Study Friulian from the Bible: Genesis 4, verses 1-7

This post continues your study of the Friulian language as used in the Bible; you will now begin your study of the fourth chapter of the Book of Genesis, which tells the story of Cain e Abêl (Cain and Abel). In this post, you will examine verses 1-7; that is, Gjenesi 4:1-7.

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Friulian language here (Gjenesi 1).

The Friulian text that you will study was prepared by Glesie Furlane, in Bibie par un popul. You can read and listen to the Bible in Friulian by following the link.

Before you begin your study below, you will need to access the text of the verses in Friulian; you can do so by following one of the links below, which will take you to the Bibie par un popul site:

The reading of these verses in the video starts at 0:00 and ends at 1:28.

Verset 1

The first verb you encounter in this fourth chapter is cognossi (to know, to be acquainted with), which you have in fact already come across; however, in this verse, you will understand cognossi it in its biblical sense of having carnal knowledge of someone; that is, to have sexual intercouse with someone.

l’om al cognossè Eve
the man knew Eve

You will have recognised al cognossè as being the masculine, thid-person singular, passât sempliç conjugation of the verb cognossi.

If necessary, you may wish to review Friulian possessive adjectives; you find one in this verse with la sô femine (his wife).

You will remember from a previous verse that the masculine chel and the feminine chê can also be used to refer to a person. In this verse, chê refers to la femine; you can understand chê as meaning she.

chê e cjapà sù
she conceived

The expression in the above is cjapâ sù, which you will have understood translates literally as to take up; however, the sense of it here is to conceive, to get pregnant. You will come across this expression again in the third verse, where it takes on a more literal sense.

The text follows with the verb parturî (to give birth to, to bear):

e parturì Cain
she gave birth to Cain
she bore Cain

You encounter the first-person singular, passât prossim conjugation of the verb in this verse, where it takes on the sense of I got, I have gotten:

o ai vût un om
I had; have had a man
I got; have gotten a man

The expression midiant di means through, via, by means of.

midiant dal Signôr
through the Lord
by means of the Lord

Verset 2

Po means then. As for the verb dâ, it means to give; in this verse, you read that Eve also “gave the life” to Abel (that is, she also gave birth to Abel). You find the verb used here in the passât sempliç:

i dè la vite ancje a Abêl
she also gave birth to Abel
she also bore Abel

In the above, you will recall that the Friulian word for life is the feminine la vite. You will also notice the combined use of i (to him) and a Abêl (to Abel); you have seen this feature of Friulian numerous times now.

The Friulian word for brother is il fradi. Although it does not appear in this verse, you can also learn the word for sister: la sûr. You now know the Friulian words for the following members of a family:

il pari, father
la mari, mother
il fradi, brother
la sûr, sister

un mosaic dal Bon Pastôr che al puarte su lis sôs spalis une piore (Basiliche di Aquilee)

The Friulian word for sheep is la piore. Un pastôr di pioris, then, is a herder of sheep, shepherd. You will remember that the verb deventâ means to become.

Abêl al deventà pastôr di pioris
Abel became a herder of sheep

In the legend of the image, the Friulian word for shoulder is la spale; the verb puartâ means to carry.

Cain, on the other hand, worked the ground; al lavorave is the masculine, third-person singular, imperfet indicatîf conjugation of the verb lavorâ (to work); al lavorave might be better understood here as meaning he used to work. The use of the imperfet emphasises the continuous nature of the action.

Cain al lavorave la tiere
Cain worked the ground
(Cain used to work the ground)

Verset 3

The verb passâ, as used in this verse, to means to pass, to go by. The Friulian noun il timp means time.

al passà il timp
time went by

In the above, the subject has been shifted to the end; you can understand it as meaning the same as il timp al passà.

The verb capitâ means to happen. As for the verb ufrî, this is the Friulian for to offer.

al capità che
it happened that

Cain i ufrì al Signôr
Cain offered to the Lord

In this verse, you come across the expression cjapâ sù again, which you will remember was used in the first verse above in the sense of to conceive. This time, it is not used in the sense of to conceive but to obtain; you will remember that cjapâ sù literally means to take up.

di ce che al cjapave sù de tiere
from that which he obtained (took up) from the ground

Al cjapave is the masculine, third-person singular, imperfet indicatîf conjugation of the verb cjapâ.

Verset 4

The masculine il part found in this verse means offspring; i prins parts, then, translates literally as first offsprings, which you can understand as meaning firstborns.

