Friulian language series: Esodo 15, cjant di vitorie

In your study of the Friulian language, you have now reached Esodo 15, or the fifteenth chapter of the book of Exodus, where the subjects are il cjant di vitorie (victory hymn) and la marce pal desert (march into the desert). You will learn much new Friulian vocabulary in this chapter.

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

Read Esodo 15

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 An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-3

Vocabulary: dâ sù (to exclaim), il cjant (chant, hymn), in onôr di (in honour of), cjantâ (to sing), cuvierzisi di glorie (to cover oneself in glory), strucjâ (to pour, to overturn; strucjâ tal mâr can be understood as meaning to throw into the sea), il cjaval (horse), il cjavalîr (horseman; see note below), la fuarce (force, strength), puartâle fûr (to prevail), il merit (merit, credit), il pari (father), dî ben di (to exalt, to speak well of), potent (powerful), la vuere (war), il non (name).

In the first verse, you read that Moses and the Israelites sing a victory hymn. In the text, you find the expression dâ sù un cjant, which can be understood as meaning to exclaim a chant, to exclaim a hymn. In English, what the Israelites sing is generally referred to as a victory song. Note, however, that the Friulian cjant is not the usual equivalent of the English song as it pertains to modern music, where, instead, a song is referred to as une cjançon. Un cjant is poetic, religious or military in nature, along the lines of the English chant, hymn, canto. For example, a popular music song might be referred to as une cjançon populâr, whereas one of Dante’s cantos would be referred to as un cjant.

The use of cjavalîr (horseman) is anachronistic given that the Egyptians of the time had no cavalry. Although the Friulian cjavalîr translates as horseman, it should be probably be understood in this context as referring to a chariot rider. (See also the note for verse 19 below regarding the use of cjavalarie.)

In verse 2, you encounter the expression cuvierzisi di glorie (to cover oneself in glory). Compare this expression to the one used ahead in verse 21, similar in meaning: vuluçâsi di glorie (to surround oneself in glory, to wrap oneself in glory). Still in verse 2, al è merit so is to be understood as meaning the credit is his.

Versets 4-6

Vocabulary: il cjar (chariot), la schirie (army, host), la sbrume (highness, loftiness; literally, froth, foam), un uficiâl (official), gloti (to swallow up), il gorc (vortex, abyss), tirâ sot (to pull under, to sink), lâ jù (to go down, to sink), il font (bottom), un abìs (abyss), il clapon (rock, boulder), la gjestre (right hand; also diestre or drete), fâ robonis (to do wondrous things), un toc (bit, piece), fâ a tocs (to shred, to rip apart), il nemì (enemy).

With the aid of the vocabulary listed above, you should be able to make out the sense of these verses. Note the following nonetheless: lui ju à strucjâts tal mâr (verse 4, he threw them into the sea), la sbrume dai siei uficiâi (verse 4, the loftiness of his officials; la sbrume, used in a figurative sense here, is the Friulian for foam, as in, for example, la sbrume dal mâr [sea foam] or la sbrume de bire [beer head, beer foam]), il gorc ju à tirâts sot (verse 5, the vortex pulled them under; the abyss sank them), a son lâts jù tal font dal abìs tant che un clapon (verse 5, they went down [or they sank] to the bottom of the abyss like a rock; clapon [rock, big stone] is the augmentative form of clap [stone]).

The right hand can be referred to as la gjestre, la diestre or la drete; the left hand is la çampe. These can also be expressed as la man gjestre, la man diestre, la man drete, la man çampe.

Versets 7-9

Vocabulary: discjadenâ la sô rabie (to unleash one’s anger), parâ jù (to swallow, to ingest), il stranc (straw), soflâ (to blow), la narile (nostril), ingrumâsi (to gather together), di fâ pôre (frighteningly so), la onde (wave), petâ sù (to erupt, to burst forth), la murae (wall; also muraie), il mulignel (vortex, whirlpool), dâsi dongje (to come together), tal mieç (in the middle, in the midst), cori daûr (to pursue), brincâ (to seize, to capture), dividi (to divide), raspâ (to make away with, to spoil), passisi (to feed on, to sate oneself), avuâl dal cuel (up to one’s neck), sfodrâ la sô spade (to unsheath one’s sword, to draw one’s sword), scjafoiâ (to strangle), la man (hand).

