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

In this post, you will study the Friulian language as it relates to Esodo 16, or the sixteenth chapter of the book of Exodus, where the subject is la mane e lis cuais (manna and quails).

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Friulian language here (Gjenesi 1). The Friulian Bible that you will read is made available by Glesie Furlane, in Bibie par un popul. You can read and listen to the Bible in Friulian by following the link.

Before you begin your study, you will need to access the text of the verses in Friulian; you can do so by following the links below, which will take you to the Bibie par un popul site.

Should the page linked above ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.

Versets 1-5

Vocabulary: partî (to leave, to depart), il popul (people), rivâ (to arrive), il desert (desert), cuindicesim (fifteenth), la dì (day) secont (second), il mês (month), saltâ fûr (to go out), la int (people), bruntulâ (to grumble, to complain), murî (to die), par mans di (by the hand of), almancul (at least), sentâsi (to sit down), daprûf di (next to), la stagnade (pot, marmite), la cjar (flesh), parâ jù (to swallow; to eat), il pan (bread), fintremai che (for as long as), vonde (enough), fâ a pueste (to do on purpose), menâ (to lead, to guide), la fan (hunger), plovi (to rain), il cîl (heaven, sky), çumâ (to gather), 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), tirâ dongje (to gather), il dopli di (double the amount of).

In verse 3, the Israelites say: fossino muarts par mans dal Signôr te tiere dal Egjit (if only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt), cuant che o podevin almancul sentâsi daprûf di une stagnade di cjar (when at least we could sit down next to a pot of flesh [meat]) e parâ jù pan fintremai che ant vevin vonde (and eat bread for as long as we had enough of it; that is, for as long as it lasted us).

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 (Gjen 9:25)
cursed be Canaan
may Canaan be cursed

benedet seial il Signôr (Gjen 9:26)
blessed be the Lord
may the Lord be blessed

lu vessio fat prime
if only I had done it before

You will read more examples below. First, learn the following forms, which will probably be of the most immediate use to you:

Coniuntîf presint (otatîf)
Present subjunctive (optative)




Coniuntîf imperfet (otatîf)
Imperfect subjunctive (optative)




Coniuntîf imperfet (otatîf)
Imperfect subjunctive (optative)




Here are more examples of the optative for you to analyse; they are all taken from the Grant Dizionari Bilengâl Talian-Furlan (GDBtf). The optative will continued to be explored as it appears in the readings.

laudât seial il cîl
may heaven be praised

fossistu crepât
if only you had died
crepâ, to die

fossial stât un pôc plui atent
if only he had been a little more attentive

no lu vessio dismot
if only I had not woken him up
dismovi, to wake up

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

In verse 3, you encounter vonde, meaning enough; it is also expressed as avonde. Examples:

fintremai che o ’nt vevin vonde
(in the text as fintremai che ant vevin vonde)
as long as we had enough of it

âstu mangjât avonde?
have you eaten enough?

o ’nd ai avonde
I have enough of it; of them

Recall that, 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.

a ’nd è
there is (some) of it

a ’nt sarà

there will be (some) of it

lui a ’nd à
he has (some) of it
he has (some) of them

lui no ’nd à
he has not (any) of it
he has not (any) of them

o ’nd ai
I have (some) of it
I have (some) of them

no tu ’nd âs
you do not have (any) of it
you do not have (any) of them

ind âstu?
have you (any) of it?
have you (any) of them?

int vuelistu?
do you want (any) of it?
do you want (any) of them?

o ’nt viôt
I see (some) of it
I see (some) of them

o ’nt vuei trê
I want three of them

us int doi cuatri
I give you four of them

From verse 3, understand also: par fâ murî di fan dute cheste int (in order to kill [literally, make die] all these people from hunger).

From verse 4, understand: us fasarai plovi pan dal cîl (I shall make bread rain from the heaven for you).

Versets 6-10

Vocabulary: (to say), la semblee (assembly, congregation), il fi (son), usgnot (tonight), savê (to know), doman a buinore (tomorrow morning), la glorie (glory), vignî a savê (to come to know, to find out), cjapâse cuintri di (to get angry with, to get upset with), mangjâ (to eat), a buinore (in the morning), tant che (as much as), volê (to want), sintî (to hear), ca (here), la cjacare (chatter), biel che (whilst, as), fevelâ (to speak), voltâsi de bande di (to turn towards), ve che (behold), pandisi (to appear, to reveal oneself), il nûl (cloud).

Verse 7: cui sino nô che se cjapais cuintri di nô? (who are we that you get upset with us?; that is, why is it with us that you should get upset?); after all, it was not Moses and Aaron who brought the Israelites out of Egypt, but the Lord.

