Friulian language series: Esodo 13, i primarûi

You will now study the Friulian language as it relates to Esodo 13. The subjects of this thirteenth chapter of the book of Exodus are: i primarûi (firstborns), il pan cence levan (unleavened bread), Israel al partìs, seconde conte (Israel departs, second narration). In the notes for verse 8 below, you will take a look at Friulian bicompound tenses: timps bicomponûts. For example, you will discover the difference in meaning between al à fat and al à vût fat, or between al varès dit and al varès vût dit.

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Friulian language here (Gjenesi 1).

Read Esodo 13

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 An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-2

Vocabulary: consacrâ (to consecrate, to sanctify), il prin nassût (firstborn), viergi (to open; also vierzi), la nature (euphemism referring here to the female reproductive organs; see note below), bandît (consecrated, sanctified).

God says to Moses: consacrimi i prins nassûts di ducj i israelits (consecrate unto me [or sanctify unto me] all the firstborns of the Israelites); by this, God commands Moses to set apart the firstborns for him (see also verse 12). He continues: ducj chei che a viergin la nature (all those that open the womb), om o nemâl che al sedi (whether they be man or animal), a son bandîts par me (they are [to be] consecrated unto me). The basic sense of bandît is set apart; in this way, a son bandîts par me can also be taken as they are to be set apart for me.

The Friulian la nature can be used as a euphemism to refer to the reproductive organs of both the male and female. In Gjenesi 17, you will recall that the foreskin of the male is referred to as l’ultime piel de nature (literally, final skin of the [man’s] nature), where la nature is a euphemistic reference to the virile member. Now, in the current portion of text (verse 2), it refers to the reproductive organs of the woman. The Hebrew mentions womb or uterus here, so ducj chei che a viergin la nature should be understood in the context of this verse as all those that open the womb.

Versets 3-5

Vocabulary: visâsi di (to remember, to recall), la zornade (day), saltâ fûr (to come forth, to come out), la cjase (house), sotan (subjugated, servile), la fuarce (force, strength), il braç (arm), mangjâ (to eat), il pan jevât (leavened bread), vuê (today), il mês (month), jentrâ (to enter), zurâ (to swear), il von (forefather), scori (to flow), il riul (stream), a riui (by the streamfuls), il lat (milk), la mîl (honey), la fieste (feast).

With the aid of the vocabulary listed above, you should be able to work your way through these verses with little problem. Note the following nonetheless: From verse 3, visaitsi di chê zornade, chê che o sês saltâts fûr dal Egjit means remember that day, the one in which you came out of Egypt. Là che o jeris sotans means there where you were subjugated. Still in verse 3, par chel no si varà di mangjâ pan jevât is to be understood as for this reason one must not eat leavened bread; leavened bread is not to be eaten. From verse 5, tiere che a scorin a riui lat e mîl means a land where milk and honey flow by the streamfuls.

Il mês di Abib (month of Abib) corresponded to part of March and April, which was the best time of year to undertake a journey to the desert region of Sinai.

Versets 6-10

Vocabulary: par siet dîs di file (for seven days in a row), il levan (yeast), il pan cence levan (unleavened bread), setim (seventh), di nissune bande (nowhere), ta chê dì (on that day), insegnâ (to show, to teach, to explain), par vie di (because of), il segnâl (sign, signal), la man (hand), il ricuart (reminder, memorial), il cerneli (forehead), la leç (law, ordinance), la bocje (mouth), fuart (strong, mighty), rispietâ (to observe, to keep; to respect), scjadê (to fall [of a date]), an par an (year to year).

From verse 7, understand: no si varà di viodi in cjase tô pan jevât (leavened bread must not be found [seen] in your house) e nancje no si varà di viodi levan di nissune bande (nor must yeast be found [seen] anywhere there).

In verse 8, you find what is called un timp bicomponût (bicompound tense): al à vût fat. (Whereas al à fat is “compound” because there is an auxiliary [à] followed by a past participle [fat], al à vût fat is “bicompound”: there is an auxiliary [à] followed by two past participles [vût fat].) A Friulian bicompound tense conveys chance; it is composed of a compound form of (al à vût, al varès vût, etc.) followed by the past participle of the main verb in question. Compare:

ce che al à fat par me
that which he did for me
ce che al à vût fat par me
that which he happened to do for me

ce che al veve fat par me
that which he had done for me
ce che al veve vût fat par me
that which he had happened to do for me

al varès dit
he would have said
al varès vût dit
he would have happened to say

In Gjenesi 43:7, you encountered the following: ce podevino savê che nus varès vût dit: menaitmi jù vuestri fradi? This question can be understood as meaning how could we have known that he would have happened to say to us, “bring your brother down to me”? Compare with ce podevino savê che nus varès dit: (…), which would mean how could we have known that he would have said to us: (…).

You may wish to review the Friulian names for the different parts of the human head, such as il cerneli (forehead) from the ninth verse.

In verse 10, you read: tu rispietarâs cheste leç cuant che e scjât, an par an (you shall observe this ordinance when it falls [occurs], year to year).

