Friulian language series: Esodo 23, lis leçs

In your study of the Friulian language through the book of Exodus, you have reached Esodo 23. In this twenty-third chapter, you continue to read about the rulings begun in the last two chapters. From the subject lines: dovês di justizie (obligations of justice; il dovê, obligation, duty), an sabatic e sabide (sabbatical year and sabbath), fiestis di vie pal an (annual feasts; vie pal an, during the year), e ven imprometude la tiere di Canaan (the land of Canaan is promised; imprometi, to promise; vignî imprometût, to get promised).

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

Read Esodo 23

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 An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-5

Vocabulary: spampanâ cjàcaris (to spread rumours; la cjacare, chatter, gossip), vêr (true), tignî man (to facilitate, to join with), il trist (wicked man), testemoneâ (to testify, to bear witness), il fals (falsehood), metisi de bande di (to side with, to join in), jessi in plui (to be numerous), fâ il mâl (to do wrong), la cause (cause), butâsi (to go), fâ lâ fûr di troi (to lead astray; literally, to make go off the path), la justizie (justice), fâ diferencis (to make distinctions), il puar (poor man), intivâsi in (to come across), il bo (ox), il mus (donkey), il nemì (enemy), pierdi la strade (to lose one’s way), menâ dongje (to gather, to bring unto), vê in asse (to hate), colâ sot di (to fall under), la cjame (load, burden), tirâsi di bande (to turn aside), dâ une man (to lend a hand).

From the first verse, recall that no sta is used to create a second-person singular, negated imperative: no sta spampanâ cjàcaris (do not spread rumours); no sta tignî man al trist (do not facilitate the wicked). The plural cjacaris is used to refer to gossip, rumours, chit-chat, etc. (The accented à in cjàcaris indicates that it is on this syllable that the stress falls, rather than on the penultimate. This accent is not mandatory in writing.) The feminine form of vêr (true) is vere; the plural forms are vêrs (m.pl.) and veris (f.pl.). Recall that testemoneâ il fals means to bear false witness or, literally, to testify a falsehood.

Verse 2: No sta metiti de bande (do not join in) là che a son in plui (there where they are numerous) par fâ il mâl (to do wrong); the sense of this is do not let yourself get carried away by popular opinion and commit a wrong. Also from this verse: no sta testemoneâ intune cause (do not bear witness in a cause) butanti là che and è di plui (going where there are more) par fâ lâ fûr di troi la justizie (to lead justice astray; to pervert justice). Il troi is the Friulian for path: lâ fûr di troi means to go off the path; fâ lâ fûr di troi, then, means to make go off the path. The expression is used figuratively in fâ lâ fûr di troi la justizie (to pervert justice; literally, to make justice go off the path). As for and è, this is a contraction of al + indi + è; that is, a’ ’nd’ è. Là che and è di plui might be understood more literally as there where of them there are more (that is, there where there are more of them).

La diference is the Friulian for difference; it also takes on the sense of preference, distinction. The expression fâ diferencis as found in verse 3 is to be understood as meaning to make distinctions: no sta fâ diferencis pal puar intune cause (do not make distinctions for [that is, do not give preferential treatment to] the poor man in a cause). The sense of this is that, in a cause, one must not show undue favour to the poor man by nature of his poverty; likewise, one must not favour the rich, for to do either is to “make justice go off the path” — fâ lâ fûr di troi la justizie.

Verse 4: Se tu ti intivis tal bo o tal mus (if you come across the ox or the donkey) dal to nemì (of your enemy) che al à pierdude la strade (which has lost its way; which has gone astray), tornijal a menâ dongje (bring it unto him again; that is, bring it back to him). Note the use of in with intivâsi, found here as the contracted tal (in + il). Recall that tornâ a fâ means to do again; tornâ a menâ dongje, then, means to bring unto again, to gather together again. Torne is the second-person singular imperative form of tornâ; when jal (that is, i + lu; unto him + it) is added, the final e of torne becomes i. Note the placement of jal with the verb tornâ, rather than with menâ.

