Friulian language series: Esodo 21, lis leçs (I)

Through the Friulian language, you will read about the following subject matter in Esodo 21, or the twenty-first chapter of the book of Exodus: leçs di dirit familiâr: leçs pai sclâfs (rulings of family law: rulings for slaves), leçs di dirit criminâl: omicidi (rulings of criminal law: homicide), delits cuintri des personis (crimes against people), delits cuintri de propietât (crimes against property). Learn or review the following: la leç (ruling, law), il dirit (jurisprudence, law), familiâr (family), il sclâf (slave), criminâl (criminal), un omicidi (homicide), il delit (crime, offence), la persone (person), la propietât (property; also proprietât).

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Read Esodo 21

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Versets 1-6

Vocabulary: la leç (law, ruling), comprâ (to buy), il sclâf (slave), stâ sot (to be servile), un an (year), setim (seventh), lâsint (to leave, to go away), libar (free, liberated), un carantan (see notes below), dibessôl (alone, on one’s own), tornâ a lâsint (to leave again, to go away again), maridât (married), la femine (wife), il paron (master), maridâ (to marry [off]), parturî (to bear), il fi (son), la fie (daughter), il frut (child), restâ di (to remain unto), (to say), volê ben (to love), il canai (child), la brame (desire), menâ dongje di (to bring unto), il batecul (door-knocker), un antîl de puarte (door post), forâ (to pierce), la orele (ear), il pontarûl (awl), restâ sotan (to remain a slave), par simpri (forever).

Verse 1: ve lis leçs che tu âs di dâur (these are the laws that you must give them). Pronunciation note: The ç of the plural leçs is not pronounced (it is of course pronounced in the singular leç); you will recall that this also applies to other plurals in çs, such as bêçs (money). In similar fashion, a final t is not pronounced when the plural s is added; for example, the t in the plural dirits is not pronounced (it is of course pronounced in the singular dirit).

In verse 2, of a bought Hebrew, you read: al à di stâ sot di te par sîs agns (he must serve you [literally, he has to be under you] for six years) e il setim al pò lâsint libar (and the seventh [year] he can go free), cence dâti un carantan (without paying you anything). In negative expressions, un carantan can be understood as nothing; it is similar to the English use of cent or penny to mean nothing in negative expressions (although these usages would be anachronistic in the Bible); for example, cence dâti un carantan could be translated without giving you a penny, without paying you a cent, etc. To take another example, no vâl un carantan means it is not worth a cent, it is not worth a penny, it is worth nothing, etc. (The verb valê means to be worth.)

Verse 3: se al è vignût dibessôl (if he came on his own), al tornarà a lâsint dibessôl (he shall leave again on his own). Of a married slave, you read that his wife can go with him: la sô femine si ’nt larà cun lui (his wife shall leave with him).

In verse 4, the verb maridâ is to be understood in the sense of to marry off, to give a spouse to: se il so paron lu maride (if his master gives him a wife). In the remainder of the verse, you read that the slave leaves on his own if his wife gave him children; that is, the wife and children stay behind. Note how Friulian uses che in the following: se il so paron lu maride (if his master gives him a wife) e che la sô femine i parturissi fîs o fiis (and [if] his wife should bear sons or daughters unto him).

Verse 5: jo i vuei ben al gno paron (I love my master). Take note that, with the expression volê ben, the person loved is an indirect object: jo i vuei ben al gno paron. Also from this verse: no ài nissune brame di jessi lassât libar (I have no desire to be set free).

Verse 6: lu fasarà lâ dongje dal batecul o dal antîl de puarte (he shall make him go unto the door-knocker or door post); i forarà la orele cuntun pontarûl (he shall pierce his ear with an awl).

