Friulian language series: Gjenesi 28, avôt di Jacop

In the twenty-eighth chapter of the book of Genesis, Jacob has a dream. The Friulian for dream is il sium; to have a dream is fâ un sium. From the subject line of this chapter: l’avôt di Jacop (Jacob’s vow).

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Read Gjenesi 28

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Versets 1-4

Vocabulary: mandâ (to send), clamâ (to call), benedî (to bless), precetâ (to enjoin), cjoli (to take), la femine (wife), partî (to depart), la cjase (house), il pari (father), la mari (mother), sielgisi (to select for oneself), di là vie (from there), la fie (daughter), il fradi (brother), cressi (to increase), multiplicâ (to multiply), fin che (until), deventâ (to become), la semblee (assembly), il popul (people), (to give), la gjernazie (line), la benedizion (blessing), il paron de tiere (lord of the land), jessi a stâ (to dwell).

Verse 1: Isac al mandà a clamâ Jacop: Isaac sent to call Jacob. Lu benedì e lu precetà cussì: he blessed him and enjoined him thus. Isaac tells Jacob that he must never marry a Canaanite woman: no sta mai cjoli (do not ever take) une femine di chês di Canaan (a wife from amongst those of Canaan).

Verse 2: Partìs e va a Padan-Aram, in cjase di Betuel, pari di tô mari: depart and go to Paddan-Aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Sielgiti une femine di là vie, une des fiis di Laban, fradi di tô mari: select for yourself a wife from there, one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. Three second-person singular imperative forms appear in this verse: partìs (depart); va (go); sielgiti (select for yourself). Of sielgi, the second-person singular imperative is sielç; when ti is added, the resulting form is sielgiti — an i is inserted before ti, causing the final ç to change quality and become g. The present indicative conjugation of the verb partî is presented below, for your reference.

Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

o partìs
tu partissis
al partìs

e partìs

o partìn
o partîs
a partissin

Verse 3: El-Shadai is one of the Hebrew names of God usually rendered in English as God Almighty. Che El-Shadai ti benedissi (may El-Shaddai bless you), che ti fasi cressi e ti multiplichi tant (may he make you increase and multiply you greatly) fin che tu deventis une semblee di popui (until you become an assembly of peoples). All the verbs of this verse are in the present subjunctive.

Verse 4: More present subjunctive forms are found in this verse: che ti dedi (may he grant [give] you), a ti e a la tô gjernazie (to you and to your line), la benedizion di Abram (the blessing of Abraham) par che tu sedis paron de tiere (that you may be lord of the land) là che tu sês a stâ (where you are dwelling) e che Diu i à dade a Abram (and which God gave to Abraham). Consider the following: al benedìs; che al benedissi (he blesses; may he bless); al fâs; che al fasi (he makes; may he make); al multipliche; che al multiplichi (he multiplies; may he multiply); tu deventis; fin che tu deventis (you become; until you become); al da; che al dedi (he gives; may he give); tu sês; par che tu sedis (you are; so that you may be).

Versets 5-9

Vocabulary: saludâ (to bid farewell), partî par (to depart for), la cjase (house), il fi (son), un arameu (Aramean), il fradi (brother), la mari (mother), viodi (to see), benedî (to bless), mandâ (to send), cjatâsi une femine (to find for oneself a wife), intant che (whilst), (to give), un ordin (order), cjoli (to take), nissun (no, not any), scoltâ (to heed), il pari (father), capî (to understand), cjalâ di svuec (to look askance at, to look with disapproval upon), la fie (daughter), lâ di (to go unto), in plui di (in addition to), la sûr (sister).

Verse 5: Isac al saludà Jacop (Isaac bade Jacob farewell) che al partì par Padan-Aram (who departed for Paddan-Aram) in cjase di Laban (to the house of Bethuel), fi di Betuel l’arameu (son of Bethuel the Aramean) e fradi di Rebeche (and brother of Rebekah), mari di Jacop e di Esaù (mother of Jacob and Esau).

