Friulian language series: Esodo 1, sclavitût dai ebreus


Ve chi i nons

This post begins your study of the Friulian language through the book of Exodus, or il libri dal Esodo. In this post, you will study the contents of Esodo 1, which is the first chapter of the book of Exodus, and where the subject is la sclavitût dai ebreus (enslavement of the Hebrews).

In this Exodus study, it is assumed that you have already worked your way through the entire book of Genesis in Friulian. If you have not already done so, begin your study of the Friulian language here. The study notes that will be provided for the book of Exodus will take much the same form as those provided for the book of Genesis. Given the absence of bilingual Friulian-English and monolingual Friulian dictionaries, I shall continue to list important Friulian vocabulary for your reference.

Read Esodo 1

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 Esodo 1. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-7

If you have already studied the entirety of the book of Genesis, these first seven verses of Esodo 1 will not present any comprehension problems to you. You will recall that fuarce is a feminine noun, meaning force, strength, and that numar is a masculine noun meaning number. You find these nouns used in the expressions slargjâsi di numar (to increase in number) and slargjâsi di fuarce (to increase in strength). A literal translation of slargjâsi is to extend oneself.

In case of doubt, other key usages include: il non (name), lâ jù (to go down), ognidun (each one [of them]), la int (people), la gjernazie (offspring), setante personis (seventy people), invezit (on the other hand), za (already), murî (to die), compagn di (just like, identical to), il fradi (brother), la gjenerazion (generation), un israelit (Israelite), cressi (to grow, to increase), multiplicâsi (to reproduce; also moltiplicâsi), fint a (until), jemplâ (to fill), la tiere (land).

Versets 8-14

Vocabulary: montâ sù (to arise), coventâ (to be necessary), inibî (to inhibit, to prevent), la vuere (war), fâ grum cun (to join up with), il nemì (enemy), combati (to fight, to combat), scjampâ (to flee, to escape), tibiâ (to oppress), la vore (work), dûr (difficult), fâ sù (to build, to erect), il dipuesit (depository), la citât-dipuesit (store city), fâi la vite impussibil a (to make life impossible for), cjapâ pôre (to take fright), un egjizian (Egyptian), obleâ (to obligate), fâ vitis (to suffer), di no crodi (unbelievably), piês (worse), l’argile (clay), il stamp (form), il modon (brick), dibot (almost), ogni sorte di (every sort of), meti il pît sul cuel (to deal harshly with; more literally, to put foot to neck).

In verse 10, the king says that numbers of the Israelites are to be kept down for the following reason: senò, in câs di vuere (otherwise, in the event of war), a laressin a fâ grum cui nestris nemîs (they would go join up with our enemies). Il grum is the Friulian for heap, pile; the expression fâ grum cun is to be understood as meaning to join up with. A laressin is the third-person plural of the condizionâl presint of the verb lâ, the complete conjugation of which you will find below for your reference. You find another example of the condizionâl presint in a combataressin cuintri di nô (they would fight against us).

Condizionâl presint
Present conditional

o larès
tu laressis
al larès

e larès

o laressin
o laressis
a laressin

In verse 12, take note of how Friulian uses plui… e plui to express what English does with the more… the more: plui si ur faseve la vite impussibil (the more life was made impossible unto them) e plui il popul si multiplicave e al cresseve di numar (the more the people reproduced and increased in number).

Piês means worse; for example, vuê o soi piês di îr (I am worse today than yesterday). In verse 14, you find piês used with the definite article, which gives it the sense of worst: ur faserin fâ vitis di no crodi cu lis piês voris (they made them suffer unbelievably with the worst work).

Take note of the forms fasintiur (verse 11) and metintiur (verse 14), where an i has been inserted between the present participle and ur. In fasintiur fâ lis voris plui duris (making them do the hardest work), note that Friulian expresses them as an indirect object (ur) because the direct object is lis voris. A more literal translation of this would be making do the hardest work unto them.

Versets 15-22

Vocabulary: la comari (midwife), poiâsi (to prop oneself), parturî (to give birth), la piere (stone), il mascjo (male), copâ (to kill), la frute (girl), lassâ in vite (to let live), vê timôr (to fear), ordenâ (to command), mandâ a clamâ (to call for), jessi in podê (to be strong, to be capable), prime ancjemò (even before), distrigâsi (to finish up, to free oneself up), dâ furtune (to show mercy; also fortune), rivuart a (regarding), un furmiâr di (a multitude of), di fâ pôre (incredibly so), midiant che (given that), dâ un ordin (to give an order), nassi (to be born), butâ (to throw), il flum (river), sparagnâ (to spare).

In verse 19, the midwives say that the Israelite women give birth without assistance: lis feminis dai ebreus (the wives of the Hebrews) no son compagnis di chês dai egjizians (are not like those of the Egyptians): a son plui in podê (they are more capable). They continue: prime ancjemò ch’e rivi la comari (even before the midwife arrives), lôr si son biel distrigadis (they have already finished up entirely).

Un furmiâr is the Friulian for ant’s nest. The expression un furmiâr di, used in verse 20, means a great deal of, a multitude of, a swarm of, etc.