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

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

The first-time visitor to this site ought to begin his study of the Friulian language here.

Read Esodo 16

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 16. An archived version of the text is found here.

Versets 1-2

Vocabulary: partî (to depart), dut (all), il popul (people), rivâ (to arrive), il desert (desert), fra (between), cuindicesim (fifteenth), la dì (day), secont (second), il mês (month), saltâ fûr (to come forth), la int (people), metisi (to put oneself), bruntulâ (to grumble), cuintri di (against).

Verse 1: Partîts di Elim (in having departed from Elim), dut il popul di Israel al rivà tal desert di Sin (all the people of Israel arrived in 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 (when they had come forth from Egypt).

Verse 2: Dute la int si metè (all the people put themselves) a bruntulâ cuintri di Mosè e di Aron tal desert (unto grumbling against Moses and Aaron in the desert).

Verset 3

I israelits ur diserin (the Israelites said unto them): fossino muarts par mans dal Signôr (would that we had died by hands of the Lord) te tiere dal Egjit (in the land of Egypt), cuant che o podevin almancul (when we could at least) sentâsi daprûf di une stagnade di cjar (sit ourselves down by a pot of flesh) e parâ jù pan fintremai che ant vevin vonde (and drive down bread so long as we had enough thereof). O vês fat a pueste (ye have done expressly) a menânus in chest desert (by leading us into this desert) par fâ murî di fan dute cheste int (to make all these people die of hunger).

Vocabulary: un israelit (Israelite), (to say), murî (to die), la man (hand), la tiere (land), podê (can), almancul (at least), sentâsi (to sit oneself down), daprûf di (by), la stagnade (pot), la cjar (flesh), parâ jù (to drive down), il pan (bread), fintremai che (so long as), vonde (enough), (to do, to make), a pueste (expressly), menâ (to lead), il desert (desert), la fan (hunger), la int (people).

Parâ jù: literally, to drive down; as employed in this text of this verse, this is to be understood as meaning to devour.

Fâ murî: A distinction is to be drawn between fâ murî (to make die) and copâ (to kill). Whereas copâ identifies a direct method of killing, fâ murî identifies an indirect one. For instance, if a man caused the death of another by stabbing him, this man has killed that other: lu à copât (he hath killed him). If a man caused the death of another by thirst, this man has made die that other: lu à fat murî (he hath made him die). Pre Antoni Beline and pre Checo Placearan, the translators of our Bible in Friulian, were mindful of this distinction: the people accuse Moses and Aaron of aiming to kill them through the indirect method of hunger, whence fâ murî.

Fossino muarts par mans dal Signôr employs the optative subjunctive, used in Friulian to express a wish: fossino muarts (would that we had died); fossistu mancul egoist (would that thou 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 (would that I had done it before). Key forms to learn are presented below, with more instances of use following the tables:

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 the student of Friulian to analyse: laudât seial il cîl (praised be the heaven); fossistu crepât (would that thou had died); fossial stât un pôc plui atent (would that he had dwelt a little more attentive); no lu vessio dismot (would that I had not awoken him); vessistu viodût ce tonie che al veve intor (would that thou had seen the tunic which he had on). In that last example, intor translates literally as about; in Friulian, a donned article of clothing is said to be about a man.

Versets 4-10

Vocabulary: (to say), plovi (to rain), il pan (bread), il cîl (heaven), la int (people), saltâ fûr (to come forth), çumâ (to pick), ogni (every), la dì (day), la purizion (portion), meti (to put), cussì (so), la prove (proof), viodi (to see), marçâ (to march), seont (according unto), la leç (law), sest (sixth), la zornade (day), preparâ (to prepare), tirâ dongje (to draw alongside), il dopli (double), dut (all), 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), cuintri di (against), cjapâse (to take it unto oneself), (to give), mangjâ (to eat), la cjar (flesh), tant che (so much as), volê (to will), sintî (to hear), ca (hither), denant di (before), lis cjacaris (chatterings), biel che (whilst), fevelâ (to speak), voltâsi (to turn oneself), la bande (side), il desert (desert), pandisi (to manifest oneself), il nûl (cloud).

