Friulian language series: Gjenesi 27, benedizion di Jacop

You have now reached chapter 27 in your study of the book of Genesis in Friulian. The subject matter of this twenty-seventh chapter is la benedizion di Jacop (blessing of Jacob).

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Friulian language here (Gjenesi 1). 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, 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Should the page linked above ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.

Letôr: Federico Vicario

Versets 1-5

Note: the first verse that appears on the Gjenesi 27 page of the Bibie par un popul site is the final verse of the previous chapter; that is, Gjenesi 26:35. This verse was analysed in the notes for Gjenesi 26.

In these first five verses, there are quite a few Friulian usages to learn and review: deventâ vieli (to get old), indebulîsi (to become weak; also expressed as indebilîsi), la viste (eyesight), dibot (almost), dibot nuie (almost nothing), di cumò a dibot (any moment now), cjapâ sù (to pick up, to take up), un argagn (instrument, tool), la frece (arrow), il boç des frecis (quiver; that is, a case for holding arrows), un arc (bow), lâ fûr par (to go out into), la campagne (field, country), puartâ dongje (to bring back, to bring home), il salvadi (game [meat]), il plat (dish), preparâ un plat (to prepare a dish), plasê (to please), tant (so much), la anime (soul), prime che (before), lâsint (to leave, to go away; used here in the sense of to die), scoltâ (to listen), partî par (to leave for), copâ robe salvadie (to hunt game).

The verb indebulî (or indebilî) means to weaken, as in this example from the Grant Dizionari Bilengâl Talian-Furlan (GDBtf): la fiere lu à indebilît (the fever has weakened him). In verse 1, you read that Isaac had aged: al jere deventât vieli (he had become old), and that his eyesight was no longer good: i si jere indebulide la viste (his eyesight had weakened). The reflexive verb indebulîsi means to become weak, to get weak. The Friulian i si jere indebulide la viste can be translated more literally as the sight had weakened on him, where i conveys the sense of on him, unto him and informs the reader as to whom la viste belongs. The Friulian adjective for weak is debil.

Dibot means almost. Still in verse 1, you read: nol viodeve dibot nuie (he could see almost nothing). You will note that Friulian uses a double negative here. In verse 2, you read: o pues murî di cumò a dibot (I could die any moment now; literally, I could die from now to almost [now]).

Isaac calls out to his son: fi gno! (my son!), and Esau acknowledges that his father has addressed him: ben? (yes?).

In verse 4, you read: preparimi un plat (prepare me a dish) di chei che (from [amongst] those that) mi plasin tant (I like so much; literally, are so pleasing to me) e puartimal (and bring it to me). A plasin is the third-person plural, presint indicatîf conjugation of the verb plasê. It is in plural form because it agrees in number with chei (those). Take another example: mi plasin tant i siei plats (I like his dishes very much; literally, his dishes are very pleasing to me). The subject in that sentence is i plats; they are what does the pleasing. The verb must therefore agree with i plats. In the English I like his dishes very much, the subject is I, not his dishes. On the other hand, the more literal translation his dishes are very pleasing to me aligns with the Friulian usage, where the subject is now his dishes.

Also in verse 4, you find lâsint used in the sense of to die. Isaac says to his son: la mê anime ti benedissarà (my soul will bless you) prime che mi’nt ledi (before I die). Following prime che, the subjunctive is used; in this case, it is the present subjunctive. Compare: m’int voi (I go away, I die), prime che m’int ledi (before I go away, before I die). In the text, you find mi + int contracted as mi’nt, rather than m’int.

Versets 6-10

From these five verses, learn or review the following: a pene (barely; see notes below), sintî (to hear), il trop (flock), il cjavret (kid [goat]), il gustâ (luncheon, lunch; feast), propit come che (just how).

In verse 6, you find a pene used the way English uses just in the following: o ai a pene sintût che (I have just heard that). Then, in verse 8, you find scoltimi me. Scoltimi is, of course, the Friulian for listen to me, but you find it coupled here with me, which adds emphasis. In a different context, scoltimi me could also, for example, be understood as meaning listen to me (and not that other person).

