "gardening." But, out of respect to the production and even to the studio, who are clearly intending to make some of their money back off of it, I feel that I should wait until the 9th of October to talk about it. I've also heard a rumor that there is some podcast online already that actually reveals the dialogue. If you can find that and link it here—and if I can listen to it and understand it—then I'll be happy to give you a translation if it's not already provided in the podcast itself. I just don't want to let some cat out of Fox's very expensive bag. ;•)

Malakak

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-29-2012 11:11 AM@sukkal Thanks for the answer. I hope you are right, but after changing the alien language in the end, I don't think the original wording will be ever released. I even doubt that the concept and English translation of the sacrifice dialogue will be part of the Prometheus fiction, given all the holes they are leaving everywhere. I have some knowledge in Latin, which helped me with some words of David's sentences, and then with your transcription of the real sentences - it was great to know what was said in the original conversation. If some of you have the podcast or a transcription of it, I would like to hear more original words, even if I don't know the meaning. I would have liked more the original, Avatar-like type of alien language-centered world, instead of the changed, 'wAAar-Noram-raAar' concept... :-(

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPSep-29-2012 3:22 PMI understand movie editors’ (and even directors’) not taking constructed languages seriously, but there is a fascinating correlation between when they do and the film's [u]success[/u]—and when the DON’T—and let's call it "less success"... Jackson's [i]LOTR[/i] and Cameron's [i]Avatar[/i] both take their constructed languages very seriously. A lot of attention was paid to the details. Some apparently feel that the Sindarin in LOTR was not 100% "correct", but that's a really complex situation in which Tolkien is dead, so there is no ultimate authority to go back to for conformation or other consulting. Stanton did not take Barsoomian incredibly seriously in [i]JC[/i] and found a way within the fictional context to miraculously get rid of it and turn it all into English. [i]Prometheus[/i], so far, is somewhere in between. Ideally, the spoken and written languages should match up logically. Fassy took GREAT EFFORTS to get his "Engineer" correct and I have to say that in the big picture of things it's really good. But, on the other hand, a lot of *messing around* in post production has happened with the speech of Ian as the Last Engineer. Will that [u]break[/u] the movie? No, absolutely not. Would it be better for all of the pieces and parts (even the linguistic ones) to fit together more seamlessly? Yes. In my opinion I can only answer "Yes." If the Engineers were supposed to be speaking a rare indigenous North American language like [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohawk_language]Kanien’kéha[/url], and a native speaker had taught Michael and Ian ([i]et al[/i]) to speak it, then the post folks probably wouldn't then just randomly make up some sounds for Ian's dialogue if they wanted or needed to send it off in another semantic direction. They'd probably be more respectful of the native speaker body in the real world (and afraid of criticism on the PR front). BUT, in the fictional context of the story, it doesn't really make any difference if the language was originally organic or constructed. What we have today is gibberish coming out of the "real" Engineer and the "correct" language coming out of David. It boils down to an irreparable paradox that violates (a tiny tiny portion albeit) of the realism of the film, which is ultimately necessary to support the suspension of disbelief. Ridley is very very attuned to the way things look—VISUALLY—in everything he does. Because of that, EVERYTHING in the film is visually, flawlessly PERFECT. Even the harshest critics agree with that facet of the film. If he were equally as attuned to language and story, then (barring tampering from the studio) Ian [i]et al[/i] would speak highly intelligible Engineer and there wouldn't be any holes in the plot (at least not any gaping ones). It all falls on a continuum and they (the production + the studio) prioritize with the money and algorithms that they have to work with. Welcome to Hollywood. The sad thing for me is that—in the end—it wouldn't really cost any more to do the language things correctly. Compared to 30 seconds of CGI, it's basically FREE to get a line of dialogue rendered correctly. It just requires attention to that domain of detail. If more fans cared about it and demanded it, more producers and directors would too...

Xeno1985

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-01-2012 10:16 AMThis is what David said, according to the language consultant on the film: "This man wants more life. He believes you can give it to him". He was on a mission to kill mankind when he went into cryosleep. Now he is awakened by members of the same race, who have travelled across the galaxy to ask for more life!

MoonMan

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-04-2012 10:31 AMRidley reveals why he tears David's head off. Interestingly, it's not because the humans were asking for more life, but that he was insulted to have an android speak for the humans. What appears to be some sort of blessing when the engineer touches David, is just his conformation that he's not human. Evidently, a *huge* insult.

djamelameziane

FacehuggerMember143 XPOct-04-2012 10:41 AMhmmm interesting so you mean he hates andriods - wonder why... :O

 "It's almost as if they are making it up as they go along" :D

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-04-2012 11:43 PMI was not impressed by that reason, though. It sounded like back-peddling somehow. There was another reason when the scenes were originally filmed, but clearly it didn't survive the editing process so another reason had to be concocted. It's fine. It's plausible. It just didn't excite me.