Versets 7-11

Vocabulary: vendi (to sell), la sclave (female slave), no lâi a (to not suit), distinâsi par sè (to designate for oneself, to betroth to oneself; also destinâsi par sè), sfrancjâ (to liberate, to free), dâ vie (to give away), forest (foreign), lant cun (on account of, in accordance with), la falsetât (deceit, falsity), distinâ (to designate, to betroth; also destinâ), tratâ (to treat), seont (according to; also secont), la usance (custom, habit), cjoli par sè (to take for oneself), tirâ su (to draw upon, to withdraw), la spese (provisions), la munture (garments, clothes; also monture), il dirit (right), il matrimoni (marriage), mancjâ (to be lacking), la robe (thing, matter), paiâ (to pay).

Verse 7: se un al vent sô fie come sclave (if one sells his daughter as a slave), jê no si ’nt larà come che si ’nt van i sclâfs (she shall not leave as leave the male slaves). The law for a female slave was not the same as it was for a male one; her freedom was not obtained after six years (see verse 2). The third-person singular of the present tense of the verb vendi (to sell) is al vent (masculine), e vent (feminine). Un sclâf is a male slave, whereas une sclave is a female one.

From verse 8, se jê no i va al so paron is to be understood as meaning if she is not pleasing to her master or if she does not suit her master. Take note of how the verb (to go) is used here in the sense of to suit.

Still in verse 8, distinâsi par sè (to designate for oneself) is to be understood in this context as to betroth to oneself, to designate for oneself (in marriage); in this context, it is question of taking a secondary wife, that is, a concubine; che s’e veve distinade par sè, then, means who had betrothed her to himself; who had designated her for himself (as a concubine). S’e is a contraction of si + le; standard Friulian would render this as se, as in che se veve destinade par sè (note also the standard destinâ, rather than distinâ). The entire first part of verse 8 is to be understood as follows: se jê no i va al so paron che s’e veve distinade par sè (if she is not pleasing to her master who had betrothed her to himself; if she does not suit her master who had designated her for himself [as a concubine]).

In the remainder of verse 8, you read that such a maidservant was to be freed; she was not to be given to foreigners (int foreste, foreign people) on account of the deceit (that is, the breaking of the promise to take her as a secondary wife). Lant, from the expression lant cun, is the present participle of the verb lâ. Lant cun, which translates literally as going with, is to be understood here as on account of, in accordance with.

Verse 9: seont lis usancis pes fiis (according to the customs of daughters); that is, in accordance with the manner of dealing with one’s own daughters, in accordance with the rights of one’s own daughters.

Verse 10: nol podarà tirâi su la spese […] (he shall not be able [that is, he shall not] draw upon [that is, withdraw] her provisions).

Verse 11: se lui al mancje viers di jê in chestis trê robis (if he is lacking towards her in these three matters; that is, if he is deficient in these three matters with her). Un carantan: see notes for verse 2 above.

Versets 12-17

Vocabulary: petâ (to strike), fâ murî (to kill), cori daûr (to pursue), la puartade (reach), meti a puartade di man (to put within one’s reach [of hand]), il lûc (place, site), parâsi (to take refuge, to take cover), rivâ a fâ (to manage to do, to happen to do), copâ (to kill), a tradiment (by surprise, with stealth), tirâ vie di (to pull away from), un altâr (altar), (to strike), puartâ vie (to carry away, to take away), vendi (to sell), vê tes mans (to have in one’s hands), la malegracie (ill manner, impoliteness, rudeness), fâ malegraciis (to speak ill).

Verse 12: chel che i pete a di un altri (he who strikes another) e lu fâs murî (and kills him), al à di murî ancje lui (he too must also die).

From verse 13, daûrij translates literally as after him, behind him; in standard Friulian, it is expressed as daûrji. Understand: se però no i à corût daûrij (if however he did not pursue him) ma Diu jal à metût a puartade di man (but God put him within his reach); that is, if the homicide was not premeditated and the man happened upon the one he killed only because God had put him in his path. In this case, he shall have asylum from an avenger: jo o distinarai un lûc che al puedi lâ a parâsi (I shall designate a place where he may go take refuge).

