Friulian language series: Gjenesi 29, Lie e Rachêl

In the twenty-ninth chapter of the book of Genesis, the subjects are: Lie e Rachêl (Leah and Rachel); a nassin i fîs di Jacop (Jacob’s sons are born). The Friulian verb nassi means to be born; a nassin is the third-person plural of the presint indicatîf.

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Read Gjenesi 29

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Versets 1-4

Vocabulary: metisi in viaç (to put oneself in journey), partî (to depart), la bande (side), il fi (son), la jevade (east), il poç (well), la campagne (open country), scrufuiât (huddled, crouched), la mandrie (herd, flock), la robe (matter), minût (little), imbeverâ (to give water to, to water; of animals), imbeverâsi (to drink; of animals), il nemâl (animal), la piere (stone), sierâ (to close), grant (great), dâsi dongje (to give oneself alongside), il pastôr (shepherd), rodolâ (to roll off), tornâ a fâ (to do anew), taponâ (to conceal), domandâ (to ask), il fradi (brother), dontri (whence), rispuindi (to respond).

Verse 1: Jacop si metè in viaç e al partì de bande dai fîs de jevade: Jacob put himself in journey and departed towards the sons of the east.

Verse 2: Al viodè un poç te campagne: he saw a well in the open country. Dongje a jerin scrufuiadis trê mandriis di robe minude: alongside were huddled three flocks of little livestock [matter]; minude is the feminine form of minût, meaning little. Robe minude identifies little beasts of the flocks, whereas robe grande identifies great beasts of the herds. Al jere in chel poç che a levin a imbeverâsi i nemâi: it was at that well that the animals would go to drink. La piere ch’e sierave il poç e jere grande: the stone that would close the well was great.

Verse 3: Cuant che ducj i nemâi si vevin dâts dongje (when all the animals had drawn together [given themselves alongside]), i pastôrs a rodolavin la piere ch’e taponave il poç (the shepherds would roll off the stone that was concealing the well), a imbeveravin i nemâi e po a tornavin a taponâ il poç (would water the animals and then would conceal the well again).

Verse 4: Jacob asks the shepherds: fradis miei, dontri sêso po? (my brethren, whence then are you?). Dontri means whence; sêso is the interrogative form of o sês (you are; second-person plural). You also encountered dontri in Gjenesi 16:8, when you read dontri venstu? (whence are you coming?), asked of Hagar by the angel. Dontri may also be expressed as di dulà: di dulà vegnistu? (whence are you coming?); di dulà sêstu? (whence are you?). The shepherds respond: o sin di Caran (we are from Haran). Review the following: dulà sêstu? (where are you?); di dulà sêstu? (whence are you?); di dulà vegnistu? (whence are you coming?), dontri vegnistu? (whence are you coming?); dulà vivistu?, indulà vivistu?, dulà che tu vivis? (where do you live?).

Versets 5-8

Vocabulary: dissal (he said), cognossi (to know, to be acquainted with), il fi (son), rispuindi (to respond), stâ ben (to be well), (yes), ve chi (here is, this is), rivâ (to arrive), il trop (flock), ancjemò (yet), il dì (day), la ore (hour), no je ore (it is not time), menâ dentri (to lead in), il nemâl (animal), imbeverâ (to water, to give water to; of animals), la bestie (beast), tornâ (to return, to go back), il passon (pasture, grazing), podê (can, to be able), fin che (until), dâsi dongje (to give oneself alongside), rodolâ (to roll off), la piere (stone), il poç (well), dome (only), in chê volte (at that time, then).

Verse 5: Jacob asks the shepherds if they know Laban: cognossêso Laban, il fi di Nacor? (do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?). They answer: lu cognossìn (we know him). Note that Friulian does not use the verb savê (to know) to talk about being acquainted with a person: it uses instead the verb cognossi (to know, to be acquainted with). Below, you will find the entire present indicative conjugation of the verb cognossi, for your reference.

Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

o cognòs
tu cognossis
al cognòs

e cognòs

o cognossìn
o cognossês
a cognossin

Verse 6: Jacob asks the shepherds if Laban is well: staial ben? (is he well?). They respond: sì; ve chi sô fie Rachêl ch’e rive cul trop (yes, there is his daughter Rachel who is arriving with the flock). In staial ben?, the expression used is stâ ben, meaning to be well. Supplementary examples of the verb stâ: parcè stâstu li in pîts? (why are you standing there?); cîr di stâ fêr cinc minûts (try to be still for five minutes); stâ in diete (to be on a diet); il miedi al à dite che tu âs di stâ tal jet par trê dîs (the doctor has said that you must remain in bed for three days); cemût stâstu? (how are you?). When used in the sense of to be, stâ expresses a temporary physical or psychological condition, whereas a permanent quality is expressed with jessi. The verb stâ has come up many times in your readings, but you have not yet seen its full present indicative conjugation; it is now presented below.