indoeuropean

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-06-2012 4:36 PMDear fans of the 'Engineer' language: We have been preparing a new section of our [url=http://dnghu.org/en/indo-european-language-grammar/]Indo-European grammar[/url] since June, when we learnt that some sort of PIE was spoken in Prometheus. Thanks to prof. Biltoo's texts and comments, and also to sukkal (thank you very much!), we could know a lot about the language that Engineers spoke in the original script. We had also prepared a section on the Last Engineer's speech - as it is heard in the deleted scenes -, treating it as a different 'Engineer' dialect. However, when we read here that it could be ARD, and possibly not a real language to be shown in future films, we left just a few comments about it, concentrating our efforts on the initially planed language. Nevertheless, the Last Engineer's speech can also have a [b]clear Indo-European nature[/b], near to the 'standard Engineer', and we have left the possible meaning of his sentences. Even though we would have liked to have more information, what we know is fairly enough to learn this language - or, more exactly, what differentiates this recreated Late Proto-Indo-European dialect from the standard reconstruction. Our grammar was intended to learn Indo-European as a [b]living language[/b], instead of a cold discussion on potential phonetics and morphology, as most manuals do. Therefore, we think that the inclusion of a section on 'Engineer' or Mala'kak is sufficient to adapt the grammar for the student of the 'Engineer' language. At least it was enough for us to understand most of it... Whilst only prof. Biltoo had the ultimate clues on what each word meant for him (and why), [b]Late Proto-Indo-European[/b] is actually richer than what a man (or a group of them) could recreate. So for example some word-by-word meanings leaked do not correspond exactly to what we know about PIE. Thus the only thing that we have for sure for the next years, while we wait for Prometheus 2 and its official language is that, if 'Engineer' is going to be based on Late PIE, then the best we can do is learn standard Late PIE, and later - if necessary - discuss prof. Biltoo's (or any other's) recreations. Feel free to download a copy of the special Prometheus Edition of our [b]free[/b] ebook "A Grammar of Modern Indo-European, Prometheus Edition" at [url=http://dnghu.org/en/prometheus-engineer-proto-indo-european/]http://dnghu.org/en/prometheus-engineer-proto-indo-european/[/url], or request a copy at Amazon (at printing cost) if you prefer the paper version. We hope this will help you enjoy Prometheus' universe more than before. Happy DVD / Blu-ray day!! PS- if you experience a slooow download, you can try the direct dropbox link in the meantime: http://dl.dropbox.comhttps://www.scified.com/u/66898980/a-grammar-of-modern-indo-european-prometheus-edition.pdf

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-08-2012 3:19 AM@indoeuropean, I'm familiar with your work in PIE from the past and find it fascinating that you would incorporate the use of Dr. Biltoo's work for this film into it. However, I've just read some things in your [i]Prometheus Edition[/i] .PDF that are factually incorrect regarding me and some 'relationship to this film as a consultant' which seems to have been inferred. I do not have any consulting relationship to this franchise at this time, nor have I had in the past. I have communicated with Dr. Biltoo directly, but that is the extent of my 'involvement.' It is quite possible that additional aspects of the film and production as revealed by the new, upcoming bonus features and do***entary materials on the Blu-Ray may clarify some of the meanings of the 'Engineer' language used in the film. I am not aware of this production's ever having thought of or having called the language [i]Mala'kak[/i], for example. I welcome your messaging me privately (PMming me via this forum's native mechanism) regarding the points that I feel are potentially misleading (and counterfactual). Your motivation to increase awareness of your work into PIE via leveraging the connection in this film makes perfect sense to me, but as a scholarly publication with noble motives for the proliferation of awareness of and interest in (spoken) PIE, I would like to assist you to the extent that I am able in making it as factually accurate as possible. I don't feel that either your work or the 'constructed language' (the Engineer 'reconstruction' of PIE featured in the film) as produced by Dr. Biltoo is well served by any inferences that are not accurate, especially when hard, factual 'answers' are available. I remain very hopeful that the language will play an increasingly important role in the future of both the franchise (in a future film or film(s)) and that it will be embraced by the linguaphile subset of the fan base. The more the information out on the web regarding Dr. Biltoo's language for the film is correct, the better chance I believe that that will become a possibility. I have pre-ordered the Blu-Ray and will see its contents for the first time on Tuesday, 9 October (likely in the evening California time). I think it very *likely* that your text will need to undergo at least some revision or addition after that material comes to light. Please don't hesitate to PM me at your earliest convenience. I've only commented publicly here to this extent so that other members of this community understand that I have no special relationship to [i]Prometheus[/i] the film. I am a fan in this case, and nothing more. Most sincerely, Sukkal

daveyboy

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-08-2012 8:39 AMdoes anyone know what the engineer says to david in the deleted scene?? david says that he asked "why" but im pretty sure about 10 words in the language he used doesnt just translate to "why"

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-08-2012 11:37 AMTo the best of my knowledge, it is gibberish. I answered as best I know back one page on Page 6 of this discussion.

daveyboy

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-08-2012 12:30 PMwow! thank you sukkal! truly nice work

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-10-2012 1:13 PMThe Making Of on Disc 3 (“Furious Gods”) explains towards the very end where the Engineer ‘gibberish’ came from. I'll try to explain in detail if people care. I have to say, that while still disappointed, I have to give the audio guy *some* credit for trying to at least get it in the correct phonological ballpark.

