Friulian language series: Esodo 16, la mane e lis cuais

The sixteenth chapter of the book of Exodus tells of: la mane e lis cuais (manna and quails).

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Versets 1-2

Vocabulary: partî (to leave, to depart), il popul (people), rivâ (to arrive, to come), il desert (desert), cuindicesim (fifteenth), la dì (day), secont (second), il mês (month), saltâ fûr (to go/come forth), la int (people), metisi (to take to, to start), bruntulâ (to grumble, to complain).

Verse 1: Partîts di Elim (having departed from Elim), dut il popul di Israel al rivà tal desert di Sin (all the people of Israel came to the desert of Sin), che al è fra Elim e il Sinai (which is between Elim and Sinai), la cuindicesime dì dal secont mês (on the fifteenth day of the second month) che a jerin saltâts fûr dal Egjit (after they had gone forth [that they had gone forth] from Egypt).

Verse 2: Dute la int si metè a bruntulâ cuintri di Mosè e di Aron tal desert: all the people took to grumbling against Moses and Aaron in the desert.

Verset 3

Vocabulary: un israelit (Israelite), murî (to die), la man (hand), la tiere (land), podê (may, can, to be able), almancul (at least), sentâsi (to sit down), daprûf di (by, alongside), la stagnade (pot, marmite), la cjar (flesh), parâ jù (to eat, to swallow), il pan (bread), fintremai che (for so long as), vonde (enough), fâ a pueste (to do on purpose), menâ (to bring, to conduct), il desert (desert), la fan (hunger).

The Israelites say to Moses and Aaron: fossino muarts par mans dal Signôr (if only we had died by the hand [by hands] of the Lord) te tiere dal Egjit (in the land of Egypt), cuant che o podevin almancul sentâsi daprûf di une stagnade di cjar (when we could at least sit down by a flesh pot [pot of flesh]) e parâ jù pan fintremai che ant vevin vonde (and eat bread for so long as it lasted [and eat (drive down) bread for so long as thereof they were having enough]). O vês fat a pueste a menânus in chest desert (you have brought us into this desert on purpose) par fâ murî di fan dute cheste int (to starve to death [make die by hunger] all these people).

The optative subjunctive is used in Friulian to expression a wish: fossino muarts (if only we had died); fossistu mancul egoist (if only you were less selfish); maladet seial Canaan (cursed be Canaan; Gjenesi 9:25); benedet seial il Signôr (blessed be the Lord; Gjenesi 9:26); lu vessio fat prime (if only I had done it before). Key forms to learn are presented below, with more examples of use following the charts:

Coniuntîf presint (otatîf)
Present subjunctive (optative)




Coniuntîf imperfet (otatîf)
Imperfect subjunctive (optative)




Coniuntîf imperfet (otatîf)
Imperfect subjunctive (optative)




Following are supplementary examples of the optative for you to analyse; the optative will continued to be explored as it appears in the readings: laudât seial il cîl (praised be heaven); fossistu crepât (if only you had died); fossial stât un pôc plui atent (if only he had been a little more attentive); no lu vessio dismot (if only I had not awoken him); vessistu viodût ce cjapiel che e à cjolt (if only you had seen the hat she bought; you should have seen the hat she bought).

Vonde means enough; it is also expressed as avonde. Examples: fintremai che ant vevin vonde (for so long as there was enough of it [for so long as thereof they were having enough]); âstu mangjât avonde? (have you eaten enough?); o ’nd ai avonde (I have enough of it; I have enough of them).

Review: In spoken language, if the verb after indi begins with a consonant, the final i drops and the d changes to t; if the verb begins with a vowel, the d is maintained. The initial i of indi drops when it is preceded by a vowel. Note that al changes to a; now that it ends in a vowel, it causes the loss of the initial i. The same applies to nol; it first changes to no, meaning it now ends in a vowel; this causes the loss of the initial i. Consider: a ’nd è (there is of it/them; there is thereof); a ’nt sarà (there will be of it/them; there will be thereof); lui a ’nd à (he has of it/them; he has thereof); lui no ’nd à (he has not of it/them; he has not thereof); o ’nd ai (I have of it/them; I have thereof); no tu ’nd âs (you do not have of it/them; you have not thereof); ind âstu? (have you of it/them?; have you thereof?); int vuelistu? (do you want of it/them?; do you want thereof?); o ’nt viôt (I see of it/them; I see thereof); o ’nt vuei trê (I want three of them; I want three thereof); us int doi cuatri (I give you four of them; I give you four thereof).

