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 a clamâ (to send for), benedî (to bless), precetâ (to enjoin), cjoli (to take), la femine (wife), partî (to leave, to depart), la cjase (house), il pari (father), la mari (mother), sielzisi (to choose for oneself), di là vie (from there), la fie (daughter), il fradi (brother), fâ cressi (to make grow, to cause to increase), multiplicâ (to multiply; also moltiplicâ), fin che (until), deventâ (to become), la semblee (assembly, multitude), il popul (people), (to give), la gjernazie (offspring), 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 for 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: depart and go to Padan-Aram, to the house of Bethuel. Read over the present indicative conjugation of the verb partî, which you will find presented below. Sielgiti une femine di là vie: choose for yourself a wife from there. Pari di tô mari: the father of your mother. Fradi di tô mari: the brother of your mother. You have three second-person singular imperative forms in this verse: partìs (leave); va (go); sielziti (choose for yourself). The spelling sielgi (to choose) is used here; the standardised spelling is sielzi. The second-person singular imperative of this verb is sielç; when ti is added, the resulting form is sielziti (sielgiti) — an i is inserted before ti, causing the final ç to change quality and become z (g).

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 God Almighty [El Shaddai] bless you), che ti fasi cressi e ti multiplichi tant (may he increase you 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 offspring), 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).

al benedìs
he blesses
che al benedissi
may he bless

al fâs
he makes
che al fasi
may he make

al multipliche
he multiplies
che al multiplichi
may he multiply

tu deventis
you become
fin che tu deventis
until you become

al da
he gives
che al dedi
may he give

tu sês
you are
par che tu sedis
so that you may be

Versets 5-9

Vocabulary: saludâ (to bid farewell), partî par (to set out 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 (to find for oneself), la femine (wife), intant che (whilst), dâ un ordin (to give an order), cjoli (to take), nissun (no, not any), scoltâ (to listen to), 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 che al partì par Padan-Aram: Isaac bade farewell to Jacob, who set out for Padan-Aram.

Verse 6: Cjatâsi une femine: to find a wife for oneself. Intant che lu benedive: whilst he was blessing him. No sta cjoli nissune femine di Canaan: do not take any wife 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 you that the past event in question occurred before another past event. For example: 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 (listened) to his father and his mother. Al jere partît par Padan-Aram: he had set out for Padan-Aram. Observe the following:

al à benedît Jacop
he has blessed Jacob
al veve benedît Jacop
he had blessed Jacob

lu à mandât a Padan-Aram
he has sent him to Padan-Aram
lu veve mandât a Padan-Aram
he had sent him to Padan-Aram

i à dât chest ordin
he has given him this order
i veve dât chest ordin
he had given him this order

Jacop al à scoltât so pari
Jacob has heeded (listened) to his father
Jacop al veve scoltât so pari
Jacob had heeded (listened) to his father

al è partît par Padan-Aram
he has set out for Padan-Aram
al jere partît par Padan-Aram
he had set out for Padan-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: Al lè di Ismael: he went to Ishmael. Esau takes Macalat (Mahalath) to wife, in addition to Gjudit (Judith) and Basemat (Bashemath). 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 the ones he (already) had, Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael — (who was the) son of Abraham — and sister of Nebajoth.

Versets 10-12

Vocabulary: lassâ (to leave), partî par (to set out for), par cumbinazion (by chance), rivâ (to arrive, to come), cert (certain; also spelt ciert), il lûc (site, place), fermâsi (to stop oneself), passâ la gnot (to spend the night), il soreli (sun), za (already), lâ a mont (to set; of the sun), cjapâ sù (to pick up), la piere (stone), il santuari (sanctuary), meti (to put, to place), sot dal cjâf (under one’s head), distirâsi par tiere (to lie oneself down 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), rivâ fint in cîl (to reach 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 set out for Haran.

Verse 11: Al rivà intun cert lûc: he came to 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: he stopped there to spend 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 a stone that was in that sanctuary. Le metè sot dal cjâf: he placed it under his head. Si distirà par tiere: he lay down on the ground.