Verse 5: Di chel che tu âs in asse: of him whom you hate. No sta tirâti di bande: do not turn away; do not turn aside.

Versets 6-9

Vocabulary: tibiâ (to trample upon), il dirit (right), tignîsi lontan di (to stay away from), fals (false), perî (to perish, to die), fâ perî (to kill), il nocent (innocent man), ni (nor), il just (just man, righteous man), dâi reson a (to declare right, to side with), jessi in tuart (to be in the wrong), cjapâ (to take), il regâl (gift), la sorte (fortune, fate), svuarbâ (to blind), la int (people), vê bon voli (to have a good eye), mandâ in malore (to send into ruin), il galantom (honest man), metii il pît sul cuel a (to put one’s foot to the neck of; that is, to oppress), il forest (foreigner, stranger), volê dî (to signify, to mean), jessi pal mont (to be abroad, to be away).

Verse 7: Tenti lontan di une cause false: keep yourself far from a false cause; that is, stay away from a false cause; the second-person singular imperative of the verb tignî is ten. Also: No sta fâ perî il nocent (do not kill the innocent one) ni il just (nor the righteous one) e no sta dâi reson a di chel che al è in tuart (and do not side with the one who is in the wrong). The Friulian vê reson means to be right, to be in the right; vê tuart means to be wrong, to be in the wrong. Dâ reson can be understood as to declare right, whereas dâ tuart can be understood as to declare wrong; for example: tu mi dâs tuart, ma o ai reson (you say that I am wrong, but I am right). In this verse, you find jessi in tuart, which is another way of saying to be wrong, to be in the wrong.

Verse 8: No sta cjapâ regâi di sorte: do not take gifts of fortune; that is, one is not to accept gifts meant to result in some sort of favourable outcome: a bribe. Il regâl al svuarbe la int che e à bon voli: the gift blinds people who have a good eye; that is, the gift (or bribe) blinds the one who sees well; the one who is wise.

Verse 9: O savês ce che al vûl dî jessi pal mont: you know what it means to be away from home; you know what it means to be abroad. Pal mont can be understood as meaning out in the world.

Versets 10-13

Vocabulary: par sîs agns (for six years), semenâ (to sow), la tiere (earth, land), cjapâ sù (to harvest), il setim an (the seventh year), lassâ (to leave), pustot (uncultivated, abandoned), mangjâ (to eat), la bestie salvadie (wild beast), cjoli (to take), vanzâ (to be left over), compagn (likewise, in like manner), il vignâl (vineyard), un ulivâr (olive grove), fâ lis sôs voris (to do one’s work), la setime zornade (the seventh day), polsâ (to rest), il bo (ox), il mus (donkey), tirâ flât (to take a breath), il leç (son), la sierve (female servant, handmaid), il forest (foreigner, stranger), tignî a ments (to keep in mind), vê indiment (to mention, to invoke), il diu (god), scjampâ di bocje (to escape from one’s mouth), il non (name).

Verse 10: Tu semenarâs: you shall sow. Tu cjaparâs sù: you shall harvest.

Verse 11: Tu âs di lassâle pustote: you must leave it uncultivated. I puars dal to popul int mangjaran: the poor of your people shall eat of it; shall eat thereof. Ce che ur varà vanzât: that which will have been left over unto them; that is, that which they have in excess, that which they leave behind. Compagn tu âs di fâ tal to vignâl e tal to ulivâr: you must do the same in your vineyard and in your oliveyard.

Verse 12: Par che al polsi il to bo e il to mus: so that your ox and your donkey may rest. Par che al tiri flât il leç de tô sierve e il forest: so that the son of your handmaid and the foreigner may take a breath; that is, may rest. The masculine noun flât is the Friulian for breath. This is the second time that you are meeting with il leç to mean son; the first time was in Esodo 21:31.

