Friulian language series: Gjenesi 33, incuintri cun Esaù

In your study of Friulian, you have now reached the thirty-third chapter of the book of Genesis, where the subjects are: incuintri cun Esaù (meeting with Esau), Jacop al compre il cjamp di Sichem (Jacob buys the land at Shechem).

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Read Gjenesi 33

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 An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-5

Vocabulary: alçâ i vôi (to lift one’s eyes, to look up), compagnât di (accompanied by), dividi (to divide, to separate), il frut (child), devant (in front), plui indaûr (farther behind), plui indaûr ancjemò (farther behind still), intant (meanwhile), passâ denant (to move ahead, to pass in front), butâsi par tiere (to take to the ground [in deference]), siet voltis (seven times), prime di (before), lâ dongje (to approach, to go near), cori incuintri (to run towards), strengi (to squeeze; also written strenzi), strengi tai braçs (to take into one’s arms; that is, to hug, to embrace; literally, to squeeze in one’s arms), cjapâ a bracecuel (to throw one’s arms around one’s neck, to embrace), bussâ (to kiss), vaî (to cry, to weep), fâ la gracie di (to bestow, to make the concession of).

In verse 1, you read that Jacob lifts his eyes and sees Esau coming: al viodè Esaù che al rivave (he saw Esau who was arriving). Esau was not alone: [al jere] compagnât di cuatricent oms (he was accompanied by four hundred men). You then read: al dividè i fruts fra Lie, Rachêl e lis dôs siervis, which you will understand as meaning he separated the children between Leah, Rachel and the two handmaids.

In verse 2, you find a number of usages that indicate position in relation to others: al metè devant lis siervis cui lôr fruts (he put the handmaids with their childen at the front), plui indaûr Lie cui siei fruts (Leah with her children farther behind) e plui indaûr ancjemò Rachêl e Josef (and Rachel and Joseph farther behind still).

> indaûr
>> plui indaûr
>>> plui indaûr ancjemò

You will recognise, in verse 4, a vairin as being the third-person plural of the passât sempliç of the verb vaî (to cry, to weep).

In verse 5, Esau asks Jacob who the people accompanying him are: cui ese cheste int che tu âs li? (who are these people that you have here?). You will notice that Friulian uses the third-person singular form of the verb with la int because it is a singular noun; English uses the plural people: cui ese cheste int? (who are these people?). Jacob responds to the question: a son i fruts (they are the children) che Diu al à volût (whom God was willing) fâi la gracie al so famei (to bestow upon his servant). You will have recognised volût as being the past participle of the verb volê.

Versets 6-11

Vocabulary: in fin (finally, in the end), domandâ (to ask), cjatâ pe strade (to find on one’s way; in other contexts, this can mean to find in the street, to come across when out and about), vê a grât (to have in one’s favour, to look favourably upon), avonde (enough), tignî (to keep), preâ (to pray, to beg), il regâl (gift), compagn che (as though, just as), un acet (welcome, reception; that is, the act of receiving someone), fâ un acet di cûr (to receive warmly, to give a warm reception), cjoli (to take), puartâ (to bring), judâ (to help), vê fin parsore il cjâf di (to have a great deal of, to have more than enough of), midiant che (given that), tignî dûr (to hold steadfast, to insist), acetâ (to accept).

Esau, in verse 8, asks Jacob about the large number of animals: ce ese dute chê mandrie (what is all that flock) che o ai cjatade pe strade? (that I found on my way?). Jacob responds by saying: e je par che il gno paron mi vedi a grât (it is so that my lord may have me in his favour). You will remember that al vedi is the masculine, third-person singular of the coniuntîf presint of the verb vê.

il gno paron mi à a grât
par che il gno paron mi vedi a grât
my lord has me in his favour
so that my lord may have me in his favour

In verse 9, Esau tells Jacob that he has enough of his own: fradi, o ai avonde robe (brother, I have enough): tegniti ce che al è to (keep for yourself what is yours). You will recall that, depending on context, la robe can mean thing[s], stuff, stock, possessions. In colloquial usage, o ai avonde robe could be used, for example, in the sense of I have enough stuff, I have enough things.

