Study Friulian from the Bible: Genesis 21, verses 1-21

In this post, you will study the Friulian language used in verses 1-21 of the twenty-first chapter of the book of Genesis; that is, Gjenesi 21:1-21. The subject of these verses is al nas Isac (Isaac is born) and Abram al pare vie Agar (Abraham sends Hagar away).

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

Below, in the notes for verse 7, you will find two new verb conjugation charts: in the present conditional and in the past conditional.

The Friulian Bible that you will read is made available 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:

Should the page linked above ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.

The reading of these verses in the video begins at 3:37.

Verset 1

There are no new usages in this verse to draw your attention to. You will remember that the verb imprometi means to promise. You read that God came to see Sarah, as he had said, and that he did for her what he had promised: al fasè par jê come che al veve imprometût.

Verset 2

In previous chapters, you have seen the expression to be advanced in years expressed as jessi in là cui agns. In the current verse, you find it expressed as jessi sù di etât (literally, to be up in age). The Friulian for age is the feminine noun etât.

Review or learn the following usages: cjapâ sù (to conceive, to get pregnant), parturî (to give birth), bielzà (already), tal timp che (at the time that), distinâ (to destine, to decide; also expressed as destinâ).

Verset 3

You have two examples of i in this verse; this first one means to her (that is, to Sarah), and the second one means to him (that is, to Isaac). A literal translation provides: al fi che i jere nassût (to the son that to her had been born), parturît di Sare (birthed by Sarah), Abram i metè non Isac (Abraham to him put the name Isaac). In other words, Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son born to Sarah.

Verset 4

Abraham circumcises his son Isaac on the eighth day. You will remember from Gjenesi 17 that the Friulian verb for to circumcise is circuncidi. On the eighth day is expressed as sui vot dîs (literally, on the eight days).

Verset 5

You read that Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born: al veve cent agns (he was one hundred years old) cuant che al nassè so fi Isac (when his son Isaac was born).

Al nassè is the masculine, third-person singular, passât sempliç conjugation of the verb nassi. The masculine, third-person singular of the presint indicatîf is al nas. Examples: al nas Isac (Isaac is born), al nassè Isac (Isaac was born). The past tense can also be expressed with the passât prossim, where the past participle is nassût. Example: al è nassût Isac (Isaac was born, Isaac has been born).

I was born is o soi nassût; for a female, it is o soi nassude. Examples: o soi nassût ai 11 di Zenâr dal 1954 (I was born on 11 January 1954), o soi nassude tai agns 70 (I was born in the 70s). You may wish to review Friulian cardinal numbers.

Verset 6

Sarah says that God has brought her laughter: Diu mi à dât ce ridi. The verb ridi means to laugh. Take a look at another example using ce in the same way: no àn ce mangjâ. The meaning of ce in these sentences is that which: Diu mi à dât ce ridi (God has given me that which to laugh [at]; that is, God has given me reason to laugh, God has made me laugh), no àn ce mangjâ (they do not have that which to eat; that is, they have nothing to eat).

You find the expression ridi daûr, which translates literally as to laugh behind; the sense of this expression is to mock, to laugh at. You read: ducj chei che a vegnaran a savêle (all those who will come to know it) mi ridaran daûr (will laugh at me).

Verset 7

You will recall the meaning of the verb zontâ, which is to add.

You find two examples of the condizionâl passât (past conditional) in this verse: the interrogative cui i varessial dit (who would have said to him) and Sare e varès dât (Sarah would have given). In both of these examples, you find the auxiliary conjugated in the condizionâl presint coupled with the past participle, to form the condizionâl passât.

al varès
al varès dât
he would have
he would have given

o varès
o varès dit
I would have
I would have said

Below, you will find two verb conjugations: the first is in the condizionâl presint; the second is in the condizionâl passât. (The notes for this verse continue after the charts.)

Condizionâl presint
Present conditional

o varès
tu varessis
al varès

e varès

o varessin
o varessis
a varessin

Condizionâl passât
Past conditional

o varès dât
varessio dât?
tu varessis dât
varessistu dât?
al varès dât
varessial dât?

e varès dât
varessie dât?

o varessin dât
varessino dât?
o varessis dât
varessiso dât?
a varessin dât
varessino dât?

Return now to the text, where you find: cui i varessial dit mo a Abram (who now would have said to Abraham) che Sare e varès dât di tete (that Sarah would have given teat) ai canais (to the babies)? That is obviously a fairly literal translation; in idiomatic English, you can understand dâ di tete as meaning to nurse, to breastfeed, where la tete is the Friulian for teat, breast. Un canai is a baby, child; in the next verse, you will find another word for this: il frutin.

