Friulian language series: Gjenesi 7, Noè e il diluvi

In the seventh chapter of the book of Genesis, Noah goes into the ark with his sons, his wife and his sons’ wives. The Friulian for flood is il diluvi; for Noah’s ark, it is l’arcje di Noè.

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Versets 1-5

Vocabulary: il Signôr (Lord), (to say), jentrâ (to go in, to enter), la arcje (ark), la famee (family), parcè che (because, for), cjatâ (to find), just (just, righteous), denant di (before, in front of), dome (only, but), framieç di (amongst), la razate (generation), il nemâl (animal), mont (clean), ’nt (thereof), cjoli (to take), il pâr (pair), il mascjo (male), la mascje (female), ancje (also, too), un ucel (bird; also uciel), il cîl (heaven, sky), siet (seven), par che (in order that), la semence (seed), podê (may, can, to be able), restâ (to remain, to stay), ancjemò (yet, still), la tiere (earth), il dì (day), (to make, to do), slavinâ (to rain down, to downpour), corante (forty; also cuarante), la gnot (night), di file (straight, in a row), netâ (to clean, to wash away), la face (face, surface), ordenâ (to order, to command).

Verse 1: Il Signôr i disè a Noè: the Lord said to Noah. Jentre is the second-person singular imperative of the verb jentrâ; the Lord says: jentre te arcje (go into the ark) tu e la tô famee (you and your family), parcè che ti ai cjatât just (for I have found you righteous) denant di me (before me), dome te (only you) framieç di cheste razate (amongst this generation*). In the text of this verse, you find te arcje; if you have consulted the summary of Friulian contractions of a preposition and definite article, you may have expected ta l’arcje rather than te arcje, given that the feminine arcje begins with a vowel. You will find variation in certain Friulian contractions and, in fact, both te arcje and ta l’arcje can be found in this Bible. For example: a jentrarin te arcje (verse 9); a jentrarin ta l’arcje (verse 13). The difference between jentrâ te arcje and jentrâ ta l’arcje stems from whether or not one makes the contraction of la to l’ before arcje, which begins with a vowel. (That is, both l’arcje and la arcje are possible.) Observe: jentrâ te arcje (= jentrâ in + la arcje); jentrâ ta l’arcje (= jentrâ in + l’arcje). *To be taken in the sense of one’s contemporaries.

Verse 2: Di ducj i nemâi monts (of all the clean animals), tu ’nt cjolarâs (you shall take thereof) dome un pâr (but one pair), mascjo e mascje (a male and a female). Nemâi is the plural of the masculine nemâl. Int (contracted to ’nt here because the preceding tu ends in a vowel) means thereof, of them: tu (you) ’nt (thereof; of them) cjolarâs (shall take) dome un pâr (but one pair; only one pair).

Verse 3: Ancje i ucei monts dal cîl (the birds of the heaven also), siet pârs (seven pairs), mascjo e mascje (male and female), par che la semence e puedi restâ ancjemò (that seed may yet remain) su la tiere (on the earth). E puedi is the feminine, third-person singular of the coniuntîf presint of the verb podê; the use of par che (in order that) calls for the subjunctive. Observe: la semence e pues restâ (seed may remain); par che la semence e puedi restâ (in order that seed may remain).

Verse 4: Parcè che ancjemò siet dîs (for in seven days’ time [for {in} another seven days]) e jo o fasarai slavinâ (I shall make it rain down [and I shall make it rain down]) su la tiere (upon the earth) par corante dîs (for forty days) e corante gnots (and forty nights) di file (in a row) e o netarai de face de tiere (and I shall wash away [clean] from the face of the earth) dut ce che o ai fat (all that I have made). As part of parcè che ancjemò siet dîs, ancjemò can be taken as meaning another (that is, for {in} another seven days). Note the use of e: ancjemò siet dîs e […]. Slavinâ means to rain down, to downpour; fâ slavinâ, then, means to cause to rain down, to cause to downpour. The Friulian for to clean is netâ; in the context of this verse, netâ di can be taken as to wash away from. Supplementary: The usual Friulian verb for to rain is plovi: al plûf (it is raining); al à plot (it rained); al plovarà (it will rain).

