Friulian language series: Gjenesi 43, Beniamin in Egjit

The forty-third chapter of the book of Genesis tells of Benjamin in Egypt: Beniamin in Egjit.

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Versets 1-7

Vocabulary: la fan (hunger; also fam), masse (too, excessively), trement (horrendous, frightful), la regjon (region), finî (to finish, to end), mangjâ (to eat), il forment (grain), puartâ dongje (to bring back), il pari (father), tornâ jù (to go back down), viodi (to see), rivâ a fâ (to be able to do, to manage to do), comprâ (to buy, to acquire), ancjemò (yet, still, another), alc (something), rispuindi (to respond), un om (man), za (already), visâ (to warn), presentâsi (to present oneself), devant di (before, in front of), il fradi (brother), disponût (disposed), lassâ (to let, to allow), partî (to leave, to depart), lâ jù (to go down), vignî (to come), cence (without), la opare (deed, action), volê (to want), savê (to know), la famee (family), domandâ (to ask), vîf (alive), in merit (accordingly, on that account), menâ jù (to bring down).

Verses 1-2: Ma la fan e jere masse tremende te regjon (but the hunger was much too horrendous in the region) e cuant che a verin finît di mangjâ il forment (and when they had finished eating the grain) che a vevin puartât dongje dal Egjit (that they had brought back from Egypt), lôr pari ur disè (their father said to them): tornait jù (go back down) e viodêt s’o rivais a comprâ ancjemò alc (and see if you can buy something more [yet something]). A verin finît is composed of the third-person plural of the passât sempliç of the auxiliary + the past participle finît: this is known as the trapassât sempliç. S’o is a contraction of se + o.

Verse 3: Judah says: chel om nus à za visâts (that man has already warned us): no stait a presentâsi devant di me (do not present yourselves before me) se no vês cun vualtris ancje vuestri fradi (if you have not also your brother with you).

Verses 4-5: Se tu sês disponût a lassâ partî ancje nestri fradi cun nô (if you are disposed to allow also our brother to leave with us), o lin jù e ti comprìn di mangjâ (we will go down [we go down] and buy you {that which} to eat), ma se no tu lu lassis vignî (but if you do not allow him to come), no lin jù nancje nô (not even we will go down [not even we go down]), parcè che chel om nus à dit (for that man said to us): no stait a presentâsi devant di me cence vuestri fradi (do not present yourselves before me without your brother). Review word order: tu tu lassis vignî; tu lassis vignî (you let come); tu no tu lassis vignî; no tu lassis vignî (you do not let come); tu tu lu lassis vignî; tu lu lassis vignî (you let him come); tu no tu lu lassis vignî; no tu lu lassis vignî (you do not let him come).

Verse 6: Israel says: parcè mo mi vêso fate (why ever have you done to me) chê opare di dî (that deed of saying) che o vevis ancjemò un fradi? (that you had [were having] another brother?).

Verse 7: The brothers respond: parcè che l’om al à volût savê dut di nô (because the man wanted to know all about us) e de nestre famee (and about our family) e nus à domandât (and he asked us): vuestri pari esal ancjemò vîf? (is your father yet alive?); vêso ancjemò un fradi? (have you another brother?); e nô i vin rispuindût in merit (and we answered him accordingly). Ce podevino savê che nus varès vût dit (how could we have known [what were we able to know] that he would have happened to say to us): menaitmi jù vuestri fradi? (bring your brother down to me?). With al varès vût dit, you encounter what is known as un timp bicomponût (bicompound tense); read more about this in the notes at Esodo 13:8.

Versets 8-14

Vocabulary: il pari (father), lassâ (to let, to allow), il frut (boy, lad), vignî (to come), anìn (let us go, off we go), partî (to leave, to depart), daurman (at once), la voe (will, want; also voie), restâ (to remain, to stay), vîf (alive), murî (to die), la int (people), la schene (back; of human body), rispuindi di (to answer for), domandâ (to ask), il cont (account, reckoning), rivâ (to arrive, to come), puartâ indaûr (to bring back), presentâ (to present), il voli (eye), puartâ (to take/bring, to bear), la colpe (blame), la vite (life), intardâsi (to linger, to delay), la ore (hour, time), tornâ indaûr (to come back), secont (second), la volte (time), il sanscugnî (necessity; also sant scugnî), cjoli (to take), il prodot (produce, product), sielt (select, choice), la tiere (land), un pôc di (a bit of), il balsim (balsam), la mîl (honey), une grampe di (a handful of), l’adragant (tragacanth), il laudìn (laudanum), une zumiele di (a handful of), il pistoc (pistachio; also pistac), la mandule (almond), cjoli (to take), i bêçs (money), al indopli (in double), tornâ (to return, to restore), meti (to put, to place), un ôr (edge), il sac (sack), salacor (perhaps), fâ a pueste (to do on purpose), menâsi dâur (to take along), il fradi (brother), cjatâ (to find), il boncûr (compassion), in mût che (so that), jessi distin (to be destined; also destin), pierdi (to lose).