In verse 9, you read: propit come che i plâs a lui (just how he likes, just the way he likes; literally, just how it is pleasing to him). You find another example now of plasê. Al plâs is the third-person singular of the presint indicatîf. Another example: chest libri mi plâs (I like this book; literally, this book is pleasing to me). You will have understood that tu jal puartarâs, in verse 10, means you will bring it to him.

Versets 11-15

Here are the usages to learn and review from these next five verses: tignî a ments (to bear in mind), pelôs (hairy), a la cuâl che (whereas), la piel (skin), slis (smooth), salacôr (perhaps), palpâ (to touch), inacuarzisi (to notice, to realise), cirî di (to try to, to seek to), imbroiâ (to trick, to fool), impen di (instead of), ubidî (to obey), lâ a cirî (to go get), deventâ mat (to go mad), il vistît (garment; the plural vistîts can be understood as meaning clothes), meti intor (to put on, when talking about clothing).

Rebekah wants her favourite son Jacob to attempt to pass for his brother Esau, so as to receive his father’s blessing. Jacob, in verse 11, reminds his mother about the physical difference between the two brothers: ten a ments che (bear in mind that) gno fradi Esaù al è pelôs (my brother Esau is hairy), a la cuâl che jo o ai la piel slisse (whereas I have smooth skin).

In verse 12, Jacob explains that his father might understand the ruse: salacôr gno pari al volarà palpâmi (perhaps my father will wish to touch me) e alore si inacuarzarà (and then he will notice) che jo o ai cirût di imbroiâlu (that I have tried to fool him). The verb cirî means to look for, to seek. Cirî di followed by an infinitive takes on the sense of to seek to, to try to: cirî di imbroiâ (to seek to fool, to try to trick, etc.).

Rebekah objects to Jacob’s concerns. If Isaac should curse rather than bless Jacob, Rebekah says that she will take the curse in his stead: mi cjapi jo la tô maludizion (I shall take your curse; literally, I take unto myself your curse). She tells her son to obey her: tu ubidissimi me (obey me), and to fetch what she has asked for: va a cirî ce che ti ai dit (go get what I said). Lâ a cirî can be understood more literally as to go seek; it is used in the way that English says to go get.

In verse 14, you will have understood that jai puartà a sô mari means he brought them to his mother. You also read that Rebekah prepared the food for Isaac: i preparà un gustâ (she prepared a feast for him) di chei che (from [amongst] those that) so pari al deventave mat (his father went mad for). The Friulian adjective mat means mad, crazy; the expression deventâ mat, then, means to go mad, to go crazy. Now that you have more Friulian under your belt, you will perhaps be noticing instances of rather colloquial language in this Friulian version of the Bible.

In verse 15, you read that Rebekah took the finest clothes that Esau had in her house: e cjolè i plui biei vistîts che Esaù al veve in cjase di jê, and put them on Jacob: ju metè intor a Jacop. Meti intor has been used here to talk about putting clothing on someone else (along with the preposition a), but it can also be used to talk about putting on one’s own clothing (with no preposition necessary); for example, al à metût intor il capot (he put his coat on), although you could also simply say al à metût il capot, which also means he put his coat on. Intor can be used to say on (as in donned); for example, al veve intor il capot (he had his coat on).

Versets 16-20

Rebekah sends Jacob to his father; she dresses his arms and neck with goat skin to simulate Esau’s hairiness. Learn or review the following Friulian vocabulary: taponâ (to cover), il braç (arm), la part (part), il cuel (neck), meti in man (to hand over, to give; literally, to put in hand), il pan (bread), pai (dad, pa), ordenâ (to order), jevâ sù (to get up), par plasê (please), comodâsi (to sit down), dâ une man (to lend a hand, to help, to assist).