Versets 4-10

Vocabulary: (to say), plovi (to rain), il cîl (heaven, sky), la int (people), saltâ fûr (to go/come out), çumâ (to gather), ogni (every), la dì (day), la purizion (portion), meti a lis provis (to put to the test), viodi (to see), marcjâ (to march), seont (according to), la leç (law), sest (sixth), la zornade (day), preparâ (to prepare), tirâ dongje (to gather), il dopli (double, twice as much), la semblee (assembly), il fi (son), usgnot (tonight), savê (to know), la tiere (land), doman (tomorrow), la buinore (morning), la glorie (glory), vignî (to come), bruntulâ (to grumble, to complain), cjapâse (to become angered), mangjâ (to eat), la cjar (flesh), il pan (bread), tant che (as much as), volê (to want), sintî (to hear), ca (here), denant di (before, in front of), la cjacare (chatter), biel che (whilst, as), fevelâ (to speak), voltâsi (to turn oneself), la bande (side), il desert (desert), pandisi (to manifest oneself, to reveal oneself), il nûl (cloud).

Verse 4: The Lord says to Moses: us fasarai plovi pan dal cîl (I will rain down bread for you from the heaven [unto you I will make rain {down} bread from the heaven]). La int e saltarà fûr (the people shall come out) e a çumarà ogni dì la sô purizion par chê dì (and shall gather each day their portion for that day); cussì ju metarai a lis provis (thus will I put them to the test) par viodi se a marcin seont la mê leç o no (to see if they are following [are marching according to] my law or not).

Verse 5: La seste zornade (on the sixth day), cuant che a prepararan ce che a varan tirât dongje (when they prepare [will prepare] what they have gathered [will have gathered]), a varan il dopli di chel che a çumin ogni dì (it will be double the amount of [it will be the double of] what they gather each day).

Verses 6-7: Mosè e Aron i diserin a dute la semblee dai fîs di Israel (Moses and Aaron said to the entire assembly of the sons of Israel): usgnot o savarês che al è stât il Signôr chel che us à fats saltâ fûr de tiere dal Egjit (tonight you shall know that it was the Lord he who brought you forth from the land of Egypt) e doman a buinore (and tomorrow morning [tomorrow in the morning]) o viodarês la glorie dal Signôr (you shall see the glory of the Lord). Parcè che al è vignût a savê (for he has come to know) che o vês bruntulât cuintri dal Signôr (that you grumbled against the Lord). E nô, cui sino nô (and who ever are we [and us, who are we]) che se cjapais cuintri di nô? (that you should become angered with us [that you become angered against us]?). Vignî a savê (to come to know) can also be taken as meaning to find out.

Verse 8: Moses says: usgnot il Signôr us darà di mangjâ cjar (tonight the Lord will give you flesh to eat) e, a buinore, pan tant che ant volês (and, in the morning, your fill of bread [bread as much as you want thereof]), parcè che il Signôr al à sintût che o bruntulavis cuintri di lui (for the Lord has heard that you grumbled [were grumbling] against him). Nô, cui sino nô?: who ever are we? No vês bruntulât cuintri di nô, ma cuintri dal Signôr: it is not against us that you have grumbled (you have not grumbled against us) but against the Lord.

Verse 9: Moses says to Aaron: tu ur disarâs a ducj i fîs di Israel (you shall tell all the sons of Israel): vignît ca denant dal Signôr (come here before the Lord), parcè che al à sintudis lis vuestris cjacaris (for he has heard your chatterings).

Verse 10: Biel che Aron ur fevelave a dute la int di Israel (as Aaron spoke [was speaking] to all the people of Israel), si voltarin de bande dal desert (they turned towards the desert) e ve che la glorie dal Signôr si pandè intal nûl (and, behold, the glory of the Lord revealed itself in a cloud [in the cloud]).

