Does the Predator simply repeat what Dutch has just said "what the hell are you?" Or is it asking him the same question back?

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    It works both ways....doesn't it? – Paulie_D Nov 23 '16 at 19:58
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    Yes but my point was does the predator understand what is being asked or does it just repeat sentences to spook people – Deckard-B26354 Nov 23 '16 at 20:02
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    Predator: Look loves, I know I'm an alien killing machine, but what's my MOTIVATION? – Peter Jun 11 '17 at 7:13

He's taunting Dutch

There are a few times in the film where the Predator records the voices of humans.

It seems to use them as a taunt rather than a lure. The one time that it could have conceivably been using a voice to lure a human was when he replayed Mac's "over here" to Dillon. But Mac was dead at the time, so it frightened Dillon rather than lured him over.

There's no indication that the Predator can speak or understand any human language. When Dutch asks him that question, the Predator doesn't understand it. Why he plays it back is open to interpretation, but I would argue that it's a taunt or an attempt to "tell off" / rebuke Dutch.

Since he follows it by detonating a large bomb (also, playing back Billy's menacing laughter), trying to kill Dutch, I would imagine he's saying communicating something like "you may have beaten me, but you're going to die too."

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    He doesn't play the last line back though, he says it... So is the predator taunting Dutch or saying "what the hell type of creature are you compared to me" – Deckard-B26354 Nov 23 '16 at 20:07
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    When I talking about the predator "playing voices back", I mean that he could be vocally mimicking the voice, using some kind of playback technology, or augmenting his own voice with technology. I'm not sure if the film makes it clear. – Ben Osborne Nov 23 '16 at 20:11
  • Another good point :) – Deckard-B26354 Nov 23 '16 at 22:06

Given the inflection the predator places on the word you (which Dutch does not), it's not mimicry, it's equal parts taunt and complete understanding.

Dutch's sentence ends with a period. The predator's ends with a question mark.

Dutch: What the hell are you.

Predator: What. The hell. Are you?

There's no indication of how the Predator can speak or understand English, but he sure does know how to raise the pitch on the last word of a question that's thrown right back at its asker.

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  • Interesting position. But, "what the hell are you" isn't a complete sentence if you put a period at the end, so I'm not sure I buy the idea that Dutch wasn't asking a question simply because he failed to raise his pitch at the end. – Steve-O Jan 23 '18 at 19:09

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