Friulian language series: Gjenesi 32, lote di Jacop

Compared to the last two chapters, Gjenesi 32 in Friulian is an easier read. There is less new vocabulary to contend with, and the grammar is fairly straightforward. The subjects of this thirty-second chapter are: la vision di Macanaim (the vision at Mahanaim), la pôre di Esaù ([Jacob’s] fear of Esau), la lote di Jacop (Jacob’s struggle).

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

Read Gjenesi 32

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 32. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-3

Vocabulary: prin dal dì (early, before daybreak), cjapâ a bracecuel (to throw one’s arms around one’s neck, to embrace), il nevôt (grandson, grandchild; can mean nephew in other contexts), intant (whilst), lâ indenant pe sô strade (to go on one’s way, to head off), presentâsi (to appear, to present oneself), un agnul (angel), co (when), il campament (camp, settlement), il lûc (site, place). Name: Macanaim (Mahanaim).

These first three verses do not present any particular challenge. Note that co (when), in verse 3, is not followed by che.

co ju viodè
cuant che ju viodè
when he saw them

Versets 4-9

Vocabulary: mandâ indenant (to send ahead), il mes (messenger), la campagne (country, field), un ordin (order), cussì (thus, so), il paron (lord), ve ce che (here is what, behold that which), mandâ a dî (to send word), il forest (stranger), intardâsi (to stay, to remain), fin cumò (until now), il bo (ox; plural form is i bûs), il mus (donkey), fâ rivâ la gnove (to send news), vê a grât (to have in one’s favour), tornâ di (to return to), anzit (rather, nay), vignî incuintri (to come towards, to come meet), il spavent (fear, fright), cjapâ un grant spavent (to take a great fright), sintîsi (to feel), glaçâ (to freeze), glaçâsi (to freeze over), il sanc (blood), dividi (to separate, to divide), dî dentri di sè (to say to oneself, to wonder), lâ cuintri di (to go up against; that is, to attack), tacâ (to attack), salvâsi (to save oneself). Names: Seir (Seir), Edom (Edom).

In verse 5, o disarês is the second-person plural of the futûr sempliç of the verb dî. You read: i disarês cussì al gno paron, Esaù (you will say thus to my lord, Esau; that is, this is what you will say to my lord, Esau). The text continues: ve ce che ti mande a dî il to famei Jacop, which you can understand as meaning here is what your servant Jacob sends to you to be said; here is what your servant Jacob asks be said to you.

In verse 6, you find the plural i bûs meaning oxen. Its singular form il il bo. Here are a few supplementary examples of how this noun might be used: i bûs ju dopravin par arâ i cjamps (they used the oxen to plough the fields; doprâ, to use; arâ, to plough, to till), ignorant come un bo (literally, ignorant as an ox).

Jacob sends messengers (i mes) to his brother Esau. In verse 7, the messengers return to Jacob and say: o vin stât di to fradi Esaù (we have been to your brother Esau). They also say: anzit al ven lui incuintri a ti (rather it is he who is coming to you) e al à cuatricent oms cun sè (and he has four hundred men with him).

The expression glaçâsi il sanc means to have one’s blood freeze over (in fear). Example: a sintî ciertis notiziis si glace il sanc (hearing certain news makes one’s blood freeze over; that is, hearing some news sends a chill down your spine; ciert, certain; la notizie, [piece of] news). In verse 8, you read: Jacop al cjapà un grant spavent (Jacob took a great fright) e si sintì a glaçâ il sanc (and he felt his blood freeze over). Sintîsi means to feel; for example: sintîsi strac (to feel tired), sintîsi conturbât (to feel distressed). In si sintì a glaçâ il sanc, you will note the use of a following sintîsi; you will also note that the si of sintîsi has allowed for the si of glacâsi to not be expressed.

Versets 10-13

Vocabulary: ordenâ (to order, to command), la patrie (fatherland, homeland), dâ une man (to help, to assist, to lend a hand), mertâ (to deserve; also expressed as meretâ), il plasê (favour), il bonvolê (goodwill), il baston (staff, rod), jessi in grât di fâ (to be able to do), vê pôre di (to be afraid of), fruçâ (to strike down, to destroy), dutun cun (along with), pûr (used in the sense of even here; tu âs pûr dit, you have even said), colmâ di (to fill with), il benefizi (benefit, advantage; also expressed as il benefici), un sore chel altri (one after another; literally, one upon the other), il savalon (sand), il mâr (sea), contâ (to count). Names: il Gjordan (Jordan).