Verse 13: Tignît a ments: keep in mind; second-person plural imperative. No stait a vê indiment altris dius: do not mention other gods. Che no us scjampi di bocje nancje il non: may not even the name escape from the mouth unto you; that is, may you let not even the name (of other gods) come out of your mouth. Recall that no stait a is the plural form of no sta, used to create a negated imperative. Review: no sta vê indiment altris dius (do not mention other gods; second-person singular); no stait a vê indiment altris dius (do not mention other gods; second-person plural); no stin a vê indiment altris dius (let us not mention other gods; first-person plural).

Versets 14-19

Vocabulary: fâ fieste (to hold a feast), trê viaçs ad an (three times per year), rispietâ (to observe, to keep; to respect), il pan cence levan (unleavened bread), ordenâ (to order, to command), il timp (time), distinât (designated; also destinât), il mês (month), saltâ fûr (to come out), presentâsi (to present oneself), cu lis mans spacant (empty-handed), la ricolte (harvest; also racuelte), il forment (wheat, grain), lis primiziis (firstfruits), semenâ (to sow), il cjamp (field), a fin dal an (at the end of the year), puartâ dongje (to gather), regonâ (to fetch), a sun di vitis (with difficulty), il mascjo (male), ufrî (to offer), il sanc (blood), la vitime (victim; sacrifice), il pan jevât (leavened bread), il gras (fat), meti vie (to put aside), pal indoman (for the next day), puartâ (to bring), il miôr (the best), il teren (ground), fâ boli (to [bring to a] boil), il cjavret (kid, goatling), il lat (milk), la mari (mother).

Verse 14: Fâmi fieste: to hold a feast for me. Pronunciation note: the ç of the plural viaçs is not pronounced; trê viaçs sounds like trê viâs (the ç is of course pronounced in the singular viaç).

Verse 15: Tal timp distinât tal mês di Abib: at the designated time of the month of Abib.

Verse 16: Des primiziis: of the firstfruits; that is, of the early produce of the season.

Verse 18: No sta mai ufrî: do not ever offer; never offer. The second-person plural equivalent is no stait mai a ufrî.

Verse 19: Il miôr des primiziis dal to teren: the best of the firstfruits of your soil (ground). No sta mai fâ boli: do not ever boil; never boil.

Versets 20-24

Vocabulary: mandâ (to send), un agnul (angel), tignî vuardât (to keep guarded, to keep under watch), pe strade (on the way), menâ (to lead, to bring), il lûc (place, spot), distinâ (to designate; also destinâ), rispietâ (to pay heed, to obey), scoltâ (to listen), metisi cuintri di (to disobey), perdonâ (to forgive), par mai (never), il mâl (wrong, wrongdoing), il non (name), la vôs (voice), il nemì (enemy), dâ jù (to attack), rangjâ (to bring down), fiscâ (to destroy), butâsi in genoglon (to go down on one’s knees; also zenoglon), il sacrifici (sacrifice), la sorte (fortune, fate), splantâ di lidrîs (to uproot), parâ in sflichignis (to break apart, to smash), il colonel (pillar).

Verse 21: No us perdonarès par mai il mâl che o fasês: he would never forgive you for the wrong that you do; literally, he would never pardon unto you the wrong that you do. Al perdonarès (he would forgive, he would pardon) is the masculine, third-person singular of the condizionâl presint.

Verse 22: O sarai il nemì dai tiei nemîs: I shall be the enemy of your enemies. Chei che ti dan jù: those who attack you. Ju rangjarai jo: I shall bring them down.

Peoples mentioned in verse 23: un amoreu (Amorite), un itit (Hittite), un peressit (Perizzite), un cananeu (Canaanite), un eveu (Hivite), un gjebuseu (Jebusite). You read: il gno agnul al larà denant di te (my angel shall go before you); ti menarà dai amoreus (he shall bring you to the Amorites), dai itits (to the Hittites), dai peressits (to the Perizzites), dai cananeus (to the Canaanites), dai eveus (to the Hivites), dai gjebuseus (to the Jebusites).