Verb: STÂ
Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

o stoi
tu stâs
al sta

e sta

o stin
o stais
a stan

Verse 7: Jacob says: al è ancjemò dì (it is yet day) e no je ore di menâ dentri i nemâi (and it is not time to lead in the animals). He continues: imbeverait lis bestiis (water the beasts) e tornait a passon (and return to pasture). Both imbeverait and tornait are second-person plural imperative forms.

Verse 8: No podìn (we cannot) fin che no si àn dâts dongje ducj i nemâi (until all the animals have drawn together [given themselves alongside]) e che no vin rodolade la piere (and we have rolled off the stone) ch’e tapone il poç (which conceals the well). O imbeverarìn is the first-person plural of the futûr sempliç: dome in chê volte (only then) o imbeverarìn lis bestiis (will we water the beasts).

Versets 9-13

Vocabulary: ancjemò (yet), resonâ (to talk, to speak), rivâ (to arrive), il trop (flock), il pari (father), la pastore (shepherdess), a pene che (so soon as), viodi (to see), la fie (daughter), il barbe (uncle), lâ dongje (to go alongside), rodolâ (to roll [off]), la piere (stone), taponâ (to conceal), il poç (well), imbeverâ (to water, to give water to; of animals), il besteam (livestock), bussâ (to kiss), tacâ (to start), vaî (to weep), contâ (to recount), la parintât (kinship), cori (to run), sintî (to hear), tratâsi di (to be question of), il nevôt (nephew), la sûr (sister), vignî incuintri (to come unto), di dute corse (very quickly, in a rush, hurriedly), cjapâ a bracecuel (to fall on one’s neck), colmâ (to fill), la bussade (kiss), menâ dentri (to lead in), la cjase (house), sucedi (to come to pass).

Verse 9: Al stave ancjemò resonant cun lôr che e rivà Rachêl cul trop di so pari: he was yet speaking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock. Resonant is the present participle of the verb resonâ; al stave resonant expresses the ongoing nature of the speaking in the past, as in he was speaking. Al stave is the masculine, third-person singular of the imperfet indicatîf of the verb stâ. Rachel was a shepherdess: e faseve la pastore. Two things of note: pastore is the feminine form of pastôr; and fâ la pastore means to be a shepherdess. Another example of to talk about one’s trade: so pari al faseve il marangon (his father was a carpenter).

Verse 10: A pene che Jacop al viodè Rachêl (so soon as Jacob saw Rachel), fie di so barbe Laban (daughter of his uncle Laban), e il trop di so barbe Laban (and the flock of his uncle Laban), al lè dongje, al rodolà la piere ch’e taponave il poç (he went alongside, rolled off the stone which was concealing the well) e al imbeverà il besteam di so barbe Laban (and watered the livestock of his uncle Laban).

Verse 11: Jacop al bussà Rachêl (Jacob kissed Rachel), po al tacà a vaî (then started to weep).

Verse 12: Jacob tells Rachel that they are related: i contà a Rachêl che al veve parintât cun so pari (he recounted to Rachel that he had kinship with her father) e che al jere fi di Rebeche (and that he was Rebekah’s son). After Rachel hears of this, she rushes to tell her father: jê alore e corè a dîjal a sô pari (so she ran off to tell [to tell it] to her father). Dîjal means to tell it, to say it; it is a combination of + i + lu (to say + unto him + it). The ‘it’ in question is what Rachel had just heard spoken by Jacob.

Verse 13: Cuant che al sintì che si tratave di so nevôt, fi di sô sûr: when he heard that it was question of his nephew, his sister’s son. Supplementary example of tratâsi di: si trate di vite o di muart (it is a question of life or death). Laban i vignì incuintri di dute corse: Laban came running unto him. You read how Laban receives his nephew: lu cjapà a bracecuel (he fell on his neck); lu colmà di bussadis (he covered him in kisses); lu menà dentri in cjase (he led him into the house). Jacop i contà dut ce che al jere sucedût: Jacob recounted to him all that which had come to pass.

