Friulian language series: Gjenesi 25, muart di Abram

In your study of the Friulian language, you have now reached chapter 25 of the book of Genesis. The end of this chapter brings you to the halfway point in the book of Genesis, where there are 50 chapters in total. The subject matter of this chapter is: i fîs di Cheture (the sons of Keturah); muart di Abram (death of Abraham); gjernazie di Ismael (offspring of Ishmael); lis promessis si colmin (promises are fulfilled); Esaù e Jacop (Esau and Jacob); Jacop al cuiste i dirits di primarûl (Jacob buys the rights of firstborn son). Learn or review the following: la promesse (promise), colmâ (to fill, to fulfil), colmâsi (to be fulfilled), cuistâ (to buy, to acquire), il dirit (right), il primarûl (firstborn son).

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

Read Gjenesi 25

To read the Friulian text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Bibie par un popul and consult Gjenesi 25. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-6

Vocabulary: tornâ a cjoli (to take again), un’altre femine (another woman, another wife), vê non (to be named), parturî (to bear), al à vût (he had, he begot, he got), a forin (they were), lassâ (to leave), dute la sô robe (all his things, all his possessions), la concubine (concubine), il regâl (gift), fâ regâi (to give gifts), prin di murî (before dying), mandâ vie (to send away), lontan di (far from), a soreli jevât (in the east), nassi (to be born), là che al nas il soreli (there where the sun rises).

New names appearing in these verses: Cheture (Keturah), Zimran (Zimran), Joskan (Jokshan), Medan (Medan), Madian (Midian), Isbak (Ishbak), Suac (Shuah), Sabe (Shebah), Dedan (Dedan), Efe (Ephah), Efer (Epher), Enoc (Hanoch), Abide (Abidah), Eldae (Eldaah). Names of peoples: i asurim (Asshurim), i letusim (Letushim), i leumim (Leummim).

Versets 7-11

Vocabulary: trop (how much), spirâ (to breathe one’s last), murî (to die), la vecjae (old age; also spelt vecjaie), vieli vieli (very old), passût di dîs (full of days), dâsi dongje (to gather oneself), soterâ (to bury), il landri (cave), il cjamp (field), un itit (Hittite), in face di (before, in front of), comprâ (to buy), sapulî (to bury; also spelt sepulî), lâ a stâ dongje di (to go live near), il poç (well).

Trop has come up before in your readings; now is a good time to take a more thorough look at its use. In the text, you read: ve trop (here is how much) che al à vivût in dut Abram (that Abraham lived in total); that is, here is how long that Abraham lived in total.

Following are supplementary examples of trop, some of which you have already seen: tropis pagjinis âstu studiât? (how many pages have you studied?), no sai trop zucar che o ai di zontâ (I do not know how much sugar that I have to add), cjol trope torte che tu vûs (take as much cake as you want), cjol tropis cjadreis che ti coventin (take as many chairs as you need; la cjadree, chair; coventâ, to be necessary), trops àno rispuindût? (how many have responded?), no sai trop che mi reste di spindi (I do not know how much I have left to spend), trop vegnial? (how much does it cost?), trop mi fasistu spietâ? (how long will you make me wait?), trop che al mangje il vuestri cjan? (how much does your dog eat?), trop vuelistu pardabon cjatâ vore? (how much do you really want to find work?).

Note that the masculine plural trops is pronounced as though it were written tros; the pronunciation of the p drops.

In verse 8, you read that Abraham died when he was vieli vieli and passût di dîs. The adjective vieli, as you have seen before, means old; it is repeated here for emphasis, giving it the sense of very old indeed. Recall that the verb passi means to feed, to sate; its past participle is passût (fed, sated). Passût di dîs translates literally as fed on days, sated with days; the sense of it is full of days (that is, old).

You will perhaps recall the expression dâ dongje, meaning to gather. Used reflexively, as in dâsi dongje, it means to gather oneself. Again in verse 8, you read: Abram al spirà, al murì […] al tornà a dâsi dongje de sô int (Abraham breathed his last, he died, he gathered himself back unto his people). The sense of gathering oneself unto one’s people is that of joining one’s dead predecessors.

You have already learnt the Friulian verb soterâ, meaning to bury. You now learn a second way to express this: sepulî, or sapulî. In verse 9, you read: lu soterarin tal landri di Macpele (they buried him in the cave of Machpelah). Then, in verse 10, you read: là a forin sapulîts Abram e la sô femine Sare (there Abraham and his wife were buried).

