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 provided for the book of Exodus take much the same form as those already provided for the book of Genesis. Given the absence of advanced bilingual Friulian-English and monolingual Friulian dictionaries, I 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 An archived version of the text can be found here.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

Vocabulary: il non (name), un israelite (Israelite), lâ jù (to go down), l’Egjit (m., Egypt), ognidun (each one [of them]), la int (people), la gjernazie (offspring), in dut (in all), setante (seventy), la persone (person), invezit (on the other hand, whereas), za (already), murî (to die), compagn di (just like, identical to), il fradi (brother), la gjenerazion (generation), cressi (to grow, to increase), multiplicâsi (to multiply oneself, to increase; also moltiplicâsi), slargjâsi di numar (to increase in number), la fuarce (force, strength), fint a (until), jemplâ (to fill), la tiere (land, earth).

Verse 1: Ve chi i nons dai israelits che a son lâts jù in Egjit cun Jacop: these are the names of the Israelites who went down to Egypt with Jacob; note the use of in: lâ jù in Egipt (to go down to Egypt). A son lâts jù ognidun cu la sô int: they each went down with their people (that is, with their household).

Verses 2-4: Ruben (Reuben), Simeon (Simeon), Levi (Levi), Gjude (Judah), Issacar (Issachar), Zabulon (Zebulun), Beniamin (Benjamin), Dan (Dan), Neftali (Naphtali), Gad (Gad), Aser (Asher).

Verse 5: La gjernazie di Jacop a jerin in dut setante personis: the offspring of Jacob were in all seventy people. Josef, invezit, al jere za in Egjit: as for Joseph, he was already in Egypt; Joseph, on the other hand, was already in Egypt.

Verse 6: Po Josef al murì: then Joseph died. Compagn di lui: just like him. Ducj i siei fradis e dute chê gjenerazion: all his brothers and all that generation.

Verse 7: I israelits a cresserin e si multiplicarin: the Israelites increased and multiplied. Si slargjarin di numar e di fuarce: they increased (broadened themselves) in number and strength. Fint a jemplâ dute la tiere dal Egjit: so as to fill (until filling) the land of Egypt.

Versets 8-14

Vocabulary: montâ sù (to arise), gnûf (new), il re (king), cognossi (to know), il popul (people), cjalâ (to look), un ebreu (Hebrew), fuart (strong, mighty), coventâ (to be necessary), inibî (to inhibit, to prevent), in câs di (in the event of), la vuere (war), fâ grum cun (to join up with), il nemì (enemy, foe), combati (to fight, to battle), scjampâ (to flee, to escape), il sorestant (chief), 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), lavorâ (to work, to labour), fâ vitis (to suffer), di no crodi (unbelievably), piês (worse), l’argile (clay), il stamp (form), il modon (brick), dibot (almost), il cjamp (field), ogni sorte di (every sort of), meti il pît sul cuel (to deal harshly with; more literally, to put foot to neck).

Verse 8: In Egjit al montà sù un gnûf re (a new king arose in Egypt) che nol veve cognossût Josef (who had not known Joseph).

Verse 9: Cjalait chi la gjernazie dai ebreus: look now (look here) at the offspring of the Hebrews. A son plui di nô e ancje plui fuarts: they are more numerous than us (they are more than us) and also more powerful.

Verse 10: Dai: an interjection meaning go to, come on. Fasìn ce che al covente: let us do what is necessary. Par inibîur di cressi ancjemò: to prevent them from increasing yet more. The king of Egypt explains why the Israelites’ numbers are to be kept down: 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 taken 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). Par podê, dopo, scjampâ: so as to escape afterwards.