Versets 14-19

Vocabulary: propit (truly, indeed), il vues (bone), la cjar (flesh), restâ (stay), la cjase (house), il mês (month), intîr (entire), midiant che (given that), la parintât (kinship), fâ il famei (to be a servant), par dibant (for nothing), trop (how much), la fie (daughter), prin (first), vê non (to be named), secont (second), il voli (eye), smavit (bleared, faded), ben fat (shapely; of the body), biel (fine), la muse (face), volê ben (to love), par siet agns (for seven years), zovin (young), miei (better), simpri miei (ever better), il forest (foreigner), restâ cun (to stay with).

Verse 14: Laban says that Jacob is his bone and flesh: tu sês propit il gno vuès (you are truly my bone) e la mê cjar (and my flesh). You encountered a similar wording in Gjenesi 2:23, when Adam says of Eve: e je vuès dai miei vues (she is bone of my bones) e cjar de mê cjar (and flesh of my flesh). Jacop al restà in cjase sô par un mês intîr: Jacob stayed in his house for an entire month.

Verse 15: Fâ il famei means to be a servant, to serve/act as servant: midiant che o vin parintât (given that we are related [have kinship]), no tu varâs mo di fâmi il famei par dibant (you need not serve me for nothing then [you will not have to act then as servant to me for nothing]). Laban asks Jacob to tell him what his wages are: disimi tu trop che o ai di dâti (tell me how much I am to give you).

Verse 16: Laban al veve dôs fiis (Laban had two daughters): la prime e veve non Lie (the first was named Leah) e la seconde Rachêl (and the second, Rachel).

Verse 17: Lie e veve vôi smavits: Leah had bleared eyes. Rachêl e jere plui ben fate e biele di muse: Rachel was more shapely and fine of face.

Verse 18: Jacop i voleve ben a Rachêl: Jacob loved Rachel. He says: jo ti fasarai di famei par siet agns (I will serve you [act as servant to you] for seven years), ma tu âs di dâmi Rachêl, la fie plui zovine (but you must give me your younger daughter Rachel).

Verse 19: Simpri miei dâle a un di cjase che no a di un forest: ever better to give her to a one of the house than to a foreigner; un di cjase is to be understood as referring to kin. Reste cun me: stay with me.

Versets 20-25

Vocabulary: sicheduncje (therefore), restâ (to remain), il famei (servant), siet agns (seven years), di file (in a row), semeâ (to seem; also someâ), cualchi (a few, several), il dì (day), volê ben (to love), il timp (time), spirâ (to draw to a close), la femine (wife), lassâ (to let), vivi cun (to lie with), clamâ dongje (to call alongside), la int (people), il lûc (place), il nuviçâr (wedding feast), sore sere (towards evening), cjoli (to take), la fie (daughter), menâ di (to lead unto), cedi (to cede, to give), la sierve (handmaid, maidservant), servî (to serve), tal indoman (next day), a buinore (in the morning), jessi d’acuardi (to agree, to be in agreement), imbroiâ (to deceive).

Verse 20: Sicheduncje Jacop al restà come famei siet agns di file par Rachêl: Jacob therefore remained a slave (remained as a slave) seven years in a row for Rachel. These seven years were apparently not difficult for Jacob: ma i semearin cualchi dì (but they seemed to him {only} a few days) cul ben che i voleve (by virtue of how much [with how much] he loved her). Following cualchi, the noun is expressed in the singular: cualchi dì (a few days); cualchi libri (a few books); cualchi cjase (a few houses).

Verse 21: Il gno timp al è spirât: my time has drawn to a close. Dami la mê femine e lassimi vivi cun jê: give me my wife and let me lie with her.

Verse 22: Laban al clamà dongje dute la int dal lûc: Laban called alongside all the people of the place. Fâ un grant nuviçâr: to hold a great wedding feast. Related vocabulary: il nuviçâr (wedding feast, wedding reception); il nuviç (groom); la nuvice (bride); il vistît di nuvice (wedding dress); la nuvice di vuere (war bride).

Verse 23: Laban gives Leah, not Rachel, to Jacob: ma sore sere al cjolè sô fie Lie (but towards evening, he took his daughter Leah), e le menà di Jacop (and led her to Jacob), e chel al lè cun jê (and he lay with her [and that one went with her]).

