Friulian language series: Gjenesi 44, cjaliç di Josef

You will now study the Friulian text of the forty-fourth chapter of the book of Genesis. In Gjenesi 44, the subject is il cjaliç di Josef (Joseph’s chalice).

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Read Gjenesi 44

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 An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-9

Vocabulary: il sorestant (chief; steward), jemplâ (to fill), ognidun (each one [of them]), parsore vie (on top), il cjaliç (chalice), d’arint (made of silver), daûr (according to), ordenâ (to order, to command), sul cricâ dal dì (at daybreak), no… dibot nancje (scarcely), no… lafè (not in the least), svelt (quick), cori daûr (to pursue, to go after), brincâ (to seize), il mâl (evil), il ben (good), doprâ (to use), induvinâ (to divine; that is, to predict, to foretell, in the practice of divination), fâ mâl a fâ cussì (to commit wrong in doing such a thing; literally, to do wrong by doing thus), sichè (therefore), une part dal gjenar (a deed of the sort), puartâ vie (to take away), arint o aur (silver or gold), vê intorsi (to have on oneself, to have on one’s person), il sclâf (slave).

Joseph orders, in verse 1, that his brothers’ sacks be filled: jemple i sacs di cheste int (fill these people’s sacks) fin ch’e sta robe (as much as they can be filled). A more literal translation of fin ch’e sta robe might be for as long as stuff fits; in other words, as long as there is room in the sacks, one must keep filling. You can understand stâ here as meaning to fit. More examples of this: dute chê robe li no sta dome intune valîs (all that stuff will not fit into just one suitcase), no stin mighe in vincj intune machine (we shall hardly fit the twenty of us into one car).

In verse 2, you read that Joseph sets up a ruse: he has his silver chalice put into Benjamin’s sack by his steward: cui bêçs dal forment (along with the money for the grain) tu metis ancje il gno cjaliç, chel d’arint (you [are to] also put my chalice, the one [made] of silver). Bêçs is pronounced bês. The steward follows Joseph’s orders: e chel al fasè daûr che i veve ordenât Josef (and he did according to what Joseph had commanded him).

In verse 3, a forin fats partî is to be understood as they were made to leave, they were sent off. A forin is the third-person plural of the passât sempliç of the verb jessi; it is used as an auxiliary here.

The beginning of verse 4 is to be understood as follows: no jerin dibot nancje fûr de citât (they were scarcely out of the city) e no jerin lafè lontans (and were not far in the least), che Josef i disè al so sorestant (when Joseph said to his steward). Farther along, observe the imperative forms coriur daûr a di chei oms (pursue those men), brinchiju (seize them), domandiur (ask them). With the verb brincâ, the thing seized is a direct object: brinchiju (seize them). With the verb domandâ, the person to whom the question is asked is an indirect obejct: domandiur (ask [to] them).

Still in verse 4, Joseph tells his steward to ask of the brothers: parcè mo vêso tornât mâl par ben? (why then have you returned evil for good?). This question asks, in other words: why then have you committed theft of the silver chalice after the generosity that has been extended to you? From verse 5, the steward is to also ask: no vêso cjolt vualtris (have you not taken) ce che al dopre il gno paron par bevi e par induvinâ (that which my master uses to drink and to divine)?

In verse 7, propit nô fâti une part dal gjenar? can be understood as follows: propit nô (who, us?; literally, truly us) fâti une part dal gjenar (do something of the sort to you)? It is an expression of surprise, as in how could we do something of sort to you?

You will have understood that viergint, from verse 8, is the present participle of the verb viergi. Viergint i nestris sacs is to be understood as (whilst) opening our sacks. You will also have understood that tai, a little farther along in the verse, is a contraction: ti + ju.

In verse 9, the brothers respond that whoever amongst them has the stolen item is to be killed: chel dai tiei fameis (he from amongst your servants; that is, he from amongst us) che al varà la robe intorsi (who has [literally, will have] the thing on him), che al sedi copât (let him be killed). Father along in the verse, nô o deventarìn (we shall become) is the first-person plural of the futûr sempliç of the verb deventâ.

Versets 10-17

Vocabulary: lassâ lâ (to let go, to release), dal moment (at once), tirâ jù (to pull down), passâ un par un (to search one by one), scomençâ (to start), jù fint a (all the way down to), sbregâ (to rip), i vistîts (clothing, clothes), cjamâ (to load), vê il don di (to have the gift of), cjatâ fûr (to find), la reson (reason), paidî (to endure, to pay for), in pâs (in peace).