The verb mertâ (or meretâ) means to deserve. In verse 11, you read: no mi merti ducj i plasês (I do not deserve all the favours) e dut il bonvolê (and all the goodwill) che tu âs vût pal to famei (that you have had for your servant). You see that mertâ is used reflexively here (no mi merti), which is also possible. More examples of this verb include: meretâ la promozion (to deserve the promotion), al à dimostrât di meretâ fiducie (he has proven to be worthy of trust; literally, he has proven to deserve trust; dimostrâ, to show, to prove; la fiducie, trust), nol meretave di lâ a finîle cussì (he did not deserve to end up like that).

Note the use of the subjunctive in verse 12, when Jacob says of Esau: che nol vegni e che nus fruci (may he not come and strike us down). Observe:

al ven
che al vegni
che nol vegni
he comes
may he come
may he not come

al fruce
che al fruci
che nol fruci
he strikes down
may he strike down
may he not strike down

On its own, che nus fruci means may he strike us down; as part of che nol vegni e che nus fruci, it is to be understood as meaning may he not strike us down, where the negation is understood from che nol vegni. The Friulian wording is not dissimilar to that of the English may he not come and strike us down, where not is not repeated.

In verse 13, Jacob cites God as having said the following of the sand of the sea (and, by extension, Jacob’s offspring): no si rive nancje a contâlu cun tant che and è (one cannot even count it with how much of it there is; it cannot even be counted with how much of it there is).

A ’nd è (found here as and è) is a contraction of al indi è. Indi is the full written form; in formal written language, it can be used in all situations. The use of the Bible follows spoken usage with regards to indi, however.

In spoken language, if the verb after indi begins with a consonant, the final i drops and the d changes to t; if the verb begins with a vowel, the d is maintained. The initial i of indi drops when it is preceded by a vowel. Note that al changes to a; now that it ends in a vowel, it causes the loss of the initial i. The same applies to nol; it first changes to no, meaning it now ends in a vowel; this causes the loss of the initial i.

a ’nd è
there is (some) of it

a ’nt sarà

there will be (some) of it

lui a ’nd à
he has (some) of it
he has (some) of them

lui no ’nd à
he has not (any) of it
he has not (any) of them

o ’nd ai
I have (some) of it
I have (some) of them

no tu ’nd âs
you do not have (any) of it
you do not have (any) of them

ind âstu?
have you (any) of it?
have you (any) of them?

int vuelistu?
do you want (any) of it?
do you want (any) of them?

o ’nt viôt
I see (some) of it
I see (some) of them

o ’nt vuei trê
I want three of them

us int doi cuatri
I give you four of them

Versets 14-19

Vocabulary: fâ un regâl (to give a gift), la cjavre ([female] goat), il bec ([male] goat), la piore ([female] sheep, ewe), il roc ([male] sheep, ram), camelis di lat (milk camels), il piçul (baby, offspring), la vacje ([female] cow), il taur ([male] cow, bull), la musse ([female] donkey), il mussut (baby donkey, foal), consegnâ (to give, to deliver), ognidun (each one), il rodul (used here in the sense of drove, herd), a part (aside, apart; used here in the sense of unto himself), lâ denant di (to go before), stâ un pôc lontan di (to stay at a certain distance from; literally, to stay a little far from), un dal altri (from one another), incuintrâ (to meet), domandâ (to ask), vignî daûr di (to follow behind, to come behind).

Review the following numbers taken from these verses: dusinte (two hundred), vincj (twenty), trente (thirty), corante (forty; also expressed as cuarante), dîs (ten). Review how to count in Friulian.

In verse 17, you will recognise lait and stait as being second-person plural imperative forms: lait denant di me (go before me) e stait un pôc lontans un dal altri (and remain at a certain distance from one another).

In verse 18, you can understand al prin i dè chest ordin as meaning to the first (servant) he gave the following order. In this same verse, the question di cui sêstu? means whose are you?; that is, whose servant are you? (literally, of whom are you?). The question là vâstu? asks where are you going?, where is synonymous with dulà. You also find the question di cui sono chescj nemâi devant di te? (whose animals are these before you?; literally, of whom are these animals before you?). In verse 19, Jacob tells the servant to respond with: a son dal to famei Jacop (they are your servant Jacob’s; literally, they are of your servant Jacob).

Versets 20-22

Vocabulary: stes (same), cjaminâ daûr di (to walk behind, to follow), cjatâ (to find), rivâ daûr di (to arrive behind, to arrive after), di fat (as a matter of fact), bonâ (to appease, to pacify), podopo (then), salacôr (perhaps), fâ biel plait (to address well), passâ indenant (to go forward), fermâsi (to stop over).

Following on from al prin i dè chest ordin (to the first [servant] he gave the following order) in verse 18, you now find in verse 20: al dè il stes ordin al secont e al tierç (he gave the same order to the second [servant] and to the third [servant]).

You will recall that o vês is the second-person plural of the presint indicatîf of the verb vê. In verse 20, you read: ve cemût che o vês di fevelâi a Esaù (here is how you have to speak to Esau). In verse 21, you read: o vês di dîi (you have to say to him).