Jacob, in verse 19, tells his father to sit down: comoditi. The reflexive verb comodâsi means to sit down, to get comfortable. In verse 20, Isaac expresses his surprise over the speed with which his son, whom he has not determined to be Jacob, returned with the food he had asked for: ce pôc che tu âs stât (that was fast; literally, how little [time] you were). Jacob offers the following explanation: al è parcè che il Signôr mi à dade une man (it is because the Lord has assisted me; literally, it is because the Lord has given me a hand).

Versets 21-25

Isaac tells his son Jacob to come next to him, to determine whether or not he is indeed Esau. He says to him: ven ca dongje di me che ti palpi (come here next to me so that I may touch you). You can understand che here as meaning par che (so that); it is followed the first-person singular of the coniuntîf presint, which is o palpi. By its form alone, you cannot distinguish between the first-person singular of the presint indicatîf and coniuntîf presint of the verb palpâ, for they are both o palpi. In verse 25 (see the notes a little farther down), you will see an example of where the use of the subjunctive after (par) che is transparent.

You then find in the text: par jessi sigûr se tu sês o no gno fi Esaù, which you will udnerstand as meaning in order to be sure whether or not you are my son Esau.

Isaac touches Jacob; in verse 22, he remarks: la vôs e je chê di Jacop (the voice is that of Jacob), ma i braçs a son chei di Esaù (but the arms are those of Esau). In verse 23, you read that Isaac did not notice the ruse: no si inacuargè di nuie (he did not notice anything). In verse 24, Isaac asks Jacob nonetheless: sêstu propit gno fi Esaù? (are you really my son Esau?).

You find a new usage in verse 25: la cjace (game, hunted animal; that is, meat). Isaac tells his son to bring him the food: puarte ca (bring [it] here) ch’o puedi mangjâ de cjace di gno fi (so that I may eat of the game of my son). You have another example here of the coniuntîf presint following (par) che. Unlike the instance of the coniuntîf presint in verse 21, which is indistinguishable from that of the presint indicatîf (both are o palpi), here the difference is clear: o pues (first-person singular, presint indicatîf), o puedi (first-person singular, coniuntîf presint).

In the second sentence of verse 25, review the following: servî (to serve), esibî (to serve), il vin (wine).

Versets 26-29

Isaac tells Jacob to draw near and kiss him. He smells the odour of the goat skin on Jacob and is convinced that the son is indeed Esau, who, as a hunter, would have had the same smell. You will perhaps recall that the Friulian for hunter is il cjaçadôr. This noun is related to a new one learned above: la cjace. Both of these are further related to the verb cjaçâ, meaning to hunt.

The Friulian verb for to kiss is bussâ. In verse 26, Isaac tells Jacob: ven ca dongje di me e bussimi (come here next to me and kiss me). Busse is, of course, the second-person singular imperative form of the verb bussâ; when mi is added, the final e changes to i. Bussimi, then, means kiss me. The noun kiss, on the other hand, is expressed in Friulian as la bussade. For example, dami une bussade means give me a kiss.

In verse 27, you read that Isaac took in the odour of his son’s clothing. The expression tirâ sù can be understood as meaning to take in, to smell; la munture (or la monture) means attire. You will recall that the Friulian for odour is the masculine noun odôr. A little farther along in the verse, you can understand jessi compagn di as meaning to be like, to be the same as. Isaac says that the scent of his son is like that of the field, which has been blessed by the Lord. He blesses Jacob, believing him to be Esau.

A number of new usages appear in verse 28: la rosade (dew), il gras (fat), la bondance (abundance), il forment (wheat, grain). You find the third-person singular of the coniuntîf presint used in the following from this verse: che Diu ti dedi (may God give you). Compare with the presint indicatîf form in: Diu ti da (God gives you).

In verse 29, you find the third-person plural, coniuntîf presint form a servissin, from the verb servî. You have seen before that the Friulian il zenoli means knee; the reflexive inzenoglâsi means to kneel down. Still in this same verse, you find the expression butâsi in genoglon (also spelled butâsi in zenoglon), which is used in the sense of to bow down (in submission), to prostrate. You read: che i forescj si butin in genoglon devant di te (may the outsiders bow down to you; prostrate before you).