Verse 4: Il Signôr i disè a Mosè (the Lord said unto Moses): us fasarai plovi pan dal cîl (I shall make bread rain from the heaven for you). La int e saltarà fûr (the people will come forth) e a çumarà ogni dì la sô purizion par chê dì (and will pick every day their portion for that day); cussì ju metarai a lis provis (so shall I put them unto the proof*) par viodi se a marcin seont la mê leç o no (to see if they march according unto my law or not). — *literally, proofs

Verse 5: La seste zornade ({on} the sixth day), cuant che a prepararan ce che a varan tirât dongje (when they will prepare that which they will have drawn alongside), a varan il dopli di chel che a çumin ogni dì (they will have the double of that which they pick every day).

Verses 6-7: Mosè e Aron i diserin a dute la semblee dai fîs di Israel (Moses and Aaron said unto all the assembly of the sons of Israel): usgnot o savarês che al è stât il Signôr (tonight ye will know that it was the Lord) chel che us à fats saltâ fûr de tiere dal Egjit (that one who made you come forth from the land of Egypt) e doman a buinore (and tomorrow morning) o viodarês la glorie dal Signôr (ye will see the glory of the Lord). Parcè che al è vignût a savê (for he hath come to know) che o vês bruntulât cuintri dal Signôr (that ye have grumbled against the Lord). E nô, cui sino nô (and we, who are we) che se cjapais cuintri di nô? (that ye take it unto yourselves against us?).

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

Verse 9: Mosè i disè a Aron (Moses said unto Aaron): tu ur disarâs a ducj i fîs di Israel (thou shalt say unto all the sons of Israel): vignît ca denant dal Signôr (come hither before the Lord), parcè che al à sintudis lis vuestris cjacaris (for he hath heard your chatterings).

Verse 10: Biel che Aron ur fevelave a dute la int di Israel (whilst Aaron was speaking unto all the people of Israel), si voltarin de bande dal desert (they turned themselves towards the desert) e ve che la glorie dal Signôr si pandè intal nûl (and so it was that the glory of the Lord manifested itself in the cloud).

Versets 11-20

Vocabulary: fevelâ (to speak), cussì (so), sintî (to hear), un israelit (Israelite), bruntulâ (to grumble), (to say), il soreli (sun), lâ a mont (to set), mangjâ (to eat), la cjar (flesh), la buinore (morning), podê (to be able, can), passisi (to sate oneself), il pan (bread), savê (to know), la sere (evening), rivâ (to arrive), la cuae (quail), a pleton (in great deal), taponâ (to conceal), il campament (encampment), torator di (round about), une cuarte di (a span of), la rosade (dew), svaporâ (to evaporate), viodi (to see), la face (face), il desert (desert), la robe (matter), minût (little), il grignelut (little grain), fin (fine), la gilugne (frost), il teren (ground), (to give), la mangjative (food), ordenâ (to order), ognidun (each), çumâ (to pick), seont che (accordingly as), sintîsi di (to be disposed to), un omer (omer), paromp (per man), cjoli (to take), daûr di (according unto), il numar (number), la persone (person), vivi (to live), la tende (tent), cui… cui… (he… he…), masse (much), pôc (little), misurâ (to measure), un grum (much, very), di masse (in excess), vonde (enough), racuei (to gather), parâ jù (to drive down), meti di bande (to put aside), pal indoman (for next day), volê (to will), scoltâ (to hearken), meti vie (to put away), vignî fûr (to come forth), il vier (worm), lâ di mâl (to go ill), inrabiâsi (to become angered).

Verses 11-12: Il Signôr i fevelà a Mosè cussì (the Lord spoke unto Moses so): o ài sintût i israelits (I have heard the Israelites) che a bruntulavin cuintri di me (who were grumbling against me). Tu âs di dîur chest (thou art to say unto them this): cuant che il soreli al larà a mont (when the sun will set), o mangjarês cjar (ye will eat flesh) e a buinore (and in the morning) o podarês passisi di pan (ye will be able to sate yourselves of bread). Alore o savarês (then ye will know) che jo o soi il Signôr vuestri Diu (that I am the Lord your God).

Verse 13: Sore sere (towards evening) a rivarin cuais a pleton (quails in great deal arrived) e a taponarin dut il campament e (and concealed all the encampment and), a buinore (in the morning), torator dal campament (round about the encampment) and jere une cuarte di rosade (there was a span of dew).

Verse 14: Svaporade dute cheste rosade (all this dew in having evaporated), si viodè su la face dal desert une robe minude (a little matter was seen on the face of the desert), a grigneluts (in the form of little grains), fine come la gilugne sul teren (fine as the frost on the ground).

