Friulian language series: Esodo 33, preiere di Mosè

In Esodo 33, or the thirty-third chapter of the book of Exodus in its Friulian version, the subjects are la tende (tent; this is the meeting or congregation tent) and la preiere di Mosè (plea of Moses; he asks to see the Lord’s glory).

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Read Esodo 33

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 An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-6

Vocabulary: partî (to depart, to leave), culì (here), il popul (people), fâ saltâ fûr (to bring forth), viers di (towards), zurâ (to swear), la gjernazie (offspring), mandâ (to send), un agnul (angel), fâ fûr (to destroy), lâ sù (to go up), scori (to flow), il riul (stream; a riui, by the streamfuls), il lat (milk), la mîl (honey), no… gran (hardly, not at all), vignî sù (to come upon), la tentazion (temptation), par viaç (on the journey, on the way), dûr di capîle (stubborn, obstinate), sintî (to hear), la peraule (word), dûr (strong, harsh), fâ corot (to go into mourning), meti intorsi (to put on oneself), la bielisie (finery, ornaments, decorations), il fi (son), dûr di cjâf (stubborn, obstinate), un lamp sôl (suddenly), tirâ vie (to remove, to take off), il corai, il coral (coral; ornament, decoration), par chel (for this reason), la mont (mount, mountain), di… in ca (from… onwards), puartâ (to wear).

Verse 1: che ur ài zurât a Abram, a Isac e a Jacop (which I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) di dâure a la lôr gjernazie (to give [it] to their offspring); that is, the Lord swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give the land to their offspring. Dâure is a contraction of + ur + le (to give + unto them + it), where le (contracted to e) stands in for la tiere.

Verse 2: i cananeus (Canaanites), i amoreus (Amorites), i itits (Hittites), i perissits (Perizzites), i eveus (Hivites), i gjebuseus (Jebusites).

Verse 3: là che a scorin a riui lat e mîl (where milk and honey flow by the streamfuls); che no mi vegni sù la tentazion di fâti fûr par viaç (lest I be tempted to destroy you on the way; more literally, may the temptation to destroy you on the way [journey] not come upon me); tu sês un popul dûr di capîle (you are a stubborn people; you are an obstinate people).

Verse 4: il popul al fasè corot (the people went into mourning); nissun nol metè intorsi nissune bielisie (nobody put any finery on; nobody donned any finery).

Verse 5: o sês un popul dûr di cjâf (you are a stubborn people; you are an obstinate people); magari un lamp sôl (perhaps suddenly; perhaps all of a sudden); tire vie ducj i tiei corais (remove all your decorations). In this verse, the people are described dûr di cjâf; in verse 3, they were described as dûr di capîle — both expressions mean hard-headed, stubborn, obstinate, etc. Un lamp is a flash (for example, of lightning); un lamp sôl can be taken literally as (in) a single flash, where the sense is all of a sudden, suddenly. The masculine corai or coral translates literally as coral; it can also refer to jewellery made with this material. Here, it is better taken more broadly as decoration, ornament, jewellery — anything rich in dress.

Verse 6: de mont di Oreb in ca (from Mount Oreb onwards); no puartâ plui corais (to wear decorations no longer; to stop wearing ornaments).

Versets 7-11

Vocabulary: cjoli (to take), la tende (tent), plantâ (to pitch), fûr di (outside of), il campament (camp), lontan (far off, at a distance), meti non (to name), la cunvigne (congregation, meeting), fevelâ (to speak), lâ de bande di (to go unto), ogni volte (every time), jessî (to go out), viers di (towards), jevâ sù (to rise, to get up), la puarte (door, way in), tignî di voli (to watch, to keep an eye on), fintremai che (until), jentrâ (to go in), la colone (pillar), il nûl (cloud), vignî jù (to come down), fermâsi (to come to rest), viodi (to see), fer (still, poised), butâsi par tiere (to take to the ground), la muse (face), denant di (before, in front of), tratâ cun (to speak with), muse a muse (face to face), precîs che (just as), un om (man), discori (to converse), un amì (friend), tornâ (to return), il famei (servant), il fi (son), il fantaçut (young boy), dentri di (inside).

Verse 7: plantâ une tende (to pitch a tent). In the following, you have a good example of how the imperfet indicatîf expresses the ongoing nature of an action in the past: ducj chei che a vevin di fevelâ cul Signôr, a levin de bande de tende de cunvigne (all those who needed to speak with the Lord would go to the meeting tent); a levin can be taken different ways in English, including were going, used to go, would go, kept going — the sense is one of a continual going. Consider the sense conveyed by the following: a lerin (they went, they did go); a son lâts (they have gone); a levin (they were going, they used to go). Note that English could, in practice, potentially render all the preceding examples as they went, with the sense of it conveyed by context alone.

Verse 8: ogni volte che Mosè al jessive viers de tende (whenever [every time that] Moses would go out to the tent), dut il popul al jevave sù (all the people would rise). Metisi su la puarte de sô tende: to put oneself at the door of one’s tent; that is, to stand at the entrance of one’s tent.

Verse 9: la colone di nûl e vignive jù (the pillar of cloud would come down).

