Klaatu Barada Nikto

I've had the above phrase at the top of my MSN for a week now, ever since I saw The Day the Earth Stood Still, in fact. For those who ask (and you'd be far more numerous if I didn't keep my MSN to a strict 25 contact names), it's the phrase used to prevent the robot Gort from destroying the Earth.
About as useful as knowing "Where's the bathroom" and "Screw you" when you go abroad. But until yesterday, I thought it was all gibberish, right?

My good friend Elyse just told me "Nikto" is the Slovak word for "no one". And that got me thinking. Klaatu is the alien's name and at the start of a sentence in the alien language, it acts as a trigger for the robot, or perhaps it's how you do Imperative tense in their syntax. So the phrase is basically:

"Klaatu [says] ____________ no one."

And finally we have it. "Barada" will have to be "destroy". Klaatu says: Destroy no one. Makes perfect sense!

If Gort is of Slovak design, of course.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

wasnt that sentence used also in the movie: army of darkness. to prevent the demon book for harming the earth and get ash back to 1988? whoa i like the reference that they did there! Hollywood amazes me! lol

Siskoid said...

Ash sorta screws it up "...necktie?"

There are TONS of KBN references in tv and film, the most famous of which is Star Wars aliens with each of those names (in Jabba's entourage). For more check out the relevant Wikipedia entry.

Anonymous said...

hehe... except barada veut rien dire en slovaque...

Siskoid said...

No, it's obviously a word used by aliens that they never taught proto-Slovaks at the dawn of history.

 

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