The masculine il trop means flock. For example, the Friulian for flock of sheep is un trop di pioris.

Abêl al ufrì i prins parts
Abel offered the firstborns

dal so trop
of his flock

You read that Abel also offered the fat of the sheep: il lôr gras (their fat).

The expression vê a grât can be understood as meaning to be pleased with (or more literally as to have to one’s liking). In this verse, you encounter for the first time the verb used in the masculine, third-person singular of the passât sempliç: al vè.

il Signôr al vè a grât
the Lord had to his liking

il Signôr al vè a grât Abêl
the Lord was pleased with Abel

You read that not only was God pleased with Abel, but also with that which he had offered:

ce che al ufrive
that which he offered
(was offering, used to offer)

Al ufrive is the masculine, third-person singular, imperfet indicatîf conjugation of the verb ufrî.

Verset 5

The expression cjalâ di bon voli can be understood as meaning to look favourably upon. The verb cjalâ means to look. The Friulian word for eye, which you have encountered before, is il voli. Bon voli means good eye; di bon voli, then, which translates literally as of (a) good eye, can be understood as meaning favourably.

nol cjalà di bon voli
he did not look favourably upon

The Friulian word for offering is the feminine la ufierte. Ni… ni means neither… nor.

ni Cain ni la sô ufierte
neither Cain nor his offering

(The English would in fact use either… or here instead: he did not look favourably upon either Cain or his offering.)

In this verse, the Friulian cjapâse means to take it badly, where se is a contraction of si and la (cjapâsi + la); la serves the same impersonal function as it in the expression to take it badly.

cjapâse (to take it badly)
= cjapâsi + la

se cjape (he takes it badly)
= si + la cjape

se cjapà (he took it badly)
= si + la cjapà

se cjapà un grum a pet
he took it very badly
he took great offence

Il pet means chest. The sense is that he took his offence a pet (“to chest”); that is, he was very affected by it. Un grum translates as very.

Another usage in this verse meaning very is une vore. The verb restâ can be understood in this verse as meaning to end up, to become.

restâ une vore mortificât
to become very contrite

Verset 6

Parcè mo means why then.

In this verse, you encounter cjapâse again, this time in the form cjapâte.

= cjapâti + la

te cjapis
= ti + la cjapis

tu te cjapis
te cjapis
you take it badly
you get upset

parcè te cjapistu cussì?
why are you taking it badly like that?
why are you getting upset like this?

You will perhaps recall the use of no stâ a to form a negated imperative:

no stâ a cjapâte
do not take it badly
do not get upset

You will recall the feminine la muse meaning face; here, you can understand it in the sense of expression.

tu tu fasis
tu fasis
you make

parcè fasistu?
why are you making?

chê muse
that expression
that reaction

Verset 7

Now would be a good time to review the four forms of the Friulian word for good: bon (masculine singular), buine (feminine singular), bogns (masculine plural), buinis (feminine plural).

se tu âs buinis intenzions
if you have good intentions

The second-person singular, presint indicatîf conjugation of the verb is tu tu vâs.

tu tu vâs
tu vâs
you go

tu no tu vâs
no tu vâs
you do not go

parcè vâstu?
parcè no vâstu?
why do you go?
why do you not go?

You will remember the masculine il cjâf, meaning head. The adjective alt means high.

parcè no vâstu cul cjâf alt?
why do you not go with your head (held) high?

You may now wish to consult this overview of names of the parts of the head in Friulian.

The adjective trist means wretched. The Friulian word for heart is il cûr.

se tu âs trist cûr
if you have a wretched heart
(that is, if your intentions are bad)

The Friulian word for sin is il pecjât. A number of posts back, you encountered the Friulian for door: la puarte.

tu âs il pecjât su la puarte
you have sin at the door (literally, on the door)

You can understand une bestie scrufuiade as meaning crouching beast; the adjective here is scrufuiât.

The verb bramâ means to desire. Its third-person singular, presint indicatîf conjugation is al brame, e brame.

In the final part of this verse, you come across two expressions that you have already encountered numerous times before: vê di and rivâ a.

tu tu âs di
tu âs di
you have to, you must

rivâ a
to manage to
to succeed in

The verb domâ means to control, to master.

tu tu âs di rivâ a domâle
you must manage to master it
you must come to rule it

The le of domâle stands in for la bestie.

The image of the mosaic was created by Sailko [CC BY-SA 3.0].