Verse 5: Noè al fasè dut ce che il Signôr i veve ordenât: Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him (had commanded unto him).

Versets 6-9

Vocabulary: (to have), sîscent (six hundred), un an (year; plural agns), cuant che (when), capitâ (to occur, to happen, to come about), il diluvi (flood), la aghe (water), la tiere (earth, ground), dutun cun (along with), il fî (son), la femine (wife), jentrâ (to go in, to enter), salvâ (to save), salvâsi di (to save oneself from), il nemâl (animal), mont (clean), soç (unclean), un ucel (bird; also uciel), strissinâsi (to slither), il pâr (pair), la sorte (sort, kind), par sorte (by sort, by kind), il mascjo (male), la mascje (female), come che (as, just as), ordenâ (to order, to command).

Verse 6: Noè al veve sîscent agns (Noah was six hundred years old [was having six hundred years]) cuant che al capità il diluvi (when the flood came about), lis aghis su la tiere (waters upon the earth). The verb (to have) is used in Friulian to say how many years old a person is; that is, a person has a certain number of years, rather than is. Supplementary examples: trops agns âstu? (how old are you? [how many years have you?]); o ai disesiet agns (I am seventeen years old [I have seventeen years]). To talk about how old a person was during a period of the past, the imperfet indicatîf is used: o vevi disesiet agns cuant che… (I was seventeen years old when [I was having seventeen years when]); al veve disesiet agns cuant che… (he was seventeen years old when [he was having seventeen years when]).

Verse 7: Noè, dutun cui siei fîs (Noah, along with his sons), la sô femine (his wife) e lis feminis dai siei fîs (and the wives of his sons), al jentrà te arcje (went into the ark) par salvâsi (to save himself) des aghis dal diluvi (from the waters of the flood).

Verses 8-9: I nemâi monts (the clean animals) e i nemâi soçs (and the unclean animals), i ucei (the birds) e dut ce che si strissine (and all that slithers) su la tiere (on the ground), a jentrarin te arcje di Noè (went into Noah’s ark) un pâr par sorte (a pair by sort), mascjo e mascje (male and female), come che Diu i veve ordenât a Noè (as God had commanded Noah [had commanded unto Noah]).

Versets 10-14

Vocabulary: spirâ (to expire, to come to an end), siet (seven), il dì (day), la aghe (water), il diluvi (flood), plombâ (to pour down), la tiere (earth, ground), cuant che (when), (to have), sîscent (six hundred), un an (year; plural agns), secont (second), il mês (month), disesiet (seventeen), propit (right, squarely), in chê dì (on that day), spissulâ fûr (to burst apart), dut (all), la risultive (spring, fountain), grant (great, big, large), un abìs (abyss, deep), spalancâsi (to open oneself wide), la gatarade (floodgate, watergate), il cîl (heaven, sky), la ploe (rain; also ploie), vignî jù (to come down), la sele (pail, bucket), a selis (in great quantities), corante (forty; also cuarante), la gnot (night), stes (same), il fi (son), la femine (wife), trê (three), jentrâ (to go in, to enter), l’arcje (ark), dutun cun (along with), ogni (every), la raze (sort, kind), il salvadi (wild beast), il dumiesti (domesticated beast), strissinâsi (to slither), un ucel (bird; also uciel), svolâ (to fly), la ale (wing).

Verse 10: Sul spirâ dai siet dîs: at the end of the seven days (upon the expiry of the seven days). The verb spirâ means to expire, to come to an end (or, as in the case of a dying person, to breathe one’s last). In the text of this verse, you find spirâ used as a noun: sul spirâ can be taken literally as upon the expiry, upon the coming to an end. Lis aghis dal diluvi a plombarin su la tiere: the waters of the flood poured down upon the earth. A plombarin is the third-person plural of the passât sempliç of the verb plombâ.