Verse 12: Jacob had a dream: al fasè un sium, and, in his dream, he saw a ladder: al viodè une scjale. The legs of the ladder were set on the ground: cui pîts par tiere (with its legs [feet] on the ground). With reference to the human body, the Friulian for leg is la gjambe, and foot is il pît; of a ladder, the legs are called feet: i pîts. The ladder reached heaven: la scjale e rivave fint in cîl, and, on the ladder, the angels of God were going up and down: i agnui di Diu a levin sù e jù. 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, in front of), il von (grandfather), la tiere (ground, earth, land), durmî (to sleep), la gjernazie (offspring), deventâ (to become), il pulvin (dust), slargjâsi (to spread oneself out), 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, stranger, outsider), benedî (to bless), vuardâ (to guard, to protect), par dut là che (wherever, everywhere that), menâ dongje (to bring back), tornâ a menâ dongje (to bring back again), bandonâ (to leave), fintremai che (until), imprometi (to promise).

Verse 13: 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 the names for family members in Friulian (see the last paragraph of the notes at verse 12). 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 offspring. 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 offspring). 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 chart 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).

Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

o duar
tu duarmis
al duar

e duar

o durmìn
o durmîs
a duarmin

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; that is, they had sexual intercourse). From Gjenesi 19:32: po o lin a durmî cun lui (then we shall go to sleep with him), from the instance when Lot’s daughters inebriated their father with wine and had intercourse with him.

Verse 14: La tô gjernazie e deventarà come pulvin de tiere: your offspring shall become as the dust of the earth. Lord tells Jacob that he will extend in all four directions: tu ti slargjarâs a soreli a mont (you will spread out to the west) e a soreli jevât (and to the east), a miegegnot (to the north) e a misdì (and to the south). You will have perhaps recognised that the word for north here translates literally as midnight (miegegnot; standardised as miezegnot), and that the word for south 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 offspring.

Verse 15: Ti vuardarai par dut là che tu larâs: I shall protect you wherever you go (will go). Ti tornarai a menâ dongje in cheste tiere: I shall bring you back to this land. Jo no ti bandonarai fintremai che no varai fat dut ce che ti ai imprometût: I shall not leave you until I have done (shall have done) everything that I have promised you. O varai fat (I shall 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), il sium (dream), jevâ sù (to get up, to arise), propit culì (right here), savê (to know), cjapâ pôre (to take fright), trement (awesome, frightful), ce trement (how awesome), il santuari (sanctuary), la cjase (house), la puarte (door, gate), il cîl (heaven, sky), prin dal dì (in the early morning), poiâ (to support), il cjâf (head), meti in pîts (to set afoot), usance (as, after the manner of), il colonel (pillar), ongi (to anoint, to pour oil; also unzi), parsore vie (on top), il vueli (oil).

Verse 16: Jacop, dopo dal sium, al jevà sù e al disè: Jacob, after his (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.). Observe 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: then he took fright. Jacob says: ce trement che al è chest santuari (how awesome is this sanctuary). Trement can also mean frightful; in this context, Jacob has experienced fear mixed with reverence, and so trement is probably better taken here as awesome, awe-inducing, rather than frightful. He says: 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 in the early morning. 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 set it afoot as a pillar [after the manner of a pillar]) e le ongè parsore vie cul vueli (and anointed it on top 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, site), prime (before, previously), 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 allow to lack, to let go without), il toc di pan (piece of bread), la munture (garments, clothing; also expressed as monture), taponâsi (to cover oneself), dâ la gracie di (to make the concession of), tornâ san e salf (to return safe and sound), la cjase (house), il pari (father), la piere (stone), il colonel (pillar), paiâ (to pay), fin tal ultin (to the last), la decime (one tenth), (to give).

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

Verse 20: Jacop al fasè chest avôt: Jacob made this vow; that is, Jacob made the following vow. Se Diu al è de mê bande: if God is on my side. [Se Diu] mi ten vuardât tal viaç che o stoi fasint: if God keeps me protected on the journey that I am making. Se no mi lasse mancjâ un toc di pan: if he does not make me want for (allow me to lack) a bit of bread. Une munture par taponâmi: clothing (garments) to cover myself.

Verse 21: Se mi dà la gracie di (if he makes me the concession of) tornâ san e salf te cjase di gno pari (returning safe and sound to my father’s house), alore il Signôr al sarà il gno Diu (then the Lord shall be my God). San e salf: safe and sound; san means healthy, sound; salf means safe, unhurt. (Taken literally, san e salf translates as sound and safe.)

Verse 22: Cheste piere che jo o ai metude come colonel: this stone that I have set up as a pillar. E sarà une cjase di Diu: it shall be a house of God. O paiarai fin tal ultin la decime di dut ce che tu mi darâs: I shall pay to the last the tenth of everything that you give (will give) me.