Verse 14: ma se un om al rive a copânt un altri a tradiment (but if one man should kill another [literally, another one] with stealth); here it is question of premeditation.

Verse 15: chel che i dà a so pari e a sô mari (he who strikes his father and his mother). In this context, “to give to someone” is to be understood as to strike someone; this can be likened to the colloquial English expression to give it to someone, when used in the sense of to hit someone.

Verse 16: chel che al puarte vie un om (he who carries a man away; that is, he who abducts a man), che lu vedi vendût (whether he has sold him) o che lu vedi ancjemò lui tes mans (or whether he still has him in his hands; that is, not yet sold). Al vedi is the masculine, third-person singular of the present subjunctive of the verb vê.

Verse 17: chel che i fâs malegraciis a so pari e a sô mari (he who speaks ill unto his father and his mother).

Versets 18-25

Vocabulary: un pôcs di (some), cavilâ (to quarrel), pacâ (to strike), il clap (stone), il pugn (fist), il jet (bed), stâ tal jet (to stay in bed), jevâ sù (to arise, to get up), lâ ator (to move about), judâsi cun (to take aid of), la mace (staff), il berdei (trouble, matter), rifondi (to reimburse, to compensate), il timp (time), stâ fêr (still, inactive, immobile; also fer), viodi di (to see unto, to keep an eye on), stâ ben (to be well), il famei (servant), il manel (staff), rispuindi di (to answer for, to be held responsible for), la opare (deed, action), tirâ indenant (to continue ahead), barufâ (to argue), pocâ (to strike), in stâts (pregnant), abortî (to miscarry; to abort), la conseguence (consequence), la colpe (fault), il damp (damage; also dam), stimâ (to evaluate, to estimate), cumbinâ (to decide, to settle), la vite (life), il voli (eye), il dint (tooth), il pît (foot), la scotade (burn), la feride (wound), la macje (bruise).

Verse 18: no di copâlu ma di fâlu stâ tal jet (not to kill him but to make him stay in bed); that is, resulting in his injury but not his death.

Verse 19: se chel al torne a jevâ sù (if that one [that is, the injured man] gets back up again) e che al puedi lâ ator magari judantsi cu la mace (and is able to move about perhaps with the assistance of a staff). The verb judâ means to help; judâsi di, then, means to help oneself with. Judant is the present participle of the verb judâ. Judantsi cu la mace is to be understood literally as helping himself with the staff, assisting himself with the staff. As for lâ ator, this translates literally as to go around, to go about; it is to be understood here as meaning to move about. Also from verse 19: chel che i à dât (he who struck him), nol varà nissun berdei (shall not have any trouble). In the remainder of the verse, you read that man who struck the other without killing him is to compensate the injured man for the time he was down and to see unto him until he is well again.

From verse 20, al mûr is the masculine, third-person singular of the present tense of the verb murî (to die). As for rispuindi de sô opare, this means to be held responsible for his action, to answer for his deed.

Verse 21: ma se chel al tire indenant ancjemò une dì o dôs (but if that one [that is, the injured] continues on for yet a day or two). Recall that Friulian has two forms for two — one masculine: doi, and the other feminine: dôs. Because is treated here as a feminine noun, dôs is used. Also: e je robe sô (it is his; that is, the servant belongs to the master).

Verse 22: se […] chê e abortìs cence altris conseguencis (if she miscarries without other consequences). The altris conseguencis mentioned here is to be understood as referring to permament injury resulting from the miscarriage. The verb abortî means to abort; if the death is unintentional, it is to be understood as meaning to miscarry. E abortìs is the feminine, third-person singular of the present tense. Also: il damp stimât dal om de femine (the damage evaluated by the husband of the woman); i oms metûts par cumbinâ (the men put [in place] to settle [the matter]).