From verse 7, cuant che tu vûs fâ viodi trop grant che tu sês means when you want to show (literally, make see) how great that you are. Tu strucjis i tiei nemîs is to be understood as meaning you overturn your enemies. As for tu discjadenis la tô rabie, this can be understood as you unleash your anger; the verb discjadenâ is related to the feminine noun cjadene, meaning chain.

Still in verse 7, tu ju paris jù come il stranc can be understood as meaning you devour them like straw. The sense of parâ jù is to send down, which is why it can be used to describe the act of swallowing; compare this expression to parâ fûr, which you have encountered numerous times and whose sense is to send out, to drive out. For example, from Gjenesi 3:23, you will recall that Adam was driven out of the garden of Eden by God: lu parà fûr dal zardin (he drove him out of the garden).

Recall that muraie (found in verse 8 as the variant murae) refers to a defensive wall, like that of a city or fortress. Of the waves, you read: lis ondis a petin sù come une murae (the waves burst forth like a wall).

From verse 9, o dividarai dut ce che o rasparai can be understood as meaning I shall divide all that which I spoil. Avuâl, which you encounter in this same verse, means same, equal, level, uniform. For example, ciertis robis a son simpri avuâls means some things are always the same. Avuâl di can be understood as meaning equal to, level to, uniform with; avuâl dal cuel, then, means up to the neck (or, more literally, level with the neck). The sense of mi passarai avuâl dal cuel is I shall sate myself up to the neck, I shall glut myself up to the neck.

Versets 10-12

Vocabulary: la soflade (breath, puff), dâ une soflade (to blow out), lâ sot (to sink, to go under), il plomp (lead), disfâ (to destroy), (where), cjatâsi (to be found), compagn (identical), grant (great), la santitât (holiness), trement (formidable, awesome), metisi (to undertake, to operate), fâ un spieli (to perform a marvel), slungjâ la sô gjestre (to extend one’s right hand), la tiere (earth).

In verse 11, you read: di ducj i dius (of all the gods), là si cjatial un compagn di te, Signôr (where is an identical one to you found, O Lord)?

si cjate
là si cjatial?
he is found
where is he found?

Versets 13-15

Vocabulary: il boncûr (mercy, grace), indreçâ (to lead, to guide, to direct), sfrancjâ (to liberate, to redeem), menâ (to lead, to bring), sant (holy), sintî (to hear), voltâsi di sanc (to take a fright), stâ mâl di murî (to have pangs of death), il sorestant (chief), pierdi il cjâf cul spac (to be troubled with fear, to be dismayed), il princip (prince), la pôre (fear), cjonçâ (to cut off; also çoncjâ), cjonça lis gjambis (to incapacitate; literally, to cut off one’s legs), restâ (to be dismayed).

Versets 16-18

Vocabulary: il terôr (terror), plombâ intor (to fall down upon), il braç (arm), lassâ di clap (to leave as stone, to make like stone), fin che (until), passâ (to pass), cuistâ (to acquire, to purchase), sistemâ (to set, to place), la mont (mountain, mount), la ereditât (inheritance), il lûc (site, spot), il santuari (sanctuary), preparâ (to prepare), regnâ (to reign), par simpri e in eterni (for ever and ever).

From verse 16: la fuarce dal to braç ju lasse di clap (the strength of your arm makes them like stone); that is, leaves them silent during the passage of the Israelites.

Because God has redeemed the enslaved Israelites, he has purchased them; thus, in verse 16, you find the verb cuistâ, meaning to purchase, to acquire, to buy.