Versets 30-34

From these five verses, learn or review the following: saltâ fûr di (to come out from, to leave from), li di so pari (his father’s presence), tornâ dongje (to come back), la cjace (hunt, hunting), cerçâ (to taste, to eat), ingrisulâsi (to take fright, to become horrified), il spavent (fear), lâ a cjace (to go hunting), petâ un berli (to let out a cry, to let out a yell), la disperazion (despair), la rabie (anger).

Earlier, in verse 25, you encountered the noun la cjace in the sense of meat obtained from a hunt. In the current verses, you now find it used in the sense of the hunting trip itself. For example, in verse 30, you read: Esaù al tornà dongje de cjace (Esau came back from the hunt). In verse 33, Isaac asks: cui jerial alore chel che al è lât a cjace? (who was it then who went hunting?).

In verse 30, you read: Jacop al stave juste saltant fûr di li di so pari (Jacob was just taking leave of his father). Li di so pari can be understood as referring to there where his father was. In the context of this verse, you can understand it as meaning his father’s presence. In other contexts, li di so pari could mean his father’s place, his father’s house, etc.

In the second sentence of verse 31, you find a number of present subjunctive uses: gno pari che al jevi sù (may my father get up, may my father rise), che al cerci il salvadi di so fi (may he eat the game of his son), par che la tô anime mi benedissi (so that your soul may bless me). Here are two more examples using the present subjunctive al benedissi, both taken from the GDBtf: che Diu ti benedissi (may God bless you), che Diu al benedissi i puars (may God bless the poor).

In verse 33, you read that Isaac was horrified upon realising that he had blessed someone other than Esau: Isac s’ingrisulà di spavent (Isaac took a great fright; literally; Isaac became horrified with fear). Like la pôre, the Friulian il spavent means fear, fright; more examples from the GDBtf: murî di spavent (to die of fear), chel palaç al è brut di fâ spavent (that building is frightfully ugly; literally, that building is ugly [so as] to cause fear). Fâ spavent is synonymous with fâ pôre (to scare, to inspire fear).

Still in verse 33, you find the interrogative cui jerial? (who was it?). Al jere, you will recall, is the masculine, third-person singular, imperfet indicatîf conjugation of the verb jessi; its interrogative form is jerial. A little farther along, tu tu rivassis is the second-person singular, coniuntîf imperfet conjugation of the verb rivâ; the subjunctive is used because of the presence of the expression prime che (before). You read: jo o ai mangjât prime che tu rivassis tu (I ate before you arrived). Below, you will find side-by-side the present subjunctive and imperfect subjunctive conjugations of the verb rivâ. I shall also include the present indicative of the verb rivâ so that you can review this tense’s conjugation for verbs ending in â.

In verse 34, you read that Esau was very distraught upon learning that another had been blessed in his stead: al petà un grant berli di disperazion (he let out a great cry of despair) e di rabie (and of anger). He tells his father to bless also him: benedissimi ancje me (bless me too).

Verb: RIVÂ
Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

affirmative
interrogative
jo
o rivi
rivio?
tu
tu rivis
rivistu?
lui
al rive
rivial?

e rive
rivie?

o rivìn
rivìno?
vualtris
o rivais
rivaiso?
lôr
a rivin
rivino?

Verb: RIVÂ
Coniuntîf presint — coniuntîf imperfet
Present subjunctive — imperfect subjunctive

present subjunctive imperfect subjunctive
jo
o rivi o rivàs
tu
tu rivis tu rivassis
lui
al rivi al rivàs

e rivi e rivàs

o rivìn o rivassin
vualtris
o rivais o rivassis
lôr
a rivin a rivassin

Versets 35-39

Esau realises that his blessing has been stolen from him by his brother Jacob, and that his father Isaac has no new blessing to offer. Learn or review the following Friulian vocabulary: la baronade (craftiness, wiliness, slyness), robâ (to steal), dibant (in vain, for nothing), puartâ vie (to take away), cjapâ la peraule (to start to speak, to speak in turn), distinâ (to destine), proviodi (to provide), restâ (to be left, to remain), tasê (to be quiet, to keep quiet, to not speak), tacâ a berlâ (to start to yell, to start to cry out), vaî (to cry, to weep), vignî jù (to come down).