Versets 11-20

Vocabulary: fevelâ (to speak), sintî (to hear), bruntulâ (to grumble, to complain), vê di (to have to, must), (to say), il soreli (sun), lâ a mont (to set), mangjâ (to eat), la cjar (flesh), la buinore (morning), passisi (to feed on, to sate oneself), il pan (bread), savê (to know), la sere (evening), rivâ (to arrive, to come), la cuae (quail; also cuaie), a pleton (in great numbers), taponâ (to cover), il campament (camp), torator di (round about), une cuarte di (a span of), la rosade (dew), svaporâ (to evaporate), la face (face, surface), la robe (thing, matter), minût (small), il grignelut (small grain), fin (fine), la gilugne (frost; also zulugne), il teren (ground), viodi (to see), la mangjative (food), ordenâ (to order, to command), ognidun (each one), çumâ (to gather), seont (according to), sintî (to intend, to mean), un omer (omer), paromp (per man, per person; also par om), cjoli (to take), daûr di (according to), il numar (number), la persone (person, individual), vivi (to live, to dwell), la tende (tent), masse (much), pôc (little, few), misurâ (to measure), un grum (a lot, a great deal), di masse (in excess), vonde (enough), racuei (to gather), parâ jù (to eat, to consume, to swallow), meti di bande (to put aside), pal indoman (for the next day), scoltâ (to listen, to heed), meti vie (to put away), vignî fûr (to come out, to appear), il vier (worm), lâ di mâl (to go foul), inrabiâsi (to become angered).

Verses 11: Il Signôr i fevelà a Mosè cussì (the Lord spoke to Moses thus): o ài sintût i israelits (I have heard the Israelites) che a bruntulavin cuintri di me (who grumbled [were grumbling] against me). Tu âs di dîur chest (you are to tell them this): cuant che il soreli al larà a mont (when the sun sets [will set]), o mangjarês cjar (you shall eat flesh) e a buinore (and in the morning) o podarês passisi di pan (you may [shall be able to] sate yourself with bread). Alore o savarês che jo o soi il Signôr vuestri Diu: then shall you know that I am the Lord your God.

Verse 13: Sore sere (towards evening) a rivarin cuais a pleton (quails came in great numbers) e a taponarin dut il campament (and covered the entire camp) e, a buinore, torator dal campament (and, in the morning, round about the camp) and jere une cuarte di rosade (there was a covering [span] of dew). The Friulian for quail is the feminine cuaie (standardised spelling) or cuae (variant).

Verse 14: Svaporade dute cheste rosade (all this dew {having} evaporated), si viodè su la face dal desert (was seen on the surface of the desert) une robe minude, a grigneluts (a small substance, in the form of {small} grains), fine come la gilugne sul teren (fine as frost on the ground). For clarity: once all the dew had lifted, a small and grainy substance lay on the surface of the desert, fine as frost on the ground.

Verse 15: Cuant che i israelits a vioderin (when the Israelites saw {it}), si diserin un cul altri (they said to one another): ce robe ese? (what is that [what thing is it]?), parcè che no savevin ce robe ch’e jere (for they did not know [were not knowing] what it was [what thing that it was]). Moses says to them: chest al è il pan (that is the bread [this is the bread]) che il Signôr us à dât par mangjative (that the Lord has given you for food).

Verse 16: Il Signôr al à ordenât cussì (thus has the Lord commanded): ognidun che al çumi (let each man gather) seont che si sint di mangjâ (according to what he means to eat), un omer paromp (one omer per man). Ognidun an’ cjolarà (each man shall take thereof) daûr dal numar des personis (according to the number of individuals) che a vìvin te sô tende (who live in his tent). Un omer: ancient Israelite unit of measurement. Paromp (standardised par om): the standardised Friulian for man is om; the variant spelling omp reflects the presence of a p sound that may be realised at the end of it. An’ cjolarà: variation of a ’nt cjolarà.

Verse 17: I israelits a faserin cussì (the Israelites did so) e ant çumarin (and gathered thereof) cui masse cui pôc (some much, some little). For clarity: the Israelites did so, some gathering much, and some gathering little.