Versets 19-21

Vocabulary: la cjavalarie (cavalry; see note below), no… dibot nancje (hardly even), fâ tornâ indaûr (to make turn round), a la cuâl che (whereas), bagnâsi i pîts (to get one’s feet wet), la profetesse (prophetess), la sûr (sister), cjapâ in man (to pick up, to take in hand), il tamburel (timbrel, tambourine), cjantâ (to sing), balâ (to dance), dâ sù (to exclaim), vuluçâsi di glorie (to surround oneself in glory, to wrap oneself in glory; also voluçâsi).

Given that the Egyptians had no cavalry at the time, the use of cjavalarie (cavalry) is anachronistic. (See also the note for verse 1 above regarding the use of cjavalîr.) In this context, cjavalarie should probably be understood as meaning chariot-force. I shall nonetheless translate it as cavalry below, for this is the meaning of the Friulian cjavalarie.

Verse 19: la cjavalarie (…) no jere dibot nancje jentrade tal mâr, che (no sooner had the cavalry entered the sea than; the cavalry had only just entered the sea when). Verse 20: i lerin daûrij (they went behind her); in standard Friulian: daûrji.

Versets 22-25

Vocabulary: dâ un ordin (to give an order), partî (to leave, to depart), la cjanusse (reed), inviâsi de bande di (to head towards), cjatâ (to find), la gote di aghe (drop of water), rivâ (to arrive), bevi (to drink), amâr (bitter; you find the variant mar used here: see note below), meti non (to name), cjapâse (to get upset, to get angry), berlâ viers di (to call upon, to call out towards), mostrâ (to show, to indicate), un toc di (a bit of, a piece of), il len (wood), butâ (to throw), indolcîsi (to become sweet, to sweeten up), al è li che (it is there that), il statût (statute), il dirit (law, ordinance), meti a lis provis (to put to the test).

Il mâr des Cjanussis (literally, sea of Reeds), from verse 22, refers to the Red Sea.

The Friulian for bitter is amâr. In verse 23, you find the variant mar used instead (rather, you find mare, in feminine form.) This has the advantage of matching the name given to the place: Mare, also meaning bitter (from the Hebrew). You read that the Israelites could not drink the water of Mare because it was too bitter: e jere masse mare. You also read: par chel i meterin non al lûc Mare (for this reason they named the spot Marah).

Verse 24: il popul se cjapà cun Mosè (the people got upset with Moses). Cjapâse is a contraction of cjapâ + si + le. The Israelites say: e cumò ce bevìno? (and what now shall we drink?, and what are we supposed to drink now?).

The Friulian for sweet is dolç. As for the verb indolcî, it means to sweeten. For example, indolcî il cafè cul zucar means to sweeten the coffee with sugar. The reflexive indolcîsi means to sweeten up. Moses sweetened the water with un toc di len (bit of wood); this may have been bark from a tree capable of sweetening bitter water.

Versets 26-27

Vocabulary: scoltâ (to listen), la vôs (voice), lâ ben (to be good, to be right), attent (attentive), stâ atent (to pay attention, to heed), il comandament (commandment), meti in vore (to put into practice, to enact), il mâl (misfortune, sickness), mandâ (to send), vuarî (to heal, to cure), la risultive (spring, fountain), la palme (palm tree), campâsi (to encamp, to set up camp), torator di (around, about).

Verse 26: ducj i mâi che ur ài mandât al Egjit (all the misfortunes that I have sent to Egypt) a ti no tai mandarai (I shall not send them to you). I mâi is the plural of il mâl. No tai mandarai = no ti + ju mandarai.

Note the form taken by the third-person singular of the presint indicatîf of the verb vuarî (to heal, to cure), in verse 26: al vuarìs. Compare with the verbs partî (to leave, to depart) and finî (to finish, to end): al partìs, al finìs.

Verse 27: dodis risultivis (twelve springs), setante palmis (seventy palms). Review Friulian cardinal numbers.