Verse 10: la colone di nûl ferme su la jentrade de tende (the pillar of cloud poised at the entrance of the tent). Ferme is the feminine form of fer, meaning still, poised. Butâsi cu la muse par tiere: to bow down with one’s face to the ground.

Verse 11: il Signôr al tratave cun Mosè muse a muse (the Lord spoke [was speaking] with Moses face to face), precîs che un om al discôr cul so amì (just as a man converses with his friend); al stave simpri dentri te tende (he was still inside the tent).

Versets 12-16

Vocabulary: menâ sù (to lead up), la int (people), fâ savê (to let know, to make known), vignî (to come), cognossi (to know), par non (by name), vê a grât (to have in one’s favour), mostrâ (to show), la strade (way), in mût che (such that, so that), vê di buine bande (to have in one’s favour), tignî a ments (to bear in mind), la gjernazie (offspring), rispuindi (to respond), in persone (in person), lassâ polsâ (to let rest, to allow to rest), fâ lâ sù di (to cause to go up from), vignî sù (to come up), nomo (is it not so), jessi a part di (to be distinguished [apart] from), il mont (world).

Verse 12: viôt mo (see now; see then); mene sù cheste int (lead this people up; that is, up into Canaan); no tu mi fasis savê se tu vignarâs cun me (you have not made it known to me if you will come with me; literally, you are not making unto me to know if you will come with me). Also: tu vevis pûr dit (you have even said): jo ti cognòs par non e ti ài a grât (I know you by name and have you in my favour).

Verse 13: mostrimi la tô strade (show me your way); in mût che ti cognossi (so that I may know you); [in mût] che o sepi che (so that I may know that). In this verse, you have the verbs cognossi and savê, both of which can be rendered in English as to know: cognossi means to know in the sense of being acquainted with a person (or with God); savê means to know in the sense of having knowledge of a fact. Observe the following: o cognòs (I know), in mût che o cognossi (so that I know); o sai (I know), in mût che o sepi (so that I know). Both vê di buine bande and vê a grât can be taken as meaning to have in one’s favour.

Verse 15: no sta nancje fâmi lâ sù me di chi (do not even make me go up [into Canaan] from here). If lâ sù means to go up, then fâ lâ sù means to make go up, and fâmi lâ sù di chi means to make me go up from here. No sta fâmi lâ sù me di chi, then, with its emphatic me, can be taken as do not make me (– me, O Lord! –) go up from here; do not make me go up from here.

Verse 16: cemût varessio di fâ savê che tu mi âs a grât (how shall I make known that you have me in your favour), me e il gno popul? (me and my people?). In cemût varessio di, you have the expression vê di, meaning must, to have to. Varessio is the interrogative form of the first-person singular o varès (I would have). Cemût varessio di can be understood literally as how would I have to: cemût varessio di fâ savê (how would I have to make known [make to know]; that is, how shall I make known; how could I make it known). Moses continues: dome se tu vignarâs sù cun nô (only if you come up [will come up] with us), nomo? (is it not so?). Also: dome cussì (only thus; only in this way) jo e il to popul (I and your people) o sarìn a part (shall we be distinguished [shall we be (set) apart]) di ducj i popui di chest mont (from all the people of this world).

Versets 17-23

Vocabulary: vê a grât (to have in one’s favour), cognossi par non (to know by name), mostrâ (to show), la glorie (glory), passâ (to pass [by]), fâ passâ denant di (to make pass before, to cause to pass in front of), il sflandôr (splendour), nomenâ (to name), il non (name), perdonâ (to pardon, to forgive), volê (to want), il dûl (compassion; vê dûl di, to have compassion for), viodi (to see), la muse (face), un om (man), restâ in vite (to continue to live, to stay alive), zontâ (to add), il puest (place, spot), dongje di (near, next to), restâ (to remain), la crete (rock, cliff, ridge), la fressure (cleft, fissure), taponâ (to cover), la man (hand), fintremai che (until), subit dopo (immediately afterwards), tirâ vie (to pull away), podê (can, to be able), la schene (back; that is, of the human body).

Verse 18: mostrimi, par plasê, la tô glorie (please show me your glory).

Verse 19: o fasarai passâ denant di te dut il gno sflandôr (I shall make pass before you all my splendour). Friulian says to forgive (something) unto someone; to pardon (something) unto someone: jo i perdoni a di chel che o vuei perdonâi (I forgive whomever I wish to forgive; literally, I pardon unto whom I wish to pardon unto him). Also: o ài dûl di chel che o vuei vê dûl di lui (I have compassion for whomever I wish to have compassion; literally, I have compassion for [of] whom I wish to have compassion for [of] him).

Verse 22: jo ti metarai intune fressure de crete (I shall put you in a cleft of the rock); ti taponarai cu la man fintremai che no sarai passât (I shall cover you with my hand until I have passed by).

Verse 23: tu podarâs viodimi in schene (you shall be able to see my back). La muse no tu puedis viodime: you shall not be able to see my face; viodime is a contraction of viodi + mi + le (to see + unto me + it). Taken literally, la muse no tu puedis viodime translates as the face you cannot see it unto me.