In verse 11, you can understand dopo muart Abram as meaning after Abraham had died; more literally, after (having) died Abraham. This wording is similar to that seen in Gjenesi 5: dopo nassût Set (after Seth had been born; more literally, after [having been] born Seth). Both muart and nassût are past participles.

Versets 12-18

Vocabulary: daûr di (according to), la tribù (tribe), podopo (then), il borc (village, town; related to the English borg, borough), il campament (camp, settlement), il sorestant (chief), il confin (border), sistemâsi (to settle down).

In verse 12, you read: ve chi la gjernazie di Ismael (here is the offspring of Ishmael), fi di Abram (son of Abraham), chel che lu à vût di Agar (the one that he begot from Hagar). Lu here refers back to Ishmael. Literally, chel che lu à vût di Agar translates as the one that he had him from Hagar; that is, the one that he had from Hagar, the one that he got from Hagar.

You have another example of trop in verse 17: e ve trop che al à vivût Ismael (and here is how long Ishmael lived): cent e trentesiet agns (one hundred and thirty-seven years). In this same verse, you read the same formulation as seen in verse 8: po al spirà, al murì e al tornà a dâsi dongje de sô int (then he breathed his last, he died and he gathered himself back unto his people).

Stâ di Avile fint a Sur can be understood as meaning to dwell from Havilah towards Shur. Lant de bande de Assirie can be understood as meaning going towards Assyria. Lant is the present participle of the verb lâ.

Names appearing in these verses: Nebaiot (Nebajoth), Kedar (Kedar), Adbeel (Adbeel), Mibsan (Mibsam), Misme (Mishma), Dume (Dumah), Masseh (Massa), Adad (Hadad), Teme (Tema), Jetur (Jetur), Nafis (Naphish), Kedme (Kedemah). The following placenames are mentioned: Avile (Havilah), Sur (Shur), l’Egjit (Egypt), l’Assirie (Assyria).

Versets 19-26

Vocabulary: la storie (story, history), preâ il Signôr (to plead with the Lord, to beseech the Lord), scoltâ (to listen), cjapâ sù (to conceive), pocâsi (to hit one another, to strike one another), pa la cuâl (reason for which, which is why), il consei (advice, counsel), domandâ consei (to ask for advice), il grim (womb, uterus), saltâ fûr (to come out, to come forth), la vissare (internal organ), lis vissaris (innards, guts), dividisi (to split up), fuart (strong), spirâ (to expire), parturî (to give birth), il gimul (twin; also spelt zimul), rossit (reddish), pelôs (hairy), la manteline (cloak, robe), meti non (to name), subit dopo (immediately afterwards), tignî cu la manute (to hold with his little hand), il talon (heel), tignî pal talon (to hold by the heel). The following also appear for the first time: l’arameu (Aramean), Padan-Aram (Padan Aram).

In verse 21, you read that Rebekah was barren: no i vignivin fruts (literally, the children were not coming to her). It does not appear in these verses, but you will perhaps remember the adjective sterp, or sterpe in feminine form, meaning barren.

In verse 22, you read that Rebekah’s children battled inside of her: i fruts si pocavin dentri di jê (the children struck one another inside of her). The verb pocâ means to hit, to strike; the reflexive pocâsi, then, means to hit one another, to strike one another. More examples: lu à pocât cuntun pugn (he hit him with his fist; il pugn, fist), lis dôs machinis si son pocadis (the two cars struck one another; la machine, car), i doi veicui si son pocâts li de crosere (the two vehicles hit one another at the intersection; il veicul, vehicle; la crosere, intersection).

Still in verse 22, Rebekah says: s’e je cussì, parcè mo dut chest? (literally, if this is how it is, why then all this?; that is, Rebekah appears to be asking: if this is how pregnancy is, why then did I desire all this?).

You read that Rebekah will give birth to two nations, or two peoples: doi popui. In verse 23, you find: une gjernazie e sarà plui fuarte di chê altre (one offspring shall be stronger than the other one), and: il plui grant al sarà famei dal plui piçul (the older [bigger] one shall be the servant of the younger [smaller] one).