Verse 8: us darà di mangjâ cjar e, a buinore, pan tant che ant volês (he will give you flesh to eat and, in the morning, as much bread as you want [literally, bread as much as you want of it]); tant che ant volês can also be expressed as tant che o ’nt volês.

Verse 9: al à sintudis lis vuestris cjacaris (he has heard your chatterings; that is, their complaints).

Verse 10: biel che Aron ur fevelave a dute la int di Israel (whilst Aaron was speaking to all the people of Israel); la glorie dal Signôr si pandè intal nûl (the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud).

Versets 11-15

Vocabulary: vê di (to have to, must), il soreli (sun), lâ a mont (to set), passisi di (to sate oneself with), sore sere (in the evening), la cuae (quail; also cuaie), a pleton (in great numbers), taponâ (to cover), il campament (camp), torator di (around, surrounding), une cuarte di (a stretch of), la rosade (dew), svaporâ (to evaporate), la face (face, surface), la robe (thing), minût (small), il grignelut (small grain), fin (fine), la gilugne (frost; also zulugne), il teren (ground), la mangjative (food).

Verse 11: there is a spelling error in the online version; the text should read o mangjarês cjar (you will eat flesh).

Verse 12: tu âs di dîur chest (you have to tell them this, you must tell them this); cuant che il soreli al larà a mont (when the sun sets; literally, when the sun will set).

Verse 13: rivâ a pleton can be understood as to arrive in great numbers, to come in great numbers. It was quails that arrived; the Friulian for quail is la cuaie (in standardised spelling) or cuae. The singular form does not appear in these verses (only the plural lis cuais appears), but if the singular had appeared, the variant spelling cuae would have almost certainly been used. (Compare to the use of la plae [plague] in earlier chapters, such as Esodo 7, rather than the standardised plaie.) Also from this verse: torator dal campament and jere une cuarte di rosade (surrounding the camp there was a stretch of dew; an expanse of dew); and could also be written a ’nd.

Verse 14: svaporade dute cheste rosade (all this dew having evaporated). As for the masculine noun grignelut, this is a small grain; it is the diminutive form of grignel (meaning grain; see verse 31 ahead, where it is used). A grigneluts can be understood literally as meaning by the small grainful, in small grainfuls or, better perhaps in the context of this verse, in the form of small grains. You read: si viodè su la face dal desert une robe minude (a small thing was seen on the face of the desert), a grigneluts (in the form of small grains), fine come la gilugne sul teren (fine like frost on the ground).

Verse 15: si diserin un cul altri (they said to one another); ce robe ese? (what is that?); no savevin ce robe ch’e jere (they did not know what it was); par mangjative (as food, for food).

Versets 16-20

Vocabulary: ordenâ (to order, to command), ognidun (each one, every person), un omer (omer), paromp (per man, per person; also par om), cjoli (to take), daûr di (according to), il numar (number), la persone (person), vivi (to live, to dwell), la tende (tent), masse (too much), pôc (little, few), misurâ (to measure), un grum (a lot, a great deal), di masse (in excess), racuei (to gather; past participle racuelt, expressed here as the variant riguet), meti di bande (to set aside), pal indoman (for the following day), tancj di lôr (many of them), scoltâ (to listen), meti vie (to set aside, to put away), vignî fûr (to come out, to appear), il vier (worm), lâ di mâl (to go bad, to rot), inrabiâsi un grum (to get very angry).

Verse 16: ognidun che al çumi seont che si sint di mangjâ (let each [man] gather according to what he can eat); each man was to gather according to immediate needs and not accumulate a store. Si sint is the masculine, third-person singular of the present indicative of sintîsi. Un omer: this was an ancient Israelite unit of measurement; un omer paromp (un omer par om), one omer per man. The standard Friulian spelling for man is om; the spelling omp reflects the presence of a p sound that can be realised at the end of it.

Also from verse 16: ognidun an’ cjolarà (each [man] shall take of it) daûr dal numar des personis che a vìvin te sô tende (according to the number of people living in his tent). In an’ cjolarà, the t has been contracted; this could have also been written a ’nt cjolarà.

Verse 17: ant çumarin cui masse cui pôc (they gathered of it, some too much, some little; that is, some men gathered too much of it whereas others gathered little). Cui, which you have encountered many times already with the meaning who, can be understood as meaning some (people) here. This sentence could also be written a ’nt çumarin cui masse cui pôc.

