Friulian language series: Gjenesi 47, zurament di Josef

After a relatively easy read in the past two chapters, Gjenesi 47 presents more of a challenge: there is new vocabulary to be learned, as well as quite a few usages from previous chapters to be reviewed. The subjects of this forty-seventh chapter are: i ebreus te tiere di Ramses (Hebrews in the land of Ramses), la ministrazion di Josef (Joseph’s administration), il zurament di Josef (Joseph’s vow).

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Read Gjenesi 47

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Versets 1-4

Vocabulary: duncje (therefore), il mistîr (trade, skill, occupation), il pastôr (shepherd), i vons (forefathers), il forest (stranger, foreigner), il passon (pasture), regnâ (to reign), la miserie (famine), di fâ spavent (frightful, terrible), almancul (at least).

You will have understood that veju chi, from verse 1, means here they are. Recall the past participle of cjoli, which you find in verse 2: cjolt. In verse 3, you find a question first encountered in the previous chapter: ce mistîr fasêso? (what is your occupation?). Joseph’s brothers, in verse 4, explain that they have arrived because: no ’nd è plui passon pes mandriis (there is no more pasture for the herds).

You find an example of lassâ che in verse 4, which you began taking a closer look at in previous chapters. You read: lasse almancul (at least allow) che i tiei fameis (that your servants) si fermin te regjon di Gosen (stay in the Goshen region). In other words, at least let your servants stay in the land of Goshen.

i tiei fameis si fermin
lasse che i tiei fameis si fermin
your servants stay
let your servants stay

In the second above, the subjunctive is used; it is not obvious, however, because the present indicative and present subjunctive take the same form here: si fermin. Review these examples already encountered:

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

Versets 5-12

Vocabulary: il paron espotic (lord of the land), sistemâ (to make settle in), la miôr tiere (the best land), dâ in man (to hand over), torseonâ (to wander, to sojourn), sfurtunât (unfortunate; also sfortunât), la etât (age), slontanâsi di (to distance oneself, to go away from), un toc di tiere (piece of land), pensâ par (to concern oneself with, to take care of), la bocjade (food), il pan (bread), daûr dal numar (according to the number). Name: Ramses (Ramses).

From verse 6, ti lassi paron espotic de tiere dal Egjit can be understood as I leave you (as) lord the land of Egypt (that is, I make you lord of the land of Egypt). In this same verse, the Pharaoh also says: se tu cjatis framieç di lôr int di mistîr (if you find amongst them men of skill), daur in man ancje lis mês mandriis (hand over to them my herds).

In verse 8, the Pharaoh asks Jacob: trops agns âstu? (how old are you?). In verse 9, Jacob responds: i agns che mi à tocjât (the years that have fallen upon me) di torseonâ sun cheste tiere (to sojourn on this land) a son cent e trente (are one hundred and thirty). He also says: i miei agns a son stâts pôcs e sfurtunâts (my years have been few and unfortunate) e no àn rivât a la etât dai miei vons (and they have not reached the age of my forefathers), ai agns dal lôr torseonâ (in the years of their soujourning). In that last portion, you find torseonâ used as a noun: il lôr torseonâ.

Take note of dantjur, in verse 12, meaning giving to them.

Observe the use of the possessive in the following: Josef al pensà pe bocjade di so pari, dai siei fradis (verse 12; Joseph took care of the food for his father, for his brothers), to pari e i tiei fradis a son vignûts a stâ cun te (verse 5; your father and your brothers have come to stay with you), gno pari e i miei fradis a son rivâts de tiere di Canaan (verse 1; my father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan). With the singular pari, you will notice that the definite article il has not been used in the possessive (gno pari, to pari, di so pari); however, with the plural fradis, the definite article i has been used (i miei fradis, i tiei fradis, dai siei fradis).

Be sure not to confuse daur (verse 6) and daûr (verse 12). Daur means give to them; daûr means according, after.