Verse 11: Cuant che Noè al veve sîscent agns (when Noah was six hundred years old [was having six hundred years]), il secont mês ({in} the second month), ai disesiet dal mês (on the seventeenth of the month), propit in chê dì (on that very day [right in that day]) a spissularin fûr dutis lis risultivis dal grant abìs (all the fountains of the great deep [great abyss] burst apart) e si spalancarin lis gataradis dal cîl (and the floodgates of the heaven opened wide). In ai disesiet dal mês (on the seventeenth of the month), note the use of the masculine plural ai (= a + i) before disesiet. Consider: i disesiet (the seventeenth {day}); ai disesiet (on the seventeenth {day}). The Friulian can be either masculine or feminine; in the text of this verse, you find it used in the feminine: propit in chê dì (the feminine chê [that] reveals which gender has been used). In the text of verse 10, is masculine because it is used with a numeral: siet dîs.

Verse 12: La ploe e vignì jù (the rain came down) a selis (in great quantities [by the pailfuls]) su la tiere (upon the earth) par corante dîs e corante gnots (for forty days and forty nights). Selis is the plural of the feminine sele, meaning pail, bucket; a selis (literally, by the pailfuls) can be understood as in great quantities, in vast amounts.

Verses 13-14: Ta chê stesse dì (on that same day [in that same day]), Noè e i siei fîs (Noah and his sons), Sem, Cam e Jafet (Shem, Ham and Japheth), cu la femine di Noè (with Noah’s wife) e cu lis trê feminis dai fîs (and the three wives of his sons), a jentrarin ta l’arcje (went into the ark) e, dutun cun lôr (and, along with them), ogni raze di salvadi (every sort of wild beast), ogni raze di dumiesti (every sort of domesticated beast), ogni raze che si strissine su la tiere (every sort that slithers on the ground), ogni raze di ucei (every sort of birds), dut ce che al svoe (all that flies) e dut ce che al à alis (and all that has wings). The adjective stes means same; its feminine form is stesse: ta chê stesse dì (on [in] that same day). Svolâ is the Friulian for to fly; its masculine form of the third-person singular of the presint indicatîf is al svole (he flies; it flies). Rather than al svole, you find in the text of this verse the variant al svoe. The feminine noun ale means wing; its plural form is alis.

Versets 15-20

Vocabulary: jentrâ (to go in, to enter), la arcje (ark), ancje (also, too), il pâr (pair), la cjar (flesh), la vite (life), il mascjo (male), la mascje (female), come che (as, just as), ordenâ (to order, to command), inclostrâ (to bar), la puarte (door), daûr di (behind), il diluvi (flood), durâ (to last, to endure), la tiere (earth), corante (forty; also cuarante), il dì (day), a lunc (in length, in duration), la aghe (water), cressi (to increase, to grow), alçâ (to lift), puartâ (to bear, to carry), in alt (upwards), sore (above, over), alçâsi (to rise), di fâ pôre (frighteningly so), lâ vie (to drift off), il fîl (line, file), il fîl des aghis (surface of the waters), simpri (always, continually, ever), di plui (more), cuviergi (to cover; also cuvierzi), la mont (mount, mountain), alt (tall, high), sot di (below, under), il cîl (heaven, sky), cuindis (fifteen), il comedon (cubit, elbow), parsore di (above, over).

Verses 15-16: Cun Noè (with Noah) al jentrà ta l’arcje (went into the ark) ancje un pâr di dut ce che al è cjar (also a pair of all that is flesh), che al à la vite (that is living [has life]), e chei che a jentrarin (and those that went in) a jerin un mascjo e une mascje (were a male and a female) di dut ce che al è cjar (of all that is flesh), come che Diu i veve ordenât (as God had commanded him [had commanded unto him]). E il Signôr al inclostrà la puarte daûr di Noè: and the Lord barred the door behind Noah.