Verse 18: chel che ant veve çumade un grum (he who had gathered a lot of it) no ’nt veve di masse (did not have of it in excess) e chel che ant veve çumade pocje (and he who had gathered little of it) ant veve vonde (had enough of it). One interpretation of this (source) asserts that God performed a miracle whereby he who had gathered too much had his store diminished, whereas he who had gathered too little had his store increased. Also from verse 18: ognidun al veve riguet ce che al podeve parâ jù (each one had gathered that which he could consume).

Verse 19: nissun nol à di metint di bande pal indoman (nobody must set aside of it for the following day).

Verse 20: ant meterin vie pal indoman (they put away of it [set aside of it] for the following day); a vignirin fûr i viêrs (worms came out); la robe e lè di mâl (it went bad, it went off, it rotted).

Versets 21-24

Vocabulary: tacâ (to start), sclipî (to warm up), disfâsi (to melt), a teste (per man; literally, per head), il sorestant (leader), vignî di (to come unto), contâ (to tell, to relate, to narrate), la polse (rest, repose), complet (complete, total), la sabide (sabbath), riservâ (to reserve; also risiervâ), cuei (to cook), fâ boli (to boil; literally, to make boil; also fâ bulî), vanzâ (to be left over), par doman (for tomorrow).

Verse 21: lôr ant çumavin ognidun daûr la fan che al veve (they each gathered of it according to the hunger that he had); cuant che il soreli al tacave a sclipî, si disfave (when the sun started to heat up, it melted). The manna had to be gathered early, otherwise it melted when the sun grew hot.

Verse 22: a çumarin dopli pan (they gathered twice the bread); a vignirin di Mosè a contâje (they came unto Moses to tell him [about] it).

Verse 23: une zornade di polse complete (a day of complete rest); une sabide riservade pal Signôr (a sabbath reserved for the Lord); cueiêt ce che o vês di cuei (cook what you must cook); dut ce che al vanze meteilu vie par doman (whatever is left over, put it away for tomorrow). Meteilu is a phonetic spelling of metêtlu.

Verse 24: nol jere lât di mâl (it did not go bad, it did not rot); no ’nd jere viêrs (there were no worms).

Versets 25-30

Vocabulary: vuê (today), cjatâ (to find), par tiere (on the ground), par sîs dîs (for six days), setim (seventh), no… gran (not at all), e di fat (and as a matter of fact), cualchidun (someone), une once (ounce), intindi (to intend), ustinâsi (to refuse), meti in vore (to put into practice), un ordin (order), (to give), la spese (provisions), par doi dîs (for two days), restâ (to stay), là che (there where), polsâ (to rest).

Verse 25: vuè no ’nt cjatarês par tiere (today you shall not find of it on the ground).

Verse 26: par sîs dîs ant çumarês (for six days you shall gather of it); no ’nt sarà gran (there shall not be any of it at all).

Verse 27: cualchidun al saltà fûr (…) par çumânt (some came out to gather of it); no ’nt cjatà once (he did not find any of it at all; literally, he did not find an ounce of it).

Verse 28: fin cuant intindêso ustinâsi (how long do you intend to refuse) a no volê meti in vore i miei ordins e lis mês leçs? (to observe [to put into practice] my commands and laws?).

Verse 29: cjalait mo (see now, see here, look now); restait ognidun là che o sês (stay each one of you where you are).

Versets 31-36

Vocabulary: meti non (to name), la mane (manna), cjapâ par (to take for, to think of as), il grignel (grain), il curiandul (coriander), blanc (white), vê il savôr di (to taste like; literally, to have the flavour of), la pete (wafer), il mîl (honey), jemplâ (to fill), nudrî (to nourish, to feed), la cassele (case, crate), meti dentri (to put inside), conservâ (to keep, to conserve), vignî daûr (to come after, to follow), plaçâ (to place), il santuari (sanctuary), corante (forty; also cuarante), un an (year; plural agns), a dilunc (in length), jessi a stâ (to live, to dwell), il cunfin (border, confine; also confin), decim (tenth), un efa (ephah).

Verse 31: i meterin non a di chê robe “mane” (they named that thing “manna”); si le varès cjapade pal grignel dal curiandul (it could have been taken for [that is, it looked like] a grain of coriander). Of the manna you also read: e jere blancje e e veve il savôr di une pete cu la mîl (it was white and it tasted like [literally, it had the flavour of] a wafer with honey).

Verse 32: il pan che jo us ài nudrîts (the bread with which I fed you).

Verse 35: fintremai che a rivarin tune tiere là ch’e jere a stâ int (until they arrived in a land where there were people living).

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