Condizionâl presint
Present conditional

o larès
tu laressis
al larès

e larès

o laressin
o laressis
a laressin

Verse 11: Alore i meterin a Israel sorestants: so they puts chiefs over Israel; these sorestants were in charge of forcing the Israelites to carry out their tasks. Che ju tibiavin fasintiur fâ lis voris plui duris: who oppressed them by making them perform (do) the most difficult tasks; fasintiur is to be taken literally as making unto them (that is, making do the most difficult tasks unto them). E cussì al fasè sù pal faraon lis citâts-dipuesit di Pitom e Ramses: and thus they built for the Pharaoh the store cities of Pithom and Ramses.

Verse 12: 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 multiplied and increased in number). A scomençarin a cjapâ pôre dai israelits: they began to fear the Israelites; literally, they began to take fear of the Israelites.

Verse 13: Obleâ a lavorâ: to force to work; to obligate to work.

Verse 14: Piês means worse; for example, vuê o soi piês di îr means I am worse today than yesterday. In the text of this verse, 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 tasks). The Israelites were charged with the following labours: preparâ l’argile (preparing the clay); fâ il stamp dai modons (forming the bricks); dibot dutis lis voris dai cjamps (almost all the labours of the fields); ogni sorte di voris che ju obleavin metintiur il pît sul cuel (every sort of tasks that they forced them ruthlessly [foot-to-neck] to perform; literally, every sort of tasks [by] which they obligated them [by] putting unto them the foot on the neck). Note the forms fasintiur (verse 11) and metintiur (verse 14), where an i has been inserted between the present participle and ur.

Versets 15-22

Vocabulary: il re (king), la comari (midwife), la femine (wife), vê non (to be named), poiâsi (to set oneself down), parturî (to give birth), cjalâ (to look), 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), il faraon (pharaoh), mandâ a clamâ (to send for), rispuindi (to respond), compagn di (like, identical to), jessi in podê (to be strong, to be capable), prime ancjemò (even before), rivâ (to arrive, to come), distrigâsi (to finish up), dâ furtune (to show mercy; also fortune), rivuart a (regarding), un furmiâr di (a multitude of), la int (people), fuart (strong, mighty), di fâ pôre (incredibly so), midiant che (given that), la gjernazie (offspring), dâ un ordin (to give an order), nassi (to be born), butâ (to throw, to cast), il flum (river), però (but), sparagnâ (to spare).

Verse 15: Il re dal Egjit (the king of Egypt) ur disè a lis comaris des feminis dai ebreus (said to the midwives of the wives of the Hebrews), che a vevin non une Sifre e chê altre Pue (one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah [who were having name the one Shiphrah and the other Puah]).

Verse 16: Poiâsi par parturî: to take one’s place to give birth. Cjalâ ben is to be taken as meaning to take a good look: cjalait ben lis dôs pieris (take a good look at the two stones). Instructions are given regarding the gender of the newborns: se al è un mascjo, copaitlu (if it is a male, kill it); se e je une frute, lassaitle in vite (if it is a girl, let her live).

Verse 17: Vê timôr di Diu: to have the fear of God. No faserin ce che ur veve ordenât il faraon: they did not do what the Pharaoh had commanded (unto) them.

Verse 18: Il re dal Egjit lis mandà a clamâ: the king of Egypt sent for them. Parcè vêso fat cussì e lassât in vite i mascjos?: why have you done so and let the males live?

Verse 19: The midwives explain that the wives of the Hebrews give birth without assistance: 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).

Verse 20: Diu ur dè furtune a lis comaris: God showed mercy to the midwives. Rivuart al popul: as for the people. Un furmiâr is the Friulian for ant’s nest; un furmiâr di can be understood as a great deal of, a multitude of. Al deventà un furmiâr di int e fuart di fâ pôre: it (the people) became a frightfully powerful multitude of people.

Verse 21: Midiant che lis comaris a vevin vût timôr di Diu (given that the midwives had had the fear of God), ur dè une gjernazie ancje a lôr (he gave offspring to them as well).

Verse 22: Ogni mascjo che al nassarà: every male that is born (that will be born). Butaitlu tal flum: cast him in the river. Sparagnait lis frutis: spare the girls.