Verse 15: Cuant che i israelits a vioderin (when the Israelites saw), si diserin un cul altri (they said unto one another): ce robe ese? (what matter is it?), parcè che no savevin ce robe ch’e jere (for they knew not what matter it was). Mosè ur disè (Moses said unto them): chest al è il pan (this is the bread) che il Signôr us à dât par mangjative (which the Lord hath given you for food).

Verse 16: Il Signôr al à ordenât cussì (the Lord hath ordered so): ognidun che al çumi (let each pick) seont che si sint di mangjâ (accordingly as he is disposed to eat), un omer paromp (one omer per man). Ognidun an’ cjolarà (each shall take thereof) daûr dal numar des personis (according unto the number of people) che a vivin te sô tende (who live in his tent).

Verse 17: I israelits a faserin cussì (the Israelites did so) e ant çumarin (and picked thereof) cui masse cui pôc (he much, he little).

Verse 18: Cuant che a misurarin cul omer (when they measured with the omer), chel che ant veve çumade un grum (that one who had picked much thereof) no ’nt veve di masse (had not in excess thereof) e chel che ant veve çumade pocje (and that one who had picked little thereof) ant veve vonde (had enough thereof): ognidun al veve riguet* (each had gathered) ce che al podeve parâ jù (that which he could drive down). — *Of racuei (to gather), the past participle is racuelt. Rather than racuelt, the online version of the text employs the variant riguet. In the printed version of this Bible from 2018, riguet has since been changed to racuelt.

Verse 19: Mosè ur disè (Moses said unto them): nissun nol à di metint di bande pal indoman (not a one is to put aside thereof for next day).

Verse 20: Tancj di lôr no volerin scoltâ Mosè (many of them willed not hearken unto Moses) e ant meterin vie pal indoman (and put away thereof for next day), ma a vignirin fûr i viers (but worms came forth) e la robe e lè di mâl (and the matter went ill). Mosè si inrabià un grum cuintri di lôr: Moses became very angered against them.

Versets 21-30

Vocabulary: cussì (so), ogni (every), la buinore (morning), çumâ (to pick), ognidun (each), daûr (according unto), la fan (hunger), il soreli (sun), tacâ (to start), sclipî (to wax warm), disfâsi (to undo oneself), sest (sixth), la zornade (day), dopli (double), il pan (bread), doi (two), un omer (omer), a teste (per head), dut (all), il sorestant (chief), il popul (people), vignî (to come), contâ (to recount), (to say), doman (tomorrow), la polse (rest), complet (complete), la sabide (sabbath), riservâ (to reserve), cuei (to cook), boli (to boil), vanzâ (to be remanent), meti vie (to put away), pal indoman (for next day), ordenâ (to order), lâ di mâl (to go ill), il vier (worm), mangjâ (to eat), vuê (today), cjatâ (to find), par tiere (on the ground), sîs (six), il dì (day), setim (seventh), no… gran (not in the least), di fat (in fact), cualchidun (some {people}), saltâ fûr (to come forth), une once (ounce), fin cuant (until when), intindi (to intend), ustinâsi (to be obstinate), volê (to will), meti in vore (to put unto task), un ordin (order), la leç (law), cjalâ (to look), (to give), par chel (wherefore), la spese (provisions), restâ (to remain), nissun (not a one), polsâ (to rest).

Verse 21: E cussì ogni buinore (and so every morning) lôr ant çumavin (they would pick thereof) ognidun daûr la fan che al veve (each according unto the hunger which he had), e cuant che il soreli al tacave a sclipî (and when the sun would start waxing warm), si disfave (*it would melt*). — *literally, it would undo itself

Verse 22: La seste zornade ({on} the sixth day) a çumarin dopli pan (they picked double bread), doi omer a teste (two omer per head), e ducj i sorestants dal popul a vignirin di Mosè a contâje (and all the chiefs of the people came unto Moses to recount it unto him).

