Speaking of ‘water’ in Friulian

In this vocabulary-building post, the reader will study the Friulian word for water and related usages. All examples provided below will be immediately useful in the learner’s own use of Friulian.

The Friulian for water is the feminine noun aghe; this word is read aloud in the first video below, at minute 0:37. The plural form is aghis; this plural is read aloud in the second video below, at minute 1:37.

To say the water, the feminine definite article la is used with aghe, given that aghe is a feminine noun: la aghe (the water). La may also contract, since aghe begins with a vowel: l’aghe (the water). The plural form of the feminine la is lis, wherefore in the plural we say: lis aghis (the waters).

To speak of a glass of water, the Friulian une tace di aghe is used. Examples: bevi une tace di aghe (to drink a glass of water); dami une tace di aghe (give me a glass of water; second-person singular imperative); puartimi une tace di aghe (bear me a glass of water; second-person singular imperative).

To speak of a bit of water, the Friulian un pocje di aghe is used. Examples: cjol un pocje di aghe (take a bit of water; second-person singular imperative); bêf un pocje di aghe (drink a bit of water; second-person singular imperative); un pocje di aghe minerâl (a bit of mineral water).

Figurative Friulian usages employing this noun: sintîsi un pês fûr di aghe (to feel like a fish out of water); pierdisi intune tace di aghe (to lose oneself in a glass of water; Friulian for to make a mountain out of a molehill); vê la aghe al cuel (to have the water at the neck; Friulian for to be knee-deep in trouble); someâsi tant che dôs gotis di aghe (to resemble one another like two drops of water; Friulian for to be the spitting image of one another); lassâ cori la aghe (to let the water run; Friulian for to let things run their course); scuvