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Is it known from any trusted source what the Engineer was saying here? David was clearly saying "I told him he want to live forever".

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    “I loved you in Inglorious Basterds.” Jun 9, 2015 at 12:36

4 Answers 4

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At this time, nothing has been published regarding the full conversation. However, one website contacted the consultant who created the language spoken by the Engineers.

The deleted scene that this conversation comes from is reported to be 10 minutes long. It's quite possible that a translation will be included somewhere on the DVD/Blu-Ray.

According to the consultant

In the scene David is learning the building blocks of language and we see him taking a lesson in Proto-Indo-European (PIE) Linguistics, where a holographic professor, takes him through the ABC’s and recites Schleicher’s Fable. An artificial text composed in the reconstructed PIE, in 1868, to demonstrate the language’s use.

hjew?s jasm? hwæln? nah?st ak?uns?z dad?kta (Translated as: a sheep that had no wool saw horses) – Excerpt from Schleicher’s Fable – The Sheep and the Horses"

The ‘Professor’ in the clip is in fact the real-life linguistics consultant used for the film and taught Michael Fassbender (David) the dialogue. I managed to track down the consultant, a Dr. Anil Biltoo of the SOAS Language Centre in London, to see if he could shed some light on the mysterious final scene. He was most helpful and provided the following:

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 hman?m a? kja nam?tuh zd?:taha/…/gh??vah-pjorn-?ttham sas da:t? 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’.

(quote taken from this forum, which copy/pasted from the article)

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  • Very nice, I didn't know the deleted speech was from Blade Runner.
    – Secko
    Oct 17, 2012 at 12:30
  • Unfortunately, that link is down...
    – Rui Vieira
    Feb 14, 2015 at 17:14
  • @Rui Vieira - I added a link to a saved version from archive.org, always a useful site to check if you find a dead link.
    – Hypnosifl
    Feb 15, 2015 at 15:55
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    +1. Good research. Amazing how they went to the trouble of consulting linguistics experts to make a plausible fake language, but forgot about things like a plot that made any gorram sense. Feb 15, 2015 at 21:30
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    And the Engineer's response was "WARARAGARAGGHHHH!"
    – Omegacron
    Mar 9, 2015 at 15:00
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It is left to be a mystery. Most likely for emphasis, because sometimes the unspoken is more profound than the spoken, to viewers.

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I think David informed the Engineer that "this man" (Weyland) created him in order to get immortality. The Engineer found this idea crazy. Possibly, they created humans exactly for the same reason (as an experiment). So, the Engineer said to Weyland:

"Indeed we wouldn't create you if we were immortal!"

The whole idea is that artificial life and other smart tools ("life pods") can't help humanity in its struggle with death. More likely there is deadlock this way. It can make even worse. A tool can be used against its creator, like Weyland was killed by David's head.

The source? Probably, the oldest tale on the Earth. Take a look on a fragment from Epic of Gilgamesh (1700 BC):

In order to learn the secret of eternal life, Gilgamesh undertakes a long and perilous journey. He learns that "The life that you are seeking you will never find. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping."

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    Can you provide a source or you just made that up?
    – DavRob60
    Oct 23, 2012 at 15:33
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    No. This is just my interpretation of the film.
    – yakunins
    Oct 23, 2012 at 15:48
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    There is funnier translation: "We created you to get immortality for us!"
    – yakunins
    Oct 23, 2012 at 16:02
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    Hm, the source... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh
    – yakunins
    Apr 5, 2013 at 10:06
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    By "The source", I mean the source of the translation of what Engineer said to Weyland. If this part of the answer is a guess, even if it's an educated guess, it's still a guess. That's why you should either provide a source (from the writer, director or someone involved in the production) or mention that it's a guess.
    – DavRob60
    Apr 5, 2013 at 12:00
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The engineer says "why should man believe he can rule other men when he cannot rule over a fly?"

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    Can you provide a source? Oct 17, 2012 at 10:26

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