Verse 8: Alore Gjude i disè a so pari Israel (Judah then said to his father Israel): lasse che il frut al vegni cun me (let the lad come with me). Anìn (come now), partìn daurman (let us leave at once) se o vin voe di restâ vîfs (if we want to remain alive) e di no murî (and not die), nô, te e dute la int che o vin su pe schene (we ourselves, you and all the people for whom we are responsible [whom we have upon our backs [upon the back]).

Verse 9: O rispuint jo di lui (I will answer [I answer] for him myself) e tu mi domandarâs cont a mi (and it is of me that you may require [you will ask for] a reckoning): se mi rive di no puartâtal indaûr (if I should so happen [if unto me it comes; arrives] not to bring him back) e di no presentâtal devant dai vôi (and not to present him before your eyes [and not to present him unto you before the eyes]), mi puartarai la colpe par in vite (I will take the blame upon myself for life).

Verse 10: Se no si fossin intardâts tant (if we had not lingered so long), a di chest’ore o saressin biel tornâts indaûr pe seconde volte (we would have already been back for the second time [by now we would have fully returned for the second time]).

Verse 11: Jacob says: se al è un sanscugnî (if it must be so [if it is a necessity]), fasêt come che o vês dit (do as you have said), cjolêt però i prodots plui sielts de nestre tiere (but take the most choice products of our land) e puartaitjai a di chel om (and bring them to that man): un pôc di balsim, un pocje di mîl (a bit of balsam, a bit of honey), une grampe di adragant e di laudin (a handful of tragacanth and laudanum) e une zumiele di pistocs e di mandulis (and a handful of pistachios and almonds). Puartaitjai: puartait is a second-person plural imperative; added to this is jai, a contraction of i + ju (unto him + them), where ju stands in for the plural prodots. Note the difference in agreement between un pôc di balsim and un pocje di mîl, where pôc is made to agree in gender and number with the noun.

Verse 12: Cjolêt bêçs al indopli (take double the money [money in double]) e tornaitjur i bêçs (and restore to them the money) che a vevin metûts sul ôr dai vuestris sacs (that they had placed at the mouths of your sacks [on the edge of your sacks]): salacor a àn fat a pueste (perhaps they did it on purpose).

Verse 13: Menaitsi daûr vuestri fradi e lait (take your brother along and go), tornait di chel om (return to that man).

Verse 14: Che El-Shadai us fasi cjatâ boncûr in chel om (may El-Shaddai have you receive compassion from [make you find compassion in] that man), in mût che us torni chel altri fradi e Beniamin (that he may restore to you your other brother and Benjamin). Par me (as for me), se al è distin che o pierdi i miei fîs (if it is destined that I should lose my sons), ju pierdarai (I will lose them).

Versets 15-18

Vocabulary: un om (man), cjoli (to take), il regâl (gift), dopli (double), i bêçs (money), partî (to leave, to depart), lâ jù (to go down), presentâsi (to present oneself), devant di (before, in front of), viodi (to see), il sorestant (chief), menâ (to bring, to conduct), la int (people), fâ fûr (to kill, to slaughter), il nemâl (animal), preparâ (to prepare), a misdì (at noon), gustâ (to dine, to lunch), ordenâ (to order, to instruct), la cjase (house), cjapâ (to take), la pôre (fear, fright), culì (here), par vie di (on account of), cjatâ (to find), il sac (sack), la volte (time), plombâ parmìs (to attack), brincâ (to capture, to seize), il sclâf (slave), il mus (ass, donkey).

Verse 15: I nestris oms a cjolerin, alore, chest regâl (so the men [our men] took that gift [this gift]), doplis bêçs (double the money) e Beniamin (as well as [and] Benjamin) e a partirin (and they departed) e a lerin jù in Egjit (and went down to Egypt) e si presentarin devant di Josef (and presented themselves before Joseph). The brothers are referred to literally in the Friulian as i nestris oms (our men).

Verse 16: Cuant che Josef ju viodè cun Beniamin (when Joseph saw them with Benjamin), i disè al so sorestant (he said to his chief): mene cheste int in cjase mê (bring these men [people] into my house), fâs fûr un nemâl e preparilu (slaughter and animal and prepare it), che cheste int a misdì e gustarà cun me (for these men [people] will dine with me at noon).

Verse 17: L’om al fasè come che Josef i veve ordenât (the man did as Joseph had instructed him) e al menà i nestris oms in cjase di Josef (and brought the men [our men] into Joseph’s house).