Rivant is the present participle of the verb rivâ. In verse 21, you find: al sta rivant daûr di nô (he is arriving behind us; that is, he is on his way behind us).

Versets 23-26

Vocabulary: stesse (same; feminine form of stes), in chê stesse gnot (on that same night), jevâ (to arise, to get up), cjapâ sù (to gather), undis (eleven), il flum (river), passâ l’aghe (to cross the water), fâ passâ l’aghe (to make [someone] cross the water), restâ dibessôl (to remain on one’s own), un (used in verse 25 in the sense of [some]one), lotâ (to fight, to battle), fin cuant che (until such time as), cricâ dì (to become day; literally, to break day), no rivâ adore di (to not manage to), vinci (to defeat; to prevail, to win), molâ un colp (to strike; literally, to release a strike, a hit, a blow), la cidule (joint), un ombul (hip), la cidule dal ombul (hip joint), dissipâsi (to get injured), intant che (whilst). Names: Jabok (Jabbok).

Learn whatever usages are new to you above, and read these verses; they should not present any particular challenge beyond new vocabulary. In verse 25, you read: e un al lotà cun lui fin cuant che al cricà dì. In this, un means (some)one, some man. You can understand this text as meaning and a man fought with him until daybreak. The expression cricâ dì can be understood literally as meaning to break day; fin cuant che al cricà dì translates literally, then, as until it broke day.

The “man” with whom Jacob wrestles is an angel; Jacob identifies this angel with God in verse 31 ahead.

Versets 27-31

Vocabulary: chel altri (the other “man”), molâ (to release, to let out, to let go), vignî dì (to become day), benedî (to bless), il non (name), clamâ (to call), tignî dûr cuintri (to hold steadfast against, to hold up against), fâ une domande (to ask a question), par plasê (please), in chel (at that moment), muse a muse (face to face), instès (nonetheless; also expressed as istès, distès), salf (safe, spared), vê salve la vite (to have one’s life spared). Names: Israel (Israel), Penuel (Peniel).

The verb molâ means to release, to let out, to let go. In verse 27, the angel says: molimi (let go of me), che al ven dì (for day is breaking). The second-person singular imperative form of molâ is mole; you will remember that the final e becomes i when mi is added: molimi. Jacob responds: no ti moli fin che no tu mi âs benedît (I shall not let go of you until you have blessed me). No ti moli translates literally as I do not let go of you, using the present tense; English uses the future tense here instead. In fin che no tu mi âs benedît, note the use of no, which is not expressed in English.

In verse 28, the angel asks Jacob: ce non âstu? (what is your name?). You will have understood that what name have you? is what this question asks literally. In verse 29, the angel says: no ti clamaran plui Jacop ma Israel (you will no longer be called Jacob but Israel; literally, they will no longer call you Jacob but Israel). No ti clamaran plui translates literally as they will no longer call you, they will not call you anymore; the “they” in question is an impersonal usage referring to all people in general.

Still in verse 29, the angel continues by saying: tu âs tignût dûr cuintri Diu (you have held steadfast against God) e cuintri i oms (and against men) e tu le âs vinçude (and you have prevailed).

Jacob, in verse 30, asks the angel what his name is: par plasê, disimi il to non (tell me your name, please). Note also in verse 30 how the expression to ask a question is worded in Friulian: Jacop i fasè cheste domande (Jacob asked him the following question); the Friulian is fâ une domande (to ask a question; literally, to make a question).

Versets 32-33

Vocabulary: il soreli (sun), za (already), çueteâ (to limp), par vie di (because of, on account of), par chel (for that reason), ancjemò in dì di vuê (still today), il gnerf siatic (sciatic nerve), il zûc de gjambe (hip joint), ufindi (to offend; used here in the sense of to damage, to hurt; also expressed as ofindi), propit te cidule (right in the joint).

Of the verb çueteâ (to limp), a supplementary example: al à rote la gjambe e ancje daspò gjavât il zes al à çueteât par un mês (he broke his leg and, even after the cast had been removed, he limped for a month). New usages from that example include: rompi (to break; its past participle is rot), il zes (cast). You will recall that gjavâ means to remove. Ancje daspò gjavât il zes can be understood more literally as even after (had been) removed the cast.

The Friulian verb ufindi (or ofindi) means to offend. Example: lis sôs peraulis insolentis a àn ofindût ducj (his insolent words have offended everybody). This verb can also take on the sense of to damage, to hurt; another example: la feride no à ofindût nissun orghin vitâl (the injury has not damaged any internal organ). From these supplementary examples, learn the following vocabulary: insolent (insolent, arrogant), la feride (injury), un orghin (organ), vitâl (vital).