Before ending this verse, I shall leave you with additional examples using both the present and past conditional: o varès pore (I would be scared; literally, I would have fear), al varès un impat (it would have an impact), o varessin di jessi contents (we would have to be satisfied), a varessin fat cussì (they would have done thus, that is how they would have done it). From Gjenesi 2:19, perhaps you will remember the following about the naming of the animals by Adam: ognidun al varès vût di puartâ il non che l’om i varès metût.

In the remainder of the verse, e pûr means and yet, nonetheless. Sarah gave Abraham a son in her old age: te sô vecjae. The Friulian for old age is la vecjaie (found here under the variant spelling la vecjae).

Verset 8

You now find the noun il frutin, which, as mentioned above, means baby, child. You read that the child grew: al cressè; the infinitive form is cressi (to grow, to increase). You have encountered this verb a number of times before: o fasarai cressi lis dois des tôs gravidancis (I shall increase the pains of your pregnancies), i oms a scomençarin a cressi (the men started to increase), o fasarai cressi la tô gjernazie (I shall increase your offspring), etc.

The Friulian for milk is il lat. You read that Isaac’s parents weaned him: i cjolerin il lat (they weaned him; literally, they took the milk [away] from him). Abraham celebrates Isaac’s weaning: al fasè une fiestone (he made a great celebration, he made a great feast). La fieste is the Friulian for celebration, party, feast; its augmentative form is la fiestone (great celebration, big feast, etc.).

Versets 9-10

Sarah thinks now of Ishmael, the son that Abraham had with the handmaid Hagar; she sees him playing with Isaac: al zuiave cun so fi Isac (he was playing with her son Isaac). The verb here is zuiâ (to play).

She then refers to Hagar as la sotane (slave); the masculine form of this noun is il sotan. This noun is related to another one that you have already seen: la sotanance (servitude, bondage), from Gjenesi 15. As an adjective, sotan means subjugated, subdued, etc.

You encounter the expression parâ vie, which you will perhaps remember means to get rid of, to do away with. When you first encountered this expression in Gjenesi 6:7, you read that God wanted to destroy the man whom he had created: o vuei parâ vie […] l’om che o ai creât (I want to do away with the man whom I have created). In the current verse, Sarah tells Abraham to do away with the handmaid Hagar. She does not want Hagar destroyed, of course; she simply wants her to go away. You read: pare vie la sotane e il so frut (send away the slave and her child).

In the Grant Dizionari Bilengâl Talian-Furlan (GDB), you find more examples of the expression parâ vie; you see that this expression takes on different meanings, but the basic sense is one of removing, distancing, doing away with: pare vie la taule dal mûr (pull the table away from the wall), parâ vie i pinsîrs dal cjâf (to clear one’s mind; more literally, to do away with the thoughts from one’s head), lu àn parât vie de vore (they sacked him from his job, they fired him from work). In these few examples, you have a number of nouns to learn or review: la taule (table), il mûr (wall), il pinsîr (thought), il cjâf (head), la vore (work).

Sarah says: il fi de sotane (the son of the slave) nol à di ereditâ (must not inherit) cun gno fi Isac (with my son Isaac). The verb ereditâ, which you have already seen, means to inherit; Sarah does not want Hagar’s son to be heir with hers.

Versets 11-13

You learn a new expression now: lâ al cûr (to hurt, to offend, to cut to one’s bone; literally, to go to the heart). You read: chestis peraulis i lerin al cûr a Abram (these words went to Abraham’s heart; that is, these words offended Abraham).

God tells Abraham that he must not have regret: no sta vê nissun rimuars (do not have any remorse) par vie dal piçul (because of the little one) e de tô sierve (and your servant). The Friulian il rimaurs means regret, remorse. Abraham and Hagar’s son Ishmael is referred to here as un piçul, which translates literally as a little (one). God continues by telling Abraham to listen to Sarah: ce che ti domande Sare (that which Sarah asks of you), scoltile (listen to her). The two verbs here are domandâ (to ask) and scoltâ (to listen). The second-person singular imperative of scoltâ is scolte; when le is added, the final e changes to i to become scoltile.

The remainder of this section should not present any particular problems to you. I shall simply list here different usages that you may need to review: midiant di (through, via, by way of), la gjernazie (offspring, descendants), puartâ (to bear, to carry), il non (name), par simpri (forever), il popul (people, nation), simpri (still, nonetheless), il sanc (blood).