Isaac tells his son Esau: to fradi al è vignût cu la baronade (your brother came with slyness) e ti à robade la benedizion (and he has stolen the blessing from you). Esau says that the naming of his brother as Jacob (meaning either supplanter or one who follows on another’s heels) was appropriate: dibant no i àn metût non Jacop (he was not named Jacob in vain). Dibant means in vain, for nothing; it could have been placed at the end of the sentence as well: no i àn metût non Jacop dibant. A few more examples: lu ai fat dibant (I did it in vain, I did it for nothing), «graciis», «dibant» (“thanks,” “do not mention it”).

In verse 37, after Isaac explains the blessing that has been bestowed upon Jacob, he says to Esau: ce mi restial mo par te, fi gno? (what now do I have left you, my son?). Al reste is the masculine, third-person singular, presint indicatîf conjugation of the verb restâ; its interrogative form is restial: al reste (it remains), ce restial? (what remains?), ce mi restial? (what remains unto me?; that is, what do I have left?, what do I have remaining?).

You find the verb tasê in verse 38, meaning to be quiet, to keep quiet, to not speak. You read: ma Isac al taseve (but Isaac kept quiet) e Esaù al tacà a berlâ e a vaî (and Esau started to cry out and to weep). Tasê is an important verb to learn; here now are more examples of it from the GDBtf: miôr tasê che cjacarâ par dibant (it is better to keep quiet than to chatter pointlessly), o volevi rispuindi ma o ai decidût di tasê (I wanted to respond, but I decided to keep quiet), o che o tasês o che o lês fûr de stanzie (you either keep quiet or you leave the room), o ai tasût tancj agns ma cumò vonde (I have keep quiet for so many years, but now enough is enough; vonde, enough, enough is enough, cut it out).

Below, you will find a number of conjugations charts for the verb tasê. You can use the verb tasê as a model conjugation for verbs ending in ê. The past participle of tasê is tasût. The three imperative forms of this verb are tâs (second-person singular), tasìn (first-person plural) and tasêt (second-person plural).

Verb: TASÊ
Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

affirmative
interrogative
jo
o tâs
tasio?
tu
tu tasis
tasistu?
lui
al tâs
tasial?

e tâs
tasie?

o tasìn
tasìno?
vualtris
o tasês
tasêso?
lôr
a tasin
tasino?

Verb: TASÊ
Imperfet indicatîf
Imperfect indicative

affirmative
interrogative
jo
o tasevi
tasevio?
tu
tu tasevis
tasevistu?
lui
al taseve
tasevial?

e taseve
tasevie?

o tasevin
tasevino?
vualtris
o tasevis
taseviso?
lôr
a tasevin
tasevino?

Verb: TASÊ
Passât sempliç
Simple past

affirmative
interrogative
jo
o tasei
taserio?
tu
tu taseris
taseristu?
lui
al tasè
taserial?

e tasè
taserie?

o taserin
taserino?
vualtris
o taseris
taseriso?
lôr
a taserin
taserino?

Verb: TASÊ
Futur sempliç
Simple future

affirmative
interrogative
jo
o tasarai
tasaraio?
tu
tu tasarâs
tasarâstu?
lui
al tasarà
tasaraial?

e tasarà
tasaraie?

o tasarìn
tasarìno?
vualtris
o tasarês
tasarêso?
lôr
a tasaran
tasarano?