Verses 23-25: paiâ vite par vite (to pay life for life), voli par voli (eye for eye), dint par dint (tooth for tooth), pît par pît (foot for foot), scotade par scotade (burn for burn), feride par feride (wound for wound), macje par macje (bruise for bruise). In Friulian, this law might be referred to as la leç dal «tant par tant» (the “eye for an eye” law), where tant par tant is to be understood as meaning tit for tat.

Versets 26-32

Vocabulary: ofindi (to injure), svuarbâ (to blind), molâ (to release), rifondi (to reimburse, to compensate), fâ saltâ (to knock out), il dint (tooth), il bo (ox), scuarnâ (to gore), copâ (to kill), clapadâ (to stone, to lapidate), mangjâ (to eat), la cjar (flesh), il paron (master), il fastidi (trouble), la pendence (inclination, tendency), visâ (to warn, to inform), dopomai (long ago), tignî di voli (to keep an eye on), par cumbinazion (by chance; also combinazion), claponâ (to stone, to lapidate), decidi (to decide), sfrancjâ (to liberate, to free; sfrancjâsi, to be liberated, to go free), paiâ (to pay), distinâ (to designate, to determine; also destinâ), il leç (son), la cundizion (condition), il presit (price, cost), trente (thirty), il siclo (shekel).

From verse 26, al ofint is the masculine, third-person singular of the present tense of the verb ofindi; you read: se un om al ofint il voli dal so famei (if a man injures the eye of his servant). Related to the verb svuarbâ (to blind) is the adjective vuarp or vuarb (blind; feminine vuarbe). Also: al à di molâlu par rifondilu dal voli (he must let him go to compensate him for his eye).

Verse 27: fâ saltâ un dint (to knock out a tooth).

Verse 28: no si à di mangjâ la sô cjar (one must not eat its flesh).

Verse 29: se però il bo al veve za la pendence di scuarnâ (if however the ox already had the tendency of goring) e il paron, visât dopomai (and the master, having long been made aware [of it]). Also: il bo si à di claponâlu (one must stone the ox).

Verse 30: dut ce che al è stât distinât che al pai (all that which has been determined that he pay).

In verse 31, un leç is used rather than un fi, when you read: se al scuarne un leç o une fie (if he gores a son or daughter), al à di stâ simpri a chestis cundizions (he must still be subject to these conditions). Another example of il leç occurs in Esodo 23:12.

A shekel is un siclo. In verse 32, the plural is found as siclis, whereas, in Gjenesi 23:15, it is found as siclos. Both forms appear in this Bible.

Versets 33-37

Vocabulary: lassâ (to leave), il poç (well), distaponât (uncovered), sgjavâ (to dig), taponâ (to cover), il bo (ox), il mus (donkey), plombâ dentri (to fall in), il paron (master), rifondi (to reimburse, to compensate), il damp (damage; also dam), paiâ in bêçs (to pay money, to pay in cash), tignîsi (to keep for oneself), la bestie (beast), crepât (dead), dâ jù (to attack), copâ (to kill), vendi (to sell), vîf (live, living), smiezâ (to divide), il presit (price, cost), il nemâl (animal), savê (to know), vê la pecje di (to have the vice of), scuarnâ (to gore), tignî di voli (to keep an eye on), butâ fûr (to supply, to furnish), impen di (in place of), robâ (to steal), un agnel (lamb), e po (and then), fâ fûr (to kill), cinc (five), il cjâf (head), grant (large), cuatri (four), piçul (small).

Verse 35: se il bo di un (if the ox of one [man]) i dà jù al bo di un altri (attacks the ox of another) e lu cope (and kills it). Also: smiezâsi fra di lôr (to divide amongst themselves).

Verse 36: ma se si saveve che il bo al veve la pecje di scuarnâ (but if it was known that the ox had the vice of goring).

Verse 37: cinc cjâfs di nemâl grant (five heads of ox; that is, five oxen; literally, five heads of large animal); cuatri cjâfs di nemâl piçul (four heads of sheep; that is, four sheep; literally, four heads of small animal).