Verse 6: Esaù al viodè (Esau saw) che Isac al veve benedît Jacop (that Isaac had blessed Jacob) e che lu veve mandât a Padan-Aram (and had sent him to Paddan-Aram) par cjatâsi une femine (to find for himself a wife) e che, intant che lu benedive (and that, whilst he was blessing him), i veve dât chest ordin (had given him this order): no sta cjoli nissune femine di Canaan (take no woman from Canaan). You find a number of trapassât prossim forms: al veve benedît (he had blessed); lu veve mandât (he had sent him); i veve dât (he had given him). The trapassât prossim informs that the past event in question took place before some other past event. Take, for instance: Esaù al viodè che Isac al veve benedît Jacop (Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob); first Isaac blessed Jacob, then Esau saw it. The use of the trapassât prossim in al veve benedît places this action farther back in time than that of Esau’s seeing, expressed as al viodè, using the passât sempliç.

Verse 7: Jacop al veve scoltât so pari e sô mari: Jacob had heeded his father and his mother. Al jere partît par Padan-Aram: he had departed for Paddan-Aram. Consider the following: al à benedît Jacop; al veve benedît Jacop (he has blessed Jacob; he had blessed Jacob); lu à mandât a Padan-Aram; lu veve mandât a Padan-Aram (he has sent him to Paddan-Aram; he had sent him to Paddan-Aram); i à dât chest ordin; i veve dât chest ordin (he has given him this order; he had given him this order); Jacop al à scoltât so pari; Jacop al veve scoltât so pari (Jacob has heeded his father; Jacob had heeded his father); al è partît par Padan-Aram; al jere partît par Padan-Aram (he has departed for Paddan-Aram; he had departed for Paddan-Aram).

Verse 8: Esaù al capì che so pari al cjalave di svuec lis fiis di Canaan: Esau understood that his father looked (was looking) disapprovingly upon the daughters of Canaan.

Verse 9: E alore al lè di Ismael: so he went to Ishmael. Esau takes Macalat (Mahalath) for wife, in addition to Gjudit (Judith) and Basemat (Basemath). Al cjolè, in plui di chês che al veve, Macalat, fie di Ismael, fi di Abram e sûr di Nebaiot: he took, in addition to those whom he {already} had, Mahalath, daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, and sister of Nebaioth.

Versets 10-12

Vocabulary: lassâ (to leave), partî par (to depart for), par cumbinazion (by chance), rivâ (to arrive), cert (certain; also ciert), il lûc (place), fermâsi (to halt oneself), passâ (to pass), la gnot (night), il soreli (sun), za (already), lâ a mont (to set; of the sun), cjapâ sù (to take up), la piere (stone), il santuari (sanctuary), meti (to put), sot di (under), il cjâf (head), distirâsi (to lie oneself down), par tiere (on the ground), il sium (dream), fâ un sium (to have a dream), viodi (to see), la scjale (ladder), il pît (foot), par tiere (on the ground), il cîl (heaven), un agnul (angel), lâ sù e jù (to go up and down).

Verse 10: Jacop al lassà Bersabee e al partì par Caran: Jacob left Beersheba and departed for Haran.

Verse 11: Par cumbinazion al rivà intun cert lûc: by chance he arrived in a certain place. Cert is employed here to be imprecise; supplementary examples, using instead the standard spelling ciert: une cierte persone (a certain person); ti à cirût un ciert siôr (a certain gentleman was looking for you; was asking for you); cierte int no mi plâs (I do not like certain people; certain people are displeasing to me). Li si fermà a passâ la gnot: there did he halt himself to pass the night. Il soreli al jere za lât a mont: the sun had already set. Al cjapà sù une piere ch’e jere in chel santuari: he picked up [took up] a stone that was in that sanctuary. Le metè sot dal cjâf: he put it under his head. Si distirà par tiere: he lay himself down on the ground.