Verse 17: Il diluvi al durà su la tiere corante dîs a lunc: the flood lasted forty days on earth (the flood endured on the earth forty days in duration). The adjective lunc means long; a lunc means in length, or, in the context of this verse, in duration. The second sentence of this verse reads: lis aghis a cresserin (the waters increased) e a alçarin l’arcje (and lifted the ark), ch’e fo puartade in alt (which was carried up), sore la tiere (above the earth). Puartade is the feminine form of the past participle puartât; it agrees with the feminine arcje: l’arcje e fo puartade (the ark was carried).

Verse 18: Lis aghis si alçarin e a cresserin di fâ pôre su la tiere: the waters rose and increased frighteningly so upon the earth. The feminine noun pôre means fear, whereas fâ pôre means to cause fear; di fâ pôre can be taken as meaning frighteningly so (so as to cause fear). L’arcje e leve vie sul fîl des aghis: the ark drifted off (was going away) on the surface (line) of the waters. Lâ vie translates literally as to go away; it can be taken in context as meaning to drift off. As for the masculine fîl (line, file), it is used figuratively here to refer to the surface of the waters.

Verse 19: Lis aghis a cresserin simpri di plui (the waters continued to increase [increased (grew) ever more]) su la tiere (upon the earth) e a cuviergerin dutis lis monts (and covered all the mountains), ancje chês plui altis (even those most high), che a son sot dal cîl (which are under the heaven). The four forms of the adjective alt are: alt (masculine singular); alts (masculine plural); alte (feminine singular); altis (feminine plural).

Verse 20: Lis aghis si alçarin di cuindis comedons parsore des monts: the waters rose fifteen cubits above the mountains. Des is a contraction of di + lis.

Versets 21-24

Vocabulary: cussì (so, thus), inneâsi (to drown), ogni (every), la cjar (flesh), balinâ (to move about, to stir), la tiere (earth, ground), un ucel (bird; also uciel), il nemâl (animal), la bestie (beast), salvadi (wild), sgripiâ (to scurry, to scamper), la int (people), (to have), la soflade (breath), la vite (life), la narile (nostril), vadì (that is to say), vîf (alive, living), fer (still, firm), la tiere ferme (dry land), murî (to die), sparî (to vanish, to disappear), la face de tiere (face of the earth), scomençâ (to begin, to start), un om (man), jù jù fint a (all the way down to), strissinâsi (to slither), il cîl (heaven, sky), netâ vie di (to wash away from), restâ (to remain, to be left over), dome (only, but), la arcje (ark), la montane (swelling, rising), la aghe (water), durâ (to last, to endure), cent e cincuante (one hundred and fifty), il dì (day).

Verse 21: E cussì s’inneà ogni cjar ch’e baline su la tiere (and so every flesh that stirs on earth drowned): ucei (birds), nemâi (animals), bestiis salvadiis (wild beasts), dut ce che al sgripie su la tiere (all that scurries on the ground), e dute la int (and all the people).

Verse 22: Dut ce che al veve une soflade di vite (all that had [was having] breath of life) tes narilis (in its nostrils), vadì (that is to say) dut ce che al jere vîf su la tiere ferme (all that was living on dry land [alive on firm land]), dut al murì (all died). Fer is the Friulian for still, firm; its feminine form is ferme. Tiere ferme (literally, firm land) can be taken as dry land.

Verse 23: Cussì a sparirin (thus vanished) ducj chei che a jerin su la face de tiere (all those who were on the face of the earth), scomençant dal om jù jù fint a lis bestiis (from man to beast [starting from man down down as far as the beasts]), a chês che si strissinin (to those that slither) e ai ucei dal cîl (and to the birds of the heaven): a forin netâts vie de tiere (they were washed away from the earth) e al restà dome Noè (and only Noah remained) e ce che al jere cun lui ta l’arcje (and that which was with him in the ark). is the Friulian for down, whereas as fint a means as far as; jù jù fint a taken literally: jù jù (down down) fint a (as far as). The sense of jù jù fint a is all the way down to.

Verse 24: La montane des aghis (the swelling of the waters) e durà su la tiere (lasted on earth) cent e cincuante dîs (one hundred and fifty days).