Versets 11-13

Vocabulary: deventâ (to become), il paron (master), cedi (to give, to surrender), il prin part (firstling, firstborn), il mascjo (male), il mus (donkey), sfrancjâ (to free, to liberate, to redeem), il cjâf (head), il besteam minût (lamb, kid; literally, small cattle, small livestock), sfracaiâ (to break), il grop (lump, knot), la cope (nape, back of the neck), nassi par prin (to be born first).

From verse 11, come che tal à zurât a ti e ai tiei vons means as he swore to you and your forefathers. Literally, tal à zurât means he swore it to you, where tal is a contraction of ti + lu. Still in verse 11, the che of che tu sarâs deventât paron connects the phrase back to cuant che at beginning of the verse, as in: cuant (…) che tu sarâs deventât paron (when you will have become master).

Take note of the third-person singular of the presint indicatîf of the verb vierzi (viergi) in verse 12: dut ce che al vierç la nature (everything that opens the womb).

The moment of childbirth (that is, delivery) is called il part in Friulian. That which has been born can also be referred to as il part. In verse 12, you read: i prins parts dai tiei nemâi (the firstlings of your animals).

In verse 13, un cjâf di is to be understood as meaning one, a single. The back of the animal’s neck is referred to as il grop de cope, where il grop is the knot or bump on the nape (la cope).

Versets 14-16

Vocabulary: un doman (someday), domandâ (to ask), volê dî (to mean, to signify), midiant che (given that), inrochîsi (to rise up), fâ murî (to kill), il besteam (cattle, livestock), al è par chel che (it is for this reason that), sacrifcâ (to sacrifice), la fasse (band, headband).

From verse 14, ce vuelial dî chest? means what does this mean? From verse 15, il faraon si inrochive a no volê lassânus lâ can be understood as meaning the Pharaoh insisted in not wanting to let us go. You find the coniuntîf presint used twice in the following from verse 15: al è par chel che jo i sacrifichi al Signôr (…) e che o sfrancji (…) (is for this reason that I sacrifice unto the Lord […] and that I redeem […]).

Versets 17-18

Vocabulary: la strade (way, road), pe strade ch’e va (by the way that goes), seben (even though), curt (short), petâ intor (to show up all around), il nemì (enemy), di ogni bande (from every side, from every direction), jessi bon di (to be capable of, to be likely to), gambiâ idee (to change one’s mind; also cambiâ), il gîr (turn, route), il desert (desert), de bande di (towards), il mâr (sea), la cjanusse (reed), armât (armed), pront a dut (ready for anything, prepared for everything).

In verse 17, you read that God did not make the Israelites take the shortest route: Diu no ju fasè lâ pe strade ch’e va te tiere dai filisteus (God did not make them take the way that goes into the land of the Philistines), seben ch’e jere la plui curte (even though it was the shortest). The reason is given: il popul, viodintsi a petâ intor nemîs di ogni bande (the people, upon seeing enemies show up around them from all sides), al jere bon di gambiâ idee e di tornâ jù in Egjit (were likely to change their minds and go back down to Egypt).

Review the use of jessi bon di, meaning to be likely to, to be capable of: il popul al jere bon di cambiâ idee (the people were likely to change their minds; the people were capable of changing their minds; the people could have changed their minds). As for the expression cambiâ idee (or gambiâ idee, as found in the text), meaning to change one’s mind, it uses the feminine noun idee, meaning idea. Cambiâ idee translates literally as to change (one’s) idea.

In verse 18, you read that God made the Israelites take a turn by way of the desert: un gîr pe strade dal desert, towards the “Sea of Reeds” (that is, the Red Sea): de bande dal mâr des Cjanussis.

Versets 19-22

Vocabulary: puartâ daûrsi (to bring along with oneself), il vues (bone), fâ un zurament (to take an oath), di sigûr (surely, certainly), viodi di vualtris (to visit you), in chê volte (at that time), puartâ vie (to take away), campâsi (to encamp, to set up camp), ad ôr di (alongside, at the edge of), cjaminâ (to walk), vie pal dì (during the day), la colone (pillar), il nûl (cloud), mostrâ la strade (to show the way), vie pe gnot (during the night), il fûc (fire), fâ lusôr (to give light), in mût che (in order that, such that), rivâ adore di (to be able to, to manage to), lâ indenant (to go forward, to continue), di dì e di gnot (by day and by night), mancjâ (to lack).

With the aid of the vocabulary listed above, you should be able to work through these final verses of the chapter with little problem. In verse 21, you read that God walked with the Israelites during day (vie pal dì) in a pillar of cloud (intune colone di nûl), and during the night (vie pe gnot) in a pillar of fire (intune colone di fûc).

In verse 22, you read that Israelites never had to go without the pillars of cloud and fire: no i è mancjade al popul la colone di nûl vie pal dì (the pillar of cloud did not lack unto the people during the day) e nancje la colone di fûc vie pe gnot (nor the pillar of fire during the night).