Jacob insists that Esau accept his gift. In verse 10, he says: no, ti prei (no, please; no, I insist; literally, no, I pray you). He also says: cjape des mês mans il gno regâl (take my gift from my hands). Although I pray you is formal in English, its Friulian equivalent ti prei is not; it is often used where English says please.

Still in verse 10, Jacob says to Esau: jo o soi vignût denant di te (I have come before you) compagn che si va denant di Diu (just as one comes before God). He comments on the reception that Esau has given him: tu mi âs fat un acet di cûr (you have received me warmly). You will recall that il cûr is the Friulian for heart; more literally, fâ un acet di cûr might be understood as meaning to give a heart-felt reception.

In verse 11, Jacob continues to insist with his brother. He says: Diu mi à judât (God has helped me) e ind ài fin parsore il cjâf (and I have more than enough; literally, I have of it over the head).

Versets 12-17

Vocabulary: gjavâ (to remove), gjavâ lis tendis (to dismantle the tents), partî (to leave), savê pûr che (to know well that), delicadut (delicate, tender, fragile), mi tocje di (I have to, I must), la piore (sheep), la vacje di lat (milk cow), strapaçâ (to overwork, to wear out), dome une dì (just one day), a planc a planc (little by little, bit by bit, slowly), a pas cun (in step with), permeti (to allow, to permit), almancul (at least), lassâ (to leave, to give), un pocje di (some of, a bit of), bastâ (to be sufficient), ta chê stesse dì (on the same day), tornâ de bande di (to return towards, to head back to), partî par (to leave for), fâ sù (to build, to erect), cjasais pai nemâi (huts for the animals), par chel (therefore, for this reason), meti non (to name), il lûc (site, spot). Name: Sucot (Succoth).

In verse 12, you find two first-person plural imperative forms: gjavìn (let us remove) and partìn (let us leave). In the same verse, you will recognise o larai as being the first-person singular of the futûr sempliç of the verb lâ.

In verse 13, Jacob says the following about his animals: se si strapacilis (if one overworks them) dome une dì (even one day; literally; only one day) mi van dutis lis bestiis (all the beasts will die on me; literally, all the beasts will go on me). The verb strapaçâ means to overwork, to wear out. Se si strapace can be understood as meaning if one overworks, and se si strapacilis as if one overworks them.

You will recognise, in verse 14, al ledi as being the masculine, third-person singular of the coniuntîf presint of the verb lâ. You read: che al ledi alore il gno paron (may my lord then go) denant dal so famei (before his servant). A little farther along, you find the third-person plural form a ledin, when you read: daûr che a ledin i fruts (may the children go behind). In the same verse still, Jacob also says: fin che o rivarai li dal gno paron, a Seir (until I arrive unto my lord, at Seir; literally, until I shall arrive).

Esau, in verse 15, says to Jacob: tu permetarâs almancul (you will at least allow) che ti lassi (that I leave you) un pocje di chê int (some of those people) che o ai cun me (whom I have with me). Jacob responds by asking: parcè po? (but why?, but for what reason?; literally, why then?). He continues by saying: mi baste (it is sufficient to me) che il gno paron mi vedi a grât (that my lord have me in his favour); in other words, it is enough for me that my lord have me in his favour.

Versets 18-20

Vocabulary: san e salf (safe and sound), in face de citât (before the city, facing the city), comprâ (to buy), un toc d’arint (piece of silver), comprâ par cent tocs d’arint (to buy for one hundred pieces of silver; that is, to buy at the price of one hundred pieces of silver), la part (part, parcel, piece), la campagne (land, open), plantâ une tende (to pitch a tent), fâ sù un altâr (to erect an altar), clamâ (to call). Name: Camor (Hamor), El (El; that is, God), Israel (Israel).

In verse 19, you read that Jacob buys the portion of land where he had pitched his tent: al comprà […] la part di campagne (he bought the portion of land) là che al veve plantade la sô tende (where he had pitched his tent). He obtained it for one hundred pieces of silver: par cent tocs d’arint (for one hundred pieces of silver).

You read in verse 20: e li al fasè sù un altâr (and there he erected an altar) che lu clamà (which he called): «El al è il Diu di Israel» (“El is the God of Israel”). The Friulian El al è il Diu di Israel is a translation of the Hebrew name given to the altar.