Verse 24: Laban i cedè la sô sierve Zilpe (Laban gave her his maidservant Zilpah) par ch’e servìs sô fie Lie (so that she would serve his daughter Leah). After par che, the subjunctive is used; e servìs (from the verb servî) is the feminine, third-person singular of the coniuntîf imperfet.

Verse 25: Tal indoman a buinore (next morning), ve ch’e jere Lie (so it was that it was Leah). Ce mi âstu fat?: what have you done to me? No jerino d’acuardi che jo ti fasevi di famei par Rachêl?: were we not in agreement that I would serve you (that I was acting as servant to you) for Rachel? Parcè mi âstu imbroiât?: why have you deceived me?

Versets 26-30

Vocabulary: chi di nô (here amongst us), la usance (custom), maridâ (to wed), plui zovin (younger), prime di (before), plui grant (greater), lassâ (to let), passâ (to pass {by}), la setemane (week), lis gnocis (wedding), il servizi (service), la cjase (house), altris siet agns (seven more years), fâ cussì (to do so), finî (to finish), sposâ (to wed), la fie (daughter), cedi (to cede, to give), la sierve (handmaid, maidservant), servî (to serve), durmî cun (to sleep with), volê ben (to love), restâ famei (to remain a servant), il barbe (uncle).

Verse 26: Chi di nô (here amongst us) no je la usance (it is not the custom) di maridâ la plui zovine (to wed the younger) prime de plui grande (before the elder [greater]).

Verse 27: Ma lasse passâ cheste setemane di gnocis (but let this wedding pass by) e jo ti darai ancje chê altre (and I will give you that other also) pal servizi che tu fasarâs in cjase mê par altris siet agns (for the service that you provide [will do] in my house for another seven years).

Verse 28: E Jacop al fasè cussì (and Jacob did so); al finì chê setemane di gnocis (he waited out [finished] the wedding week) e Laban lu lassà sposâ sô fie Rachêl (and Laban let him wed his daughter Rachel).

Verse 29: Laban i cedè la sô sierve Bile par ch’e servìs sô fie Rachêl: Laban gave her his maidservant Bilhah to serve his daughter Rachel.

Verse 30: Jacop al durmì ancje cun Rachêl: Jacob slept with Rachel also. I voleve plui ben a Rachêl che no a Lie: he loved Rachel more than Leah. Al restà famei cun so barbe par altris siet agns: he remained a servant for (with) his uncle for another seven years.

Versets 31-35

Vocabulary: viodi (to see), lassâ di bande (to leave aside), cjapâ sù (to take up), a la cuâl che (whereas), restâ sterpe (to remain barren), parturî (to bear), il frut (male child), il non (name), meti (to put), il non (name), la streme (affliction), un om (husband), volê ben (to love), tornâ a cjapâ sù (to take up again), capî (to understand), cjapâ sù indaûr (to take up again), chest viaç mo (this time indeed), cjalâ (to look; in this context, to consider), trê (three), cumò (now), la glorie (glory), dâi glorie a Diu (to praise God).

Verse 31: Il Signôr al viodè che Lie e jere lassade di bande (the Lord saw that Leah had been left aside) e i fasè cjapâ sù (and he made her conceive [take up]), a la cuâl che Rachêl e restave sterpe (whereas Rachel remained [was remaining] barren).

Verse 32: Lie e cjapà sù e e parturì un frut: Leah conceived (took up) and bore a male child. I metè non Ruben: she put unto him {the} name Reuben. Il Signôr al à viodude la mê streme: the Lord has seen my affliction. Cumò il gno om mi volarà ben: now my husband will love me.

Verse 33: E tornà a cjapâ sù e e parturì un altri frut: she conceived (took up) again and bore another male child. Il Signôr al à capît che o jeri lassade di bande: the Lord understood that I had been left aside. Mi à dât ancje chest: he has given me this one also. I metè non Simeon: she put unto him {the} name Simeon.

Verse 34: E cjapà sù indaûr e e parturì un frut: she conceived (took up) again and bore a male child. Chest viaç mo il gno om mi cjalarà, che i ai dâts trê fruts: this time indeed my husband will consider me, for I have given him three male children. I metè non Levi: she put unto him {the} name Levi.

Verse 35: E tornà a cjapâ sù e e parturì un frut: she conceived (took up) again and bore a male child. Cumò i darai glorie a Diu: this time I will praise God. Par chel i metè non Gjude: wherefore she put unto him {the} name Judah. No à vûts altris fruts: she bore no other children.