Verse 24: Sacrificis di sorte: sacrifices of fortune; that is, sacrifices performed in the hope of receiving a favourable outcome. No sta fâ come che a fasin lôr: do not do as they do. Lis lidrîs means roots; splantâ di lidrîs (to uproot) is used here to refer to removing the gods from their bases and overthrowing them. The expression parâ in sflichignis (to send into bits) is to be understood as meaning to break apart, to smash; sflichignis are bits, pieces.

Versets 25-27

Review: ingenoglâsi (to kneel down; also inzenoglâsi), dome (only), benedî (to bless), il pan (bread), la aghe (water), tignî lontan (to keep away), ogni (every), la disgracie (misfortune), la femine (woman), abortî (to miscarry), il frut (child), gjoldi (to enjoy, to relish), il dì (day), fint insomp (completely, through and through; also fin insom), semenâ (to sow), il terôr (terror), scjampâ come il fum (to take off [like smoke]), talonâ (to pursue).

Verse 26: No sarà nissune femine ch’e abortìs (there shall be no woman who miscarries) o cence fruts (or without children). Jo ti fasarai gjoldi i tiei dîs fint insomp: I shall make you relish your days through and through.

In verse 27, the expression scjampâ come il fum can be understood literally as to take off like smoke; fâ scjampâ come il fum is used figuratively here to mean to get rid of (literally, to make take off like smoke): o fasarai scjampâ come il fum ducj i popui là che tu larâs (I shall get rid of all the people wherever you will go). Also: o fasarai talonâ ducj i tiei nemîs (I shall make your enemies be pursued).

Versets 28-33

Vocabulary: mandâ (to send), un avon (hornet), fâ cori (to drive out; literally, to make run), lontan (far, distant), tirâ vie (to drive away), deventâ (to become), il desert (desert), moltiplicâsi (to multiply, to increase), a to damp (to your detriment; also a to dam), la bestie (beast), salvadi (wild), fâ scjampâ (to drive away; literally, to make take off), un pôc a la volte (bit by bit, a little at a time), fintremai che (until), avonde (enough, sufficiently), fuart (strong), podê (to be able), paronâ (to rule), segnâ (to mark), il cunfin (confine; also confin), il mâr (sea), la cjanusse (reed), fint a (all the way to; also fin a), il flum (river), la man (hand), la int (people), sgorneâ vie (to drive away), fâ pat di sorte (to make a covenant of fortune), stiçâ (to instigate, to incite), butâsi cun (to go with, to be drawn to), il tramai (trap, bind).

Verse 28: O mandarai denant di te i avons: I shall send hornets before you.

Verse 29: Jo no tai tirarai vie di te ducj intun an (I shall not drive them all away from you within one year), par che la tiere no deventi un desert (so that the land does not become a desert) e che si moltiplichin a to damp lis bestiis salvadiis (and [so that] the wild beasts [do not] multiply to your detriment).

Verse 30: Fintremai che no tu sarâs avonde fuart (until you will be sufficiently strong) di podê paronâ tu (so as to be able to rule you yourself).

Verse 31: Il mâr des Cjanussis (sea of Reeds) is the Red Sea. Un filisteu is a Philistine: il mâr dai filisteus (sea of the Philistines).

Verse 33: No staran te tô tiere (they shall not dwell in your land) par che no ti sticin a metiti cuintri di me (so that they do not incite you to go against me), parcè che tu ti butaressis cui lôr dius (because you would be drawn to their gods) e chest al sarès par te un tramai (and this would be for you a trap; that is, an occasion for further sin). Tu ti butaressis is the second-person singular of the condizionâl presint; tu ti butaressis cui lôr dius can be understood more literally as meaning you would go with their gods (that is, you would be drawn to their gods, you would follow their gods, you would side with their gods, etc.).