Verse 18: I nestris oms a cjaparin pôre (the men [our men] took fright) viodint che ju menavin te cjase di Josef (upon seeing that they were being brought into Joseph’s house [seeing that they were bringing them into the house of Joseph]) e a diserin (and they said): o viodarês che nus menin culì (you will see that they are bringing us here) par vie dai bêçs (on account of the money) che o vin cjatâts intai sacs (that we found in the sacks) chê altre volte (the other time [that other time]): nus plombin parmìs, nus brìnchin e nus fasin sclâfs cui nestris mus (they will attack us, seize us and enslave us along with our asses [they come down about us, seize us and make us slaves with our asses]). The use of the presint indicatîf in the last sentence emphasises the conviction that such events will occur.

Versets 19-25

Vocabulary: lâ dongje (to draw near, to approach), il sorestant (chief), fevelâ (to speak), un antîl (door frame, jamb), la cjase (house), il paron (lord), za (already),vignî jù (to come down), un viaç (once, one time), comprâ (to buy, to acquire), il gjenar (provisions), rivâ (to arrive, to come), decidi (to decide), campâsi (to encamp), la gnot (night), viergi (to open; also vierzi), il sac (sack), i bêçs (money), propit (right, squarely), parsore vie (over top), contâ (to count), puartâ indaûr (to bring back), savê (to know), meti (to put, to place), il forment (grain), rispuindi (to respond), la pâs (peace), la pôre (fear, fright), il pari (father), il tesaur (treasure), la man (hand), menâ (to bring, to conduct), fâ comodâ (to make sit down, to make get comfortable), la int (people), lavâ (to wash), il pît (foot), il fen (hay), il mus (ass, donkey), intant (whilst, as), spietâ (to wait for, to await), gustâ (to dine, to lunch), tirâ fûr (to take out, to pull out), il regâl (gift), mangjâ (to eat).

Verses 19-21: I lerin dongje al sorestant di Josef (they went up to Joseph’s chief) e i fevelarin stant sul antîl di cjase (and spoke to him standing at the doorstep [door frame] of the house): paron, i diserin (my lord, they said), nô o sin za vignûts jù un viaç a comprâ gjenar (we have come once before to buy provisions) e cuant che o sin rivâts là che o vevin decidût di campâsi pe gnot (and when we arrived where we had decided to encamp for the night), o vin vierts i nestris sacs (we opened our sacks) e i bêçs a jerin propit parsore vie dai sacs (and our money [the money] was right at the top of the sacks), i bêçs contâts (money in full [counted]), e nô cumò ju* vin tornâts a puartâ indaûr (and now we have brought it back [brought them* back again]). *Bêçs (money) is a masculine plural noun, which is why the masculine plural ju (them) is used.

Verse 22: O vin puartâts altris bêçs par comprâ gjenar: we have brought more money to buy provisions. Nô no savìn cui che al à metûts i nestris bêçs intai sacs di forment: we do not know who put our money in the sacks of grain.

Verse 23: He responds: daitsi la pâs e no stait a vê pôre (be at peace [give yourselves peace] and fear not). Al è stât il vuestri Diu (it was your God) e il Diu di vuestri pari (and the God of your father) che us à metût un tesaur tai vuestris sacs di forment (who put a treasure in your sacks of grain [who unto you put a treasure in your sacks of grain]); i vuestris bêçs ju ai vûts jo tes mans (it was I who received your money in hand [your money, I got them* I {myself} in {my} hands]). In ju ai vûts, the verb takes on the sense of to get, to receive: o ai vût (I got, I received). *Bêçs (money) is a masculine plural noun, which is why the masculine plural ju (them) is used. E ur menà Simeon: and he brought Simeon to them.

Verse 24: L’om al fasè comodâ la nestre int te cjase di Josef (the man sat the men [our men] down in Joseph’s house), ur puartà l’aghe par lavâsi i pîts (brought them water to wash their feet [wash unto themselves the feet]) e ur puartà il fen ai mus (and brought hay to the asses).

Verse 25: Intant che a spietavin che Josef al rivàs a gustâ (as they waited [were waiting] for Joseph to come dine), a tirarin fûr il regâl (they took out the gift), parcè che a vevin savût che a mangjavin li di lui (for they had learnt [known*] that they were to eat [that they were eating] at his place). The verb savê (to know) takes on the sense of to find out, to learn in a vevin savût (they had found out; they had learnt). Consider the following: lôr a savevin (they knew [were knowing]); lôr a an savût (they found out [have found out]; they learnt [have learnt]). More examples: jo o savevi (I knew [was knowing]); jo o ai savût (I found out [have found out]; I learnt [have learnt]); jo o vevi savût (I had found out; I had learnt).