Verset 14

Abraham gets up early, gets bread and water, and gives it to Hagar: al jevà a buinore (he got up early), al cjolè un toc di pan (he took a piece of bread) e une bufule di aghe (and a bladder of water) che i consegnà a Agar (which he gave to Hagar). One of the translations of the Friulian word la bufule is bladder; Abraham carried the water in an animal bladder, otherwise known as a waterskin.

You then read that Abraham put the child on Hagar’s shoulders: i metè il frut su pes spalis, and sent her away: le mandà vie. You will remember that pes is a contraction of par + lis, and that the Friulian word for shoulder is la spale.

You recently encountered the expression lâ par ca e par là in Gjenesi 20:13; it means to wander, to roam (literally, to go here and there). You read that Hagar wandered in the desert of Beersheba: e lè par ca e par là pal desert di Bersabee.

Versets 15-16

From these two verses, learn or review the following usages: distirâ (to stretch out, to put down, to lay down), sentâsi (to sit down), lontan tant che (as far as), un tîr di arc (bowshot; literally, shot of bow), no mi trai il cûr di (I do not want, I do not wish), murî (to die), scrufuiâsi (to crouch down, to squat down), scomençâ (to start), vaî (to cry), craçâ (to wail).

In this verse, you find two different ways to say in front of him: di front di lui and devant di lui.

The Friulian for bow (as in bow and arrow) is un arc. An arrow is called la frece. The expression trai une frece means to shoot an arrow, where the verb trai means to throw, to shoot. Related to this verb is the noun il tîr (shot). For good measure, here are the words for gun and bullet: la pistole (gun), la bale (bullet).

At a certain point, Sarah sees that there was no water left: e viodè che te bufule no ’nd jere plui aghe (she saw that there was no more water in the bladder). She says that she does not want to see Ishmael die: no mi trai il cûr di viodi a murî il gno frut (I do not want to see my son die). In the expression no mi trai il cûr di, you find the verb trai conjugated in the third-person singular of the presint indicatîf.

The reflexive verb scrufuiâsi means to crouch down: si scrufuià devant di lui (she crouched down in front of him). From Gjenesi 4:7, perhaps you will remember mention of une bestie scrufuiade (crouching beast).

The verb craçâ conveys the idea of making a croaking, screeching sound with the voice. Vaî means to cry.

Verset 17

You will remember the noun il berli from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, when the outcry against these cities reached God: il berli al rive fint al Signôr. In the current verse, i berlis refers to the crying of the child: Diu al sintì i berlis dal frut (God heard the outcries of the boy, God heard the crying of the boy).

The angel of God calls out to Hagar from the heaven and asks: ce âstu po? (what then is the matter?). Ce âstu translates literally as what have you, but you will understand it in the sense of what is the matter. The angel tells Hagar to have no fear: no sta vê pôre, for God had heard the boy’s crying all the way up in heaven: fintremai lassù (all the way up there) che al è lui (where he is).

Verset 18

The interjection coragjo (literally, courage) is used to encourage: have faith, take heart, you can do it, etc. God tells Hagar to pick up the child: cjape sù il frut, and to take his hand: dài la man. Dài la man translates literally as give to him the hand. Review the three imperative forms of the verb dâ: da (give; second-person singular), dait (give; second-person plural), din (let us give; first-person plural). God continues by telling Hagar that he will make a great people (or nation) of Ishmael.

Versets 19-21

From these three verses, learn or review the following: vierzi, viergi (to open), il voli (eye; plural, i vôi), la poce (pool of water, puddle), jemplâ (to fill), dâ di bevi (to give to drink), stâ cun (to be with, to stay with), deventâ grant (to grow up), fermâsi (to dwell; literally, to stop oneself), il desert (desert), imparâ (to learn), trai cul arc (to shoot with a bow), sistemâsi (to dwell, to settle), cjatâ (to find).

After God opens Hagar’s eyes, she finds water and gives it to her son to drink: i dè di bevi al frut (she made her child drink; literally, she gave to drink to her child). Ishmael grows up: al deventà grant, and he learns to shoot with a bow: al imparà a trai cul arc.

Al ste is the masculine, third-person singular, passât sempliç conjugation of the verb stâ. You read: Diu al ste simpri cun lui (God stayed with him always, God was always with him).

You read that Ishmael dwelt in the desert of Paran: si sistemà intal desert di Paran, and that his mother found him a wife: sô mari i cjatà une femine, from the land of Egypt: de tiere d’Egjit.

Supplemental reading material in Friulian

In addition to reading the Bible, you may wish to start reading other material in Friulian. Suggestion: La Patrie dal Friûl.