In verse 24, you read: cuant che al spirà il timp di parturî (when her labour had come to an end), ve ch’e veve dôi gimui (behold, she had two twins; there it was that she had two twins). The verb spirâ is used here in the sense of to expire, to run out; il timp di parturî can be understood as referring to the time of giving birth, or labour. Un zimul (found in the text as gimul) is a twin. More example: vê un fradi zimul (to have a twin brother), a son nassûts trê zimui (triplets have been born). Zimul can also be used as adjective (zimul, zimui; zimule, zimulis); the former Twin Towers of New York, for example, can be referred to as lis Tors Zimulis.

The Friulian for hand is la man; in the text, you find la manute (little hand), which is the diminutive form of man. The hand can be referred to as la manute when it pertains to babies and children.

Versets 27-34

Vocabulary: cressi (to grow), il cjaçadôr (hunter), il mistîr (skill, trade, craft), un cjaçadôr di mistîr (skilled hunter; di mistîr can also take on the sense of by profession), ator pai cjamps (out in the fields), invezit (on the other hand), pacjific (calm, placid), vê nant (to prefer; also expressed as vê inant), tignî par (to be drawn towards, to be partial to, to favour), puartâ dongje (to bring back, to bring home), alc di bon (something good), un viaç (one time), la mignestre (soup), tornâ dongje (to come back, to come home), la campagne (field, country), strac (tired), strac muart (dead tired), parâ jù (to swallow; by extension, to eat), un pocje di (a bit of), ros (red), scanât (exhausted), clamâ (to call), prime (first of all, beforehand), vendi (to sell), il dirit (right), i dirits di prin fi (rights of first[born] son), stâ par murî (to be about to die), interessâ (to interest), zurâ (to swear), daurman (immediately), esibî (to present, to give), il pan (bread), la vuaìne (bean), la mignestre di vuaìnis (bean soup), bevi (to drink), jevâ sù (to get up), lâsint (to go off), bacilâ (to be concerned, to worry, to pay regard).

You read that Esau was a hunter, whereas Jacob preferred to stay inside. In verse 27, you read the following about Jacob: al veve nant stâ in cjase (he preferred to stay home). The expression vê nant (or vê inant) means to prefer. Another way to express this in Friulian is with vê miôr. Example: o ai miôr la bire scure che no chê clare (I prefer dark beer to light beer; la bire, beer; scûr, dark; clâr, light). You find another example of vê nant in verse 28, where you read: Isac al tignive par Esaù (Isaac was partial to Esau) parcè che al puartave dongje simpri alc di bon (because he always brought home something good), ma Rebeche e veve nant Jacop (but Rebekah preferred Jacob). The good things that Esau brought home were meats; he was a hunter.

In verse 29, you can understand un viaç as meaning one time. This is not the first time that you are seeing viaç used in the sense of time, occurrence; you may perhaps recall it from Gjenesi 4:15 (Cain and Abel episode), when you read: je fasarai paiâ siet viaçs (I shall make him pay for it seven times).

In verse 30, Esau says to Jacob: lassimi parâ jù (let me swallow; that is, eat) un pocje di cheste robe rosse (a bit of this red stuff), che o soi scanât (for I am exhausted). The text continues: par chel (for this reason) lu clamarin Edom (they called him Edom). Edom means red, which refers to the colour of both Esau’s complexion and the broth.

In verse 32, Esau says: o stoi par murî (I am about to die): ce mi interessino i dirits di prin fi (of what interest to me is the birthright)? When Esau says in the Friulian version that he is about to die, it simply means that he is exhausted. I dirits di prin fi are the rights accorded to the firstborn son. The verb interessâ means to interest; ce mi interessino i dirits di prin fi can be understood more literally as meaning what do the rights of first[born] son interest me, where interessino is the interrogative form of a interessin.

You find zurimal in verse 33; you will have understood that it translates literally as swear it to me, where mal is a contraction of mi + lu. The second-person singular imperative form of zurâ is zure; the final e becomes i when mal is added. Daurman means immediately, straight away.

In verse 34, you have an example of lâsint, when you read: al mangjà, al bevè, po al jevà sù e s’int lè (he ate, he drank, then he got up and left).

The final sentence draws attention to how little regard Esau paid to his birthright: chest al è ce che Esaù (this is the extent to which Esau) al bacilave pai siei dirits di prin fi (was concerned for his birthright). In other words, he disregarded his birthright altogether.