Verb: TASÊ
Condizionâl presint
Present conditional

affirmative
interrogative
jo
o tasarès
tasaressio?
tu
tu tasaressis
tasaressistu?
lui
al tasarès
tasaressial?

e tasarès
tasaressie?

o tasaressin
tasaressino?
vualtris
o tasaressis
tasaressiso?
lôr
a tasaressin
tasaressino?

Verb: TASÊ
Coniuntîf presint — coniuntîf imperfet
Present subjunctive — imperfect subjunctive

present subjunctive
imperfect subjunctive
jo
o tasi
o tasès
tu
tu tasis
tu tasessis
lui
al tasi
al tasès

e tasi
e tasès

o tasìn
o tasessin
vualtris
o tasês
o tasessis
lôr
a tasin
a tasessin

Versets 40-46

Esau vows to kill his brother Jacob, for his father will not rescind the blessing that had been bestowed upon him. The Friulian usages to learn or review from these final seven verses of chapter 27 are: vuadagnâsi la bocjade (to make one’s way in life; to earn one’s daily bread), la spade (sword), sotan (subject, servile), sfrancjâsi (to break free; sfrancjâ [to free, to liberate] is cognate with the English affranchise), crevâ (to break), il jôf (yoke), il cuel (neck), cjapâ in asse (to start to hate, to take to hating), aromai (by this point, by this time), lunc (long), in chê volte (at that time), copâ (to kill), contâ (to tell, to relate), cirî di (to seek to, to try to), svindicâsi (to avenge oneself, to get revenge), scjampâ (to flee), li di gno fradi (there where my brother is), stâ cun lui (to stay with him), fintremai che (until such time as), passâ (to pass), slontanâsi (to go away, to leave; literally, to distance oneself), dismenteâ (to forget), fâ une part (to do a [bad] deed), là vie (there), pierdi (to lose), la zornade (day), lâ indevant (to continue, to go forward), impuartâ (to matter).

In verse 41, Esau says: aromai gno pari no le à lungje (my father does not have long to live anymore; literally; by now my father does not have it long). He continues: in chê volte o coparai gno fradi Jacop (that is when I shall kill my brother Jacob).

Rebekah warns Jacob of Esau’s intention; in verse 42, she says to him: viôt che to fradi al cîr dome di svindicâsi e ti coparà (know that your brother seeks only to avenge himself and he will kill you). Viôt che translates literally as see that; viôt is the second-person singular imperative form of the verb viodi. In verse 43, she advises her son to go to Caran (Haran) where her brother Laban is: scjampe li di gno fradi Laban (flee to my brother Laban), and, in verse 44, to remain there with him a while: tu starâs un pôc cun lui (you will stay a while with him).

Still in verse 44, Rebekah tells Jacob to stay with Laban until Esau’s anger has passed: fintremai che i sarà passade a to fradi (until it passes [will have passed] from unto your brother), until his anger for Jacob has left: fintremai cuant che la rabie di to fradi no si sarà slontanade di te (until such time as your brother’s anger has distanced [will have distanced] itself from you), and until his brother has forgotten what Jacob did to him: e [fintremai] che nol varà dismenteade la part che tu i âs fate (and until he forgets [will have forgotten] the deed that you have carried out against him).

In verse 45, Rebekah asks: àio propit di pierdius ducj i doi intune sole zornade? (must I indeed lose both of you on the same day?). O ai di means I have to, I must; its interrogative form, then, is aio di? (do I have to?, must I?). Note that the accented forms ài and àio are also used. You will have recognised pierdius as being the combination of pierdi (to lose) + us (you, plural). Intune sole zornade translates literally as in one single day.

In the final verse, Rebekah alludes to Esau’s Hittite wives: no pues plui lâ indevant cu lis fiis dai itits (I can no longer go forward with the daughters of the Hittites; that is, she has become weary of them). La tiere di It means the land of Heth. Rebekah says, if Jacob takes a Hittite wife (that is, a wife from the land of Heth): no m’impuarte plui di stâ in chest mont (I care no more to be in this world; literally, it matters to me no more to stay in this world). The verb here is impuartâ, meaning to matter.