In verse 10, chel che si lu cjatarà cu la robe can be understood as he whom one finds with the thing (more literally, he whom one will find [him] with the thing). In verse 13, when the chalice is found to be in Benjamin’s sack, his brothers rip their clothes in sorrow: alore lôr si sbregarin i vistîts (so they ripped their clothes), a cjamarin ognidun il so mus (they each loaded their ass) e a tornarin in citât (and they returned to the city).

You will recall that saveviso is the second-person plural, imperfet indicatîf interrogative of the verb savê. Review: o savevis, saveviso?, no saveviso? To review the entire imperfect indicative conjugation of savê, consult the Friulian verb conjugations page. In verse 15, you read: no saveviso (did you not know; more literally, were you not knowing) che un om come me (that a man like me) al à il don di induvinâ (has the gift of divination; literally, has the gift to divine)? You will also recognise the first-person plural interrogative podìno, from verse 16. You read: ce podìno dîi al gno paron? (what can we say to my lord?).

Still in verse 16, compagn di chel che i àn cjatât il cjaliç, is to be understood as just like he with whom they have found the chalice. Similarly, in verse 17, you read: l’om che i àn cjatât il cjaliç (the man with whom they have found the chalice). You would be wise to ponder the Friulian wording here.

Versets 18-29

Vocabulary: displasê (to displease), dî une peraule (to say a word), la orele (ear), inrabiâsi cuintri di (to get angry with), compagn di (equal to), vieli (old), sù di etât (on in years), unic (only), volê un ben di vite (to love dearly), menâ jù (to bring down), vê voe di (to wish, to desire), bandonâ (to leave behind, to abandon), murî di sclopecûr (to die of heartbreak), tignî dûr (to insist, to hold firm), tornâ jù (to go back down), comprâ alc di mangjâ (to buy something to eat), fâ a tocs (to rip to pieces), no… fintremai cumò (never again since), tirâ vie (to take away), i cjavei (hair), blanc (white), ta chel altri mont (into the other world), il mâr (sea), la disperazion (despair).

This is a large grouping of verses, but you should be able to make your way through them without too much difficulty; they review much of what has already been said by the brothers and their father. A few notes nonetheless:

From verse 18, take note of the wording lasse che il to famei i disi une peraule te orele al gno paron (let your servant say a word in my lord’s ear) cence che s’inrabii cuintri dal to famei (without his getting angry with your servant). You have seen a number of examples now using lassâ che (literally, to allow that); recall that the subjunctive is used following this.

il to famei al dîs
lasse che il to famei al disi
your servant says
let your servant say

il frut al ven
lasse che il frut al vegni
the lad comes
let the lad come

si puarte
lassait che si puarti
one brings; it is brought
let one bring; let it be brought

Note also the use of the subjunctive in cence che s’inrabii cuintri dal to famei, following cence che.

il gno paron s’inrabie
cence che s’inrabii il gno paron

In verse 20, al reste l’unic fi di sô mari is to be understood as he remains the only child of his mother. Nol pò, from verse 22, is a variant of nol pues. You read: il frut nol pò bandonâ so pari (the lad cannot leave his father).

Fâ a tocs means to rip to shreds, to rip into pieces, to tear apart. In verse 28, you will understand mal àn fat a tocs as meaning he was ripped to pieces on me (by a wild animal; see Gjenesi 37). More literally, perhaps, mal àn fat a tocs translates as they have ripped him to pieces on me, where the “they” in question refers to some unknown actor or actors (or random wild animal, in this case). In this same verse, no lu ai plui viodût fintremai cumò is to be understood as I have never again seen him since.

Versets 30-34

Vocabulary: peât dutun anime cun anime (bound soul to soul), il ramaric (bitterness, sorrow), dâ la sô peraule (to give one’s word), par in vite (for life, forever), impen di (instead of, in place of), il cûr (heart), cjapâ un colp (to take it hard, to be sorely affected; literally, to take a hit).

In verse 33, you find more examples using lassâ che:

il to famei al reste sclâf
lasse che il to famei al resti sclâf
your servant remains a slave
let your servant remain a slave

il frut al pues tornâ a cjase
lasse che il frut al puedi tornâ a cjase
the lad is able to return home
let the lad be able to return home

In verse 34, disimi tu cun ce cûr che is to be understood as you tell me how I can possibly. You will note that this expression uses the masculine cûr, meaning heart. The final sentence of this chapter is to be understood as follows: no vuei nancje pensâ al colp che al cjaparès gno pari (I do not want to even consider how sorely my father would be affected by it; literally, I do not want to even think of the hit that my father would take).