Versets 26-34

Vocabulary: jentrâ (to enter, to go/come in), la cjase (house), ufrî (to offer), il regâl (gift), puartâ (to bring, to take), butâsi (to throw oneself), la muse (face), par tiere (on the ground), saludâ (to greet), ridi (to laugh), domandâ (to ask), il pari (father), vieli (old), fevelâ (to speak), ancjemò (yet, still), vîf (alive), in genoglon (on one’s knees; also zenoglon), il cjâf (head), alçâ (to raise, to lift), il voli (eye), viodi (to see), il fradi (brother), il fi (son), la mari (mother), piçul (small, little), la furtune (fortune), saltâ fûr (to go/come out), la corse (running), ingropâsi par (to become moved by), sglonf (swelled), la cjamare (bedroom, bedchamber), metisi (to start, to take to), vaî (to weep, to cry), lavâ (to wash), tornâ dentri (to go [come] back in), il cûr (heart), fuart (strong), ordenâ (to order, to command), mangjâ (to eat), servî (to serve), a part (separately), compagn (likewise), un egjizian (Egyptian), insiemit (together), un ebreu (Hebrew), la robe (thing, matter), orent (abhorrent), plaçâ (to place, to set), in face di (facing), daûr (by, according to), l’etât (age), cjalâsi (to look at one another), la pronuncie (utterance, diction), il plat (plate, dish), il miôr (best), il toc (bit, morsel), la purizion (portion), bevi (to drink), cinc (five), la volte (time), infinamai che (until), deventâ (to become), legri (merry).

Verse 26: Cuant che Josef al jentrà in cjase (when Joseph came into the house), i ufririn il regâl che i vevin puartât (they offered to him the gift that they had brought for him) e si butarin cu la muse par tiere (and went down with their faces to the ground). Si butarin cu la muse par tiere: taken literally, si butarin (they threw themselves) cu la muse (with the face) par tiere (on the ground); the sense here is that they went down in deference before Joseph, pressing their faces to the ground.

Verse 27: Ma lui ju saludà cun muse ridint (but he greeted them with a smiling face [laughing face]) e ur domandà (and asked them): cemût staial po vuestri pari (how then is your father), vieli come che al è (old as he is), che mi vevis fevelât? (of whom you had spoken to me?). Esal ancjemò vîf?: is he yet alive?

Verse 28: The brothers respond: il to famei, nestri pari, al sta ben (your servant our father is well), al è ancjemò vîf (he is yet alive). E si butarin in genoglon e cul cjâf par tiere: and they went down on their knees and with their heads to the ground.

Verse 29: Alçant i vôi (lifting his eyes), Josef al viodè so fradi Beniamin (Joseph saw his brother Benjamin), fi di sô mari (his mother’s son), e al domandà (and asked): esal chel chi il vuestri fradi plui piçul, che mi vevis fevelât? (is that [is that one here] your youngest [littlest] brother of whom you had spoken to me?). Joseph says to Benjamin: che Diu ti dedi furtune, fi gno (may God grant you fortune, my son).

Verse 30: E Josef al saltà fûr di corse (and Joseph rushed out [went out in haste]) parcè che si jere ingropât par so fradi (for he had been moved by his brother) e al veve i vôi sglonfs (and his eyes had swelled [he was having swelled eyes]); al jentrà te cjamare e si metè a vaî (he went into his bedchamber and began to weep). The feminine noun corse refers to the act of running; di corse can be taken as meaning in haste, and saltâ fûr di corse can be rendered idiomatically in English as to run out, to rush out, to hurry out.

Verse 31: Dopo di vêsi lavade la muse (after having washed his face), al tornà dentri (he came back in) e, fasinsi il cûr fuart (and, plucking up courage [unto himself making the heart strong]), al ordenà (ordered): puartait di mangjâ (serve the meal; bring out the food [bring {that which} to eat]).

Verse 32: Lui lu servirin a part (they served him separately), ancje lôr a part (and them separately also) e compagn i egjizians che a mangjavin in cjase sô (and likewise the Egyptians who would eat in his house), parcè che i egjizians no podevin mangjâ insiemit cui ebreus (for the Egyptians could not eat together with the Hebrews): e sarès stade par lôr une robe orende (it would have been for them an abhorrent thing).

Verse 33: A jerin plaçâts in face di lui (they were seated [placed] facing him), daûr l’etât (according to age; by order of age), dal plui grant al plui piçul (from oldest to youngest), e i nestris oms si cjalavin in muse (and the men stared at one another [and our men were looking at one another in the face]) cence pronuncie (without uttering a word [without utterance]).

Verse 34: Ma lui ur fasè puartâ, dal so plat, i miôrs tocs (but from his plate he had the best morsels brought to them) e la purizion di Beniamin e jere cinc voltis chê di ducj chei altris (and Benjamin’s portion was five times that of all the others). A beverin insiemit infinamai che a deventarin legris: they drank together until they became merry.