Versets 13-17

Vocabulary: mancjâ (to be lacking), la spese (provisions), dapardut (everywhere), patî la fan (to suffer from hunger), tirâ dongje (to gather), i bêçs (money), sore di (in exchange for), il forment (grain), comprâ (to buy), il palaç (palace), dâ di mangjâ (to give [something] to eat), murî (to die), no vê plui une palanche (to not have a penny, to be penniless), al presit di (for the price of), il cjaval (horse), nudrî di (to nourish with), un arment (herd).

In these verses, you come across the expression sore di in the sense of in exchange for. You find: sore dal forment (in exchange for the grain), sore des vuestris mandriis (in exchange for your herds), sore dai lôr arments (in exchange for their herds). Un arment has the same meaning here as une mandrie.

In verse 15, the Egyptians say to Joseph: danus di mangjâ (give us food to eat). They ask: parcè varessino di murî sot i tiei vôi? (why should we have to die before your eyes; literally, under your eyes). They say that they have no more money: no vin plui une palanche. O varessin (we would have) is the first-person plural of the condizionâl presint of the verb vê; you find it used here as part of the expression vê di. You can understand parcè varessino di as meaning why should we have to, where varessino is in interrogative form.

Versets 18-22

Vocabulary: passât chel an (after that year; literally, that year [having] passed), l’an dopo (the following year), jessi dibant (to be in vain), platâ (to hide), fâ gambio (to exchange; literally, to make [ex]change; also, fâ cambi), deventâ sclâf (to become a slave), la semence (seed), no scugnî murî (to need not die), il desert (desert), vendi (to sell), il cjamp (field), passâ tes mans di (to pass into the hands of, to be handed over to), rivuardâ (to regard, to concerns), par chel che al rivuarde (as for, as far as concern), depuartâ (to deport), il confin (confine, border), di un confin al altri (from one border to another), il predi (priest), la rendite (revenue, earnings; better understood here as allowance), tirâ une rendite (to earn an allowance), conventâ (to be necessary).

Work through these verses with the aid of the vocabulary listed above. Two observations: In verse 21, ju depuartà tes citâts (he deported them into the cities) is to be understood in the sense of he transplanted them into the cities, he moved them into the cities. In verse 22, cussì no ur coventà di vendi la lôr tiere is to be understood as meaning as such they did not have to sell their land (more literally, as such it was not necessary unto them to sell their land).

Versets 23-26

Vocabulary: semenâ (to sow), la ricolte (harvest; also la racuelte), la cuinte part (one fifth), vê su pe schene (to be responsible for), salvâ la vite (to save one’s life), bastâ (to be sufficient), vêi a grât a (to find favour with), d’in chê volte (from then on), la leç (law), valê (to be valid), in dì di vuê (today), meti man su (to take possession of).

From verse 25, nus baste dome di vêi a grât al nestri paron is to be understood as we need only find favour with our lord (more literally, it is sufficient unto us only to find favour with our lord). In verse 26, you read: d’in chê volte (from then on), Josef al fasè une leç (Joseph made a law) ch’e vâl ancjemò in dì di vuê (that is still valid today). In this same verse, you also read: si à di dâi la cuinte part al faraon (one must give one fifth to the Pharaoh); you will have recognised the use of the expression vê di here.

Versets 27-31

Vocabulary: une vore di robe (a lot of things [stock, possessions]), cressi (to grow, to increase), multiplicâsi un disordin (to reproduce greatly), l’ore di murî (hour of death; that is, time to die), volê ben (to love), la cuesse (thigh), fâ viodi (to show), il bonvolê (goodwill), la fedeltât (loyalty), soterâ (to bury), indurmidîsi (to fall asleep; used figuratively in the sense of to lie in death), puartâ vie (to take away), il tombâl (grave), insisti (to insist), zurâ (to swear), pleâsi jù (to bend over), il cjaveçâl (head [of a bed]), il jet (bed).

You should be able to work through these verses with nothing more than the aid of the vocabulary listed above. You have seen zurimal (verse 31) before; recall that it literally means swear it to me: the second-person singular imperative zure becomes zuri before the addition of mal, which is a contraction of mi + lu, where lu refers to what is to be sworn upon (that is, that Jacob shall not be buried in Egypt).