Verse 23: Ur disè (he said unto them): ve ce che al à dit il Signôr (this is that which the Lord hath 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 (cook that which ye are to cook), fasêt boli ce che o vês di fâ boli (make boil that which ye are to make boil), e dut ce che al vanze (and all that which is remanent) meteilu* vie par doman (put it away for tomorrow). — *Of meti (to put), the second-person plural imperative is metêt. Metêtlu, then, is a second-person plural imperative meaning put it; the online version of this text instead gives its spelling as meteilu, which is non-standard but phonetic. In the printed version of this Bible from 2018, its spelling was standardised that it should read metêtlu. In verse 32, moreover, the spelling metêtlu is employed even in the online version.

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

Verse 25: Dissal Mosè (Moses said): mangjaitlu vuê (eat it today), parcè che cheste zornade e je une sabide pal Signôr (for this day is a sabbath for the Lord); vuê no ’nt cjatarês par tiere (today ye will not find thereof on the ground).

Verse 26: Par sîs dîs ant çumarês (for six days shall ye pick thereof), ma la setime zornade (but {on} the seventh day), la sabide (the sabbath), no ’nt sarà gran (there will not be thereof in the least).

Verse 27: E di fat (and in fact) cualchidun al saltà fûr (some came forth) ancje la setime zornade (also {on} the seventh day) par çumânt (to pick thereof), ma no ’nt cjatà once (but found not ounce* thereof). — *The Friulian does indeed employ this measurement (once); ‘not ounce thereof’ is to be understood here as meaning ‘not a bit thereof’. I have let ounce stand in my translation, despite its being anachronistic, as it presents no comprehension problem and may also be read as a figurative usage so in the English as in the Friulian. That said, the reader must understand that ounce was not used in the Hebrew text, and that the employment of this word finds its source in the Friulian language.

Verse 28: Il Signôr i disè a Mosè (the Lord said unto Moses): fin cuant intindêso ustinâsi (until when intend ye be obstinate) a no volê meti in vore (by willing not put unto task) i miei ordins e lis mês leçs? (my orders and my laws?).

Verse 29: Cjalait mo (look now): il Signôr us à dade la sabide (the Lord hath given you the sabbath), par chel la seste zornade (wherefore {on} the sixth day) us dà la spese par doi dîs (he giveth you provisions for two days). Restait ognidun là che o sês (remain each where ye are) e nissun nol à di saltâ fûr la setime zornade (and not a one is to come forth {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), il non (to name), la robe (matter), la mane (manna), cjapâ par (to take for), il grignel (grain), il curiandul (coriander), blanc (white), il savôr (flavour), la pete (wafer), la mîl (honey), ordenâ (to order), jemplâ (to fill), meti vie (to put away), vignî (to come), viodi (to see), il pan (bread), nudrî (to nourish), il desert (desert), saltâ fûr (to come forth), la tiere (land), cjoli (to take), la cassele (case), meti dentri (to put inside), denant di (before), conservâ (to conserve), vignî daûr (to come behind), plaçâ (to place), il santuari (sanctuary), un israelit (Israelite), mangjâ (to eat), corante (forty), un an (year), a dilunc (in length), fintremai che (until), rivâ (to arrive), la tiere (land), jessi a stâ (to dwell), la int (people), il cunfin (boundary), un decim (one tenth), un efa (ephah).

Verse 31: I fîs di Israel (the sons of Israel) i meterin non a di chê robe “mane” (put the name ‘manna’ unto that matter). Si le varès cjapade pal grignel dal curiandul (it could have been taken for grain of coriander); e jere blancje (it was white) e e veve il savôr di une pete cu la mîl (and had the flavour of a wafer with honey).

Verse 32: Dissal Mosè (Moses said): ve ce che al à ordenât il Signôr (this is that which the Lord hath ordered): jemplait un omer (fill an omer) e metêtlu vie (and put it away) par chei che a vignaran (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 wherewith I nourished you in the desert) cuant che us ài fats saltâ fûr de tiere dal Egjit (when I made you come forth from the land of Egypt).

Verse 33: Mosè i disè a Aron (Moses said unto Aaron): cjol une cassele (take a case), met dentri un omer di mane (put inside one omer of manna) e metile denant dal Signôr (and put it before the Lord), che le conservi par chei che a vignaran daûr (that he may conserve it for those who will come behind).

Verse 34: Aron le plaçà denant dal santuari par conservâle (Aaron placed it before the sanctuary to conserve it), come che i veve ordenât il Signôr a Mosè (as the Lord had ordered Moses).

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

Verse 36: Il omer al sarès un decim di efa: the omer would be one tenth of an ephah.