Verse 18: Cuant che a misurarin cul omer (when they measured by the omer), chel che ant veve çumade un grum (he who had gathered a great deal of it) no ’nt veve di masse (did not have [was not having] in excess thereof) e chel che ant veve çumade pocje (and he who had gathered little of it) ant veve vonde (had [was having] enough thereof): ognidun al veve riguet (each had gathered) ce che al podeve parâ jù (that which he was able to consume [drive down]). The past participle of racuei (to gather) is racuelt; this past participle is found here as the variant riguet.

Verse 19: Moses says: nissun nol à di metint di bande pal indoman (no one is to put any of it aside for the next day). Metint di bande: literally, metint (put-thereof) di bande (aside).

Verse 20: Tancj di lôr no volerin scoltâ Mosè (many of them refused to heed Moses [did not want to listen to Moses]) e ant meterin vie pal indoman (and left of it [thereof put away] for the next day), ma a vignirin fûr i viêrs (but worms appeared [came out]) e la robe e lè di mâl (and the thing went foul). Mosè si inrabià un grum cuintri di lôr: Moses became very angry with them.

Versets 21-30

Vocabulary: ogni (every), la buinore (morning), çumâ (to gather), daûr (according to), la fan (hunger), il soreli (sun), tacâ (to start, to begin), sclipî (to warm up), disfâsi (to melt), sest (sixth), la zornade (day), dopli (double), doi (two), il pan (bread), la teste (head), il sorestant (chief), il popul (people), vignî (to come), contâ (to tell, to relate), doman (tomorrow), la polse (rest, repose), complet (complete, total), la sabide (sabbath), riservâ (to reserve; also risiervâ), cuei (to bake, to cook), boli (to boil; also bulî), vanzâ (to be left over), meti vie (to put away), par doman (for tomorrow), pal indoman (for the next day), ordenâ (to order, to command), lâ di mâl (to go foul), il vier (worm), mangjâ (to eat), vuê (today), cjatâ (to find), par tiere (on the ground), sîs (six), il dî (day), setim (seventh), no… gran (not in the least), di fat (in fact), cualchidun (someone), saltâ fûr (to go/come out), une once (ounce), intindi (to mean, to intend), ustinâsi (to persist, to insist), volê (to want), meti (to put, to place), la vore (work, labour), un ordin (order, command), la leç (law), (to give), cjalâ (to look), la spese (provisions), restâ (to stay, to remain), polsâ (to rest).

Verse 21: E cussì ogni buinore (and so every morning) lôr ant çumavin ognidun (each gathered [was gathering] of it) daûr la fan che al veve (according to his hunger [according to the hunger that he was having]), e cuant che il soreli al tacave a sclipî (and when the sun began [was beginning] to grow hot), si disfave (it would melt [was melting]).

Verse 22: La seste zornade (on the sixth day) a çumarin dopli pan (they gathered double {the amount of} bread), doi omer a teste (two omer per man [per head]), e ducj i sorestants dal popul a vignirin di Mosè a contâje (and all the chiefs of the people came to Moses to tell him {about} it). Contâje: contâ + i + le (to tell + unto him + it).

Verse 23: Moses says: ve ce che al à dit il Signôr (this is what the Lord has said): doman e je une zornade di polse complete (tomorrow is a day of complete rest), une sabide riservade pal Signôr (a sabbath reserved for the Lord). Cueiêt ce che o vês di cuei (bake what you would bake [bake what you are to bake]), fasêt boli ce che o vês di fâ boli (boil what you would boil [make boil what you are to make boil]), e dut ce che al vanze meteilu vie par doman (and put away for tomorrow all that is left over [and all that is left over put it away for tomorrow]). Meteilu: phonetic spelling of metêtlu (put it; second-person plural imperative).

Verse 24: Lu meterin vie pal indoman (they put it away for the next day) come che al veve ordenât Mosè (as Moses had ordered); nol jere lât di mâl (it did not go foul [had not gone foul]) e no ’nd jere viêrs (and there were no worms).

Verse 25: Moses says: mangjaitlu vuê (eat it today), parcè che cheste zornade e je une sabide pal Signôr (for today [this day] is a sabbath of the Lord [for the Lord]); vuè no ’nt cjatarês par tiere (you will not find any of it on the ground today).