Verse 12: Al fasè chest sium: he had this dream. Al viodè une scjale cui pîts par tiere: he saw a ladder with its legs [feet] on the ground. With reference to the human body, the Friulian for leg is la gjambe, and for foot it is il pît; of a ladder, the legs are referred to as feet: i pîts. La scjale e rivave fint in cîl: the ladder arrived as far as into the heaven. I agnui di Diu a levin sù e jù: the angels of God were going up and down. A levin is the third-person plural of the imperfet indicatîf of the verb lâ. You will find the entire imperfet indicatîf conjugation of through the Friulian verb conjugations page.

Versets 13-15

Vocabulary: presentâsi (to present oneself), devant di (before), il von (grandfather), la tiere (ground, earth, land), durmî (to sleep), la gjernazie (line), deventâ (to become), il pulvin (dust), slargjâsi (to broaden oneself), a soreli a mont (to the west), a soreli jevât (to the east), a miegegnot (to the north; also a miezegnot), a misdì (to the south), il forest (foreigner), benedî (to bless), vuardâ (to guard, to protect), par dut là che (wherever), menâ dongje (to lead alongside), bandonâ (to leave), fintremai che (until), imprometi (to promise).

Verse 13: Il Signôr si presentà devant di lui: the Lord presented himself before him. The Lord says: jo o soi il Signôr, il Diu di to von Abram e il Diu di Isac (I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac). Review: Names of family members in Friulian (see the notes at verse 12 on the linked page). La tiere che tu duarmis te doi a ti e a la tô gjernazie: I give the ground upon which you sleep to you and your line. Observe: la tiere che tu duarmis (the ground {upon} which you sleep) te doi (unto you I give it) a ti e a la tô gjernazie (to you and to your line). Tu tu duarmis is the second-person singular of the presint indicatîf of the verb durmî (to sleep). Below, you will find the present indicative conjugation of durmî in table form. The past participle of durmî is durmît. Know also these three imperative forms of the verb: duar (sleep; second-person singular); durmìn (let us sleep; first-person plural); durmît (sleep; second-person plural). Supplementary examples of the verb durmî: o vin durmît pôc (we have slept little); lâ a durmî (to go to sleep, to go to bed); durmî in bande (to sleep on one’s side); durmî in schene (to sleep on one’s back); un discors che al fâs durmî (a speech that puts you to sleep); durmî cu la femine (to sleep with one’s wife); e je lade a durmî cun chel (she went to sleep with him).

Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

o duar
tu duarmis
al duar

e duar

o durmìn
o durmîs
a duarmin

Verse 14: La tô gjernazie e deventarà come pulvin de tiere: your line shall become as the dust of the earth. The Lord tells Jacob that he will extend in all four directions: tu ti slargjarâs a soreli a mont (you shall broaden yourself to the west) e a soreli jevât (and to the east), a miegegnot (to the north) e a misdì (and to the south). The word employed here for north translates literally as midnight: miegegnot, standardised as miezegnot; for south, it translates literally as midday: misdì. Ducj i forescj de tiere a saran benedîts par te e pe tô gjernazie: all the foreigners of the earth shall be blessed through you and through your line.

Verse 15: Jo o soi cun te, ti vuardarai par dut là che tu larâs: I am with you, I will protect you wherever you go [will go]. Ti tornarai a menâ dongje in cheste tiere: I will lead you alongside again into this land. Jo no ti bandonarai fintremai che no varai fat dut ce che ti ai imprometût: I will not leave you until I have done [will have done] all that which I have promised to you. O varai fat (I will have done) is the first-person singular of the futûr anterior of the verb fâ. You will find the entire conjugation of the verb in this tense through the Friulian verb conjugations page.

Versets 16-18

Vocabulary: dopo di (after, following), il sium (dream), jevâ sù (to get up, to arise), propit culì (right here), savê (to know), cjapâ (to take), la pôre (fear), trement (awesome), il santuari (sanctuary), la cjase (house), la puarte (door, gate), il cîl (heaven), prin di (before), il dì (day), poiâ (to support), il cjâf (head), meti in pîts (to put afoot), usance (after the manner of), il colonel (column), ongi (to anoint, to pour oil; also unzi), parsore vie (over above), il vueli (oil).