Dryson

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-10-2012 7:17 PMCould the miss pronunciation by David as translated by Dr. Biltoo and then spoken by David in the presence of the Engineer be the reason for the Engineers anger and attacking them? It seemed like the Engineer was drawn more towards Dr. Shaw's questions. Did the Engineer sense that Weyland was only interested in his own life being saved? Or did the Engineer attack the group because it was scared and confused?
[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/41/pr51.png/][IMG]http://imageshack.us/a/img41/298/pr51.png[/IMG][/URL] All of these worlds abound with freedom...and death.

sukkal

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-11-2012 1:21 AM@Dryson, I don't think so. David spoke pretty well. He didn't majorly butcher the pronunciation. The Engineer understood everything David said (and originally responded coherently, before the film was edited). He killed them due to Weyland's [i]magham kert[/i], his audacity at asking for more life because he equated his own status as that of a god. Again, I think Ridley and/or Fox changed their minds about the original reasoning behind the slaughter beginning with David's decapitation, so that reason will never be explained. At least not until some future point in time, if ever...

Treehugger

OvomorphMember0 XPOct-13-2012 8:27 AM(comment deleted)

Indy John

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-09-2012 6:46 AMW have already observed and heard David manipulate situations and say word/phrases that haver a double meaning. I suspect that David could have done the same thing when talking to the Last Engineer..and send him into a rage. Though possibly speaking in a double tongue David didn't expect the Engineer to rip his head off and come this close to losing his robotic life.
Be choicelessly aware as you move through life

Rui

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-11-2012 8:23 PMMy first time here and I wanted to contribute a bit to the thread. Given that it's around PIE i have a screenshot from the enhancement pods extra. [img]http://imageshack.us/a/img688/5554/vlc2012102700503252.png[/img] Dr. Biltoo also reads a bit, i believe it's something the engineer could have said. (sorry if someone already mentioned this) the first two sentences are on the screenshot eghom vivizat hjae nahman veragnan mekjahu-bhoruktaj agne-ghwrnaj ghunakt' orjon' i've seen things you people wouldn't believe attack ships on fire off the should of orion i watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the tannhauser gate all those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain time to die for the interested based on this screenshot i was able to create a font of the engineer's writings. It can help someone translate the writings on something :P [img]http://imageshack.us/a/img87/3702/engineerprev.png[/img] you can download it [url=http://fav.me/d5kpd4p]here[/url]

Alien/Prometheus

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-13-2012 9:44 AMI would have loved to learn this language!!!

Alien/Prometheus

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-13-2012 9:44 AMI would have loved to learn this language!!!

Rui

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-13-2012 8:35 PMyou and me both, i actually downloaded a pdf book on proto-indo-europpean it was a "prometheus" version but it's hard knowing a language that everyone seems to have a different theory about. google the book it has some interesting things ;) the best thing i did was hear all the PIE dialects in the movie and try to match them phonemically did was able to mimic shcleigers fable first sentence xD and the screenshot i posted above. it would be a lot easier if it would be more commonly spoken or if we had a tutor xD i like the language because it's uncommon and the sounds really seem interesting.

Indy John

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-15-2012 5:18 AMIn looking over the Engineer Font I didn't see any reference to numbers. Is this consisteant with ancient Earth languages? Would the Engineers being some sort of numerical reference?
Be choicelessly aware as you move through life

monti12

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-15-2012 6:20 AMthanks dear i like this post.

Rui

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-15-2012 6:32 AM@Indy John, i didn't either, i only made the visible characters on the screenshot. i believe not, i think they said it was completely made up

Poseidon

OvomorphMember0 XPNov-15-2012 3:04 PMReally nice and eventful.

BigDave

DeaconMember10324 XPNov-15-2012 6:20 PMWell maybe their was even more Dialog than the Deleted Scene Showed. As their was a rumor of how many pages of Dialog David had to learn for that scene and well he hardly spoke so many pages worth in that scene. But going from the scene here is roughly what was said... not word for what but the purpose and intent is all the same. First... Weyland tells David to speak to him and tell him we came just like he asked. David tells this and he must have informed the Engineer that they came to find him because of the clues and star maps left behind from them in the past. The Engineer speaks, and David tells Weyland he wants to know why have them come and what do they want. David then tells the Engineer why Weyland wanted to come, and that he was dying and wanted more life and to be immortal. The engineer at this point seemed to be a little upset at that demand, and David said that he asked why.... now i can assume that the Engineer must have also said or meant something similar to "how dare you come here and demand immortality, why should you have that. Weyland then talks to the Engineer and we dont know if he understands or not or he interpreted it like i roughly did with the Engineer, or maybe there was more dialog after Weyland where David maybe told the Engineer Weyland created him. As all of a sudden the Engineer then noticed that maybe David was not Human and he confirmed this once he touched his head.

R.I.P Sox  01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017

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