Verse 26: Par sîs dîs ant çumarês (for six days you shall gather of it), ma la setime zornade (but on the seventh day), la sabide (the sabbath), no ’nt sarà gran (there will be none of it whatsoever).

Verse 27: E di fat (and in fact) cualchidun al saltà fûr (some went out [someone went out]) ancje la setime zornade (even on the seventh day) par çumânt (to gather thereof), ma no ’nt cjatà once (but found none of it whatsoever [but did not find an ounce thereof]).

Verse 28: The Lord says to Moses: fin cuant (for how long [up to when]) intindêso ustinâsi (do you mean to persist) a no volê meti in vore (in refusing [not wanting] to put into practice [into work]) i miei ordins e lis mês leçs? (my commands and my laws?).

Verse 29: Cjalait mo (pay heed [look now]): il Signôr us à dade la sabide (the Lord has given you the sabbath), par chel (therefore; that is why) la seste zornade (on the sixth day) us dà la spese par doi dîs (he gives you provisions for two days). Restait ognidun là che o sês (each one of you is to remain where you are [remain each one {of you} where you are]) e nissun nol à di saltâ fûr la setime zornade (and no one is to go out on the seventh day).

Verse 30: Alore il popul al polsà la setime zornade: so the people rested on the seventh day.

Versets 31-36

Vocabulary: il fi (son), meti (to put, to place), il non (to name), la robe (thing, matter), la mane (manna), cjapâ par (to take for), il grignel (grain, seed), il curiandul (coriander), blanc (white), il savôr (flavour), la pete (wafer), la mîl (honey), ordenâ (to order, to command), jemplâ (to fill), vie (away), vignî (to come), viodi (to see), il pan (bread), nudrî (to nourish, to feed), il desert (desert), fâ saltâ fûr (to bring forth), la tiere (land), cjoli (to take), la cassele (case, crate), dentri (inside, within), denant di (before, in front of), conservâ (to keep, to conserve), vignî daûr (to come after, to follow), plaçâ (to place), il santuari (sanctuary), mangjâ (to eat), corante (forty; also cuarante), un an (year; plural agns), a dilunc (in length), fintremai che (until such time as), la tiere (land), jessi a stâ (to dwell), la int (people), il cunfin (border, confine; also confin), decim (tenth), un efa (ephah).

Verse 31: I fîs di Israel i meterin non a di chê robe “mane”: the sons of Israel named the thing ‘manna’ (the sons of Israel gave unto that thing {the} name ‘manna’). Si le varès cjapade pal grignel dal curiandul (it looked like [it could have been taken for] coriander seed); e jere blancje (it was white) e e veve il savôr di une pete cu la mîl (and tasted like [was having the flavour of] a wafer with honey).

Verse 32: Moses says: ve ce che al à ordenât il Signôr (this is what the Lord has commanded): jemplait un omer (fill an omer {of it}) e metêtlu vie (and put it away) par chei che a vignaran (for future generations [for those who will come]), par che a viodin ancje lôr (that they too may see) il pan che jo us ài nudrîts tal desert (the bread that I fed you in the desert) cuant che us ài fats saltâ fûr de tiere dal Egjit (when I brought you forth [made you come forth] from the land of Egypt).

Verse 33: Moses says to Aaron: cjol une cassele (take a crate), met dentri un omer di mane (put one omer of manna in it) e metile denant dal Signôr (and place it before the Lord), che le conservi par chei che a vignaran daûr (that he may keep it for future generations [for those who will come after]).

Verse 34: Aron le plaçà denant dal santuari par conservâle (Aaron placed it before the sanctuary, that it be kept [to keep it]), come che i veve ordenât il Signôr a Mosè (as the Lord had commanded Moses [commanded unto Moses]).

Verse 35: I israelits a mangjarin mane (the Israelites ate manna) par corant’agns a dilunc (for forty years [for forty years in length]), fintremai che a rivarin tune tiere là ch’e jere a stâ int (until they came to a settled land [until they came to a land where people were dwelling]). A mangjarin la mane (they ate manna) fintremai che a rivarin sui cunfins (until they came to the borders) de tiere di Canaan (of the land of Canaan).

Verse 36: Il omer al sarès un decim di efa: the omer is (would be) one tenth of an ephah. The ephah is ancient Israelite unit of measurement.