Verse 16: Jacop, dopo dal sium, al jevà sù e al disè: Jacob, after his dream (the dream), arose and said. Jo no savevi is the negated, first-person singular of the imperfet indicatîf of the verb savê. You will find savê conjugated below in the imperfect indicative, for your reference. Jacob says: il Signôr al jere propit culì e jo no savevi (the Lord was right here and I did not know [was not knowing]). The reason the imperfet indicatîf is used here and not, say, the passât prossim, is because Jacob’s not knowing extended over a certain amount of time in the past. Jo no savevi is taken literally in English as I was not knowing or even, in other contexts, as I used not to know. To take another example, al fevelà means he spoke (at a specific moment), whereas al fevelave means he was speaking (over a period of time: moments, hours, etc.). Consider now the following: o savevi (I was knowing; I used to know); o ai savût (I found out). Using the passât prossim of the verb savê conveys the sense of to come to know, to find out. What is understood is that the knowing came at a specific moment in the past. Supplementary examples: o ai savût che doman al è un sciopar (I found out that there is a strike tomorrow); daspò, âstu savût nuie di chê propueste di lavôr? (have you not found out anything then about that job offer?).

Verb: SAVÊ
Imperfet indicatîf
Imperfect indicative

o savevi
tu savevis
al saveve

e saveve

o savevin
o savevis
a savevin

Verse 17: Po al cjapà pôre e al disè (then he took fear and said): ce trement che al è chest santuari (how awesome is this sanctuary). Cheste e je propit la cjase di Diu (this is the very house of God) e la puarte dal cîl (and the gate of heaven).

Verse 18: Jevât prin dal dì: having arisen before day. The text of this verse continues: al cjolè la piere (he took the stone) che al veve poiât il cjâf (with which he had supported his head) e le metè in pîts usance un colonel (and he put it afoot after the manner of a column) e le ongè parsore vie cul vueli (and anointed it over above with oil). The anointing of the stone with oil was a symbolic gesture meant to consecrate the spot where God had manifested himself to Jacob.

Versets 19-22

Vocabulary: clamâ (to call), il lûc (place), prime (before), la citât (city), clamâsi (to be called), fâ un avôt (to make a vow), jessi de mê bande (to be on my side), tignî vuardât (to keep protected), fâ un viaç (to make a journey), lassâ mancjâ (to let lack), un toc di pan (bit of bread), la munture (garments, clothing; also monture), taponâsi (to conceal oneself), (to give), la gracie (grace), tornâ san e salf (to return safe and sound), la cjase (house), il pari (father), la piere (stone), meti (to put), il colonel (column), paiâ (to pay), fin tal ultin (to the last), la decime (one tenth), (to give).

Verse 19: Al clamà chel lûc Betel (he called that place Bethel), ma prime la citât si clamave Luz (but before the city was called Luz).

Verses 20-22: Jacop al fasè chest avôt: Jacob made this vow. The vow: se Diu al è de mê bande (if God is on my side) e mi ten vuardât tal viaç che o stoi fasint (and keeps me protected on the journey that I am making), se no mi lasse mancjâ un toc di pan (if he does not let me lack a bit of bread) e une munture par taponâmi (and clothing to conceal myself), se mi dà la gracie (if he gives me the grace) di tornâ san e salf te cjase di gno pari (of returning safe and sound to my father’s house), alore il Signôr al sarà il gno Diu (then the Lord shall be my God), e cheste piere che jo o ai metude come colonel (and this stone that I have put as a column) e sarà une cjase di Diu (shall be a house of God) e o paiarai (and I will pay) fin tal ultin (to the last) la decime di dut ce che tu mi darâs (the tenth of everything that you give [will give] me). Regarding san e salf (safe and sound): san means healthy, sound, whereas salf means safe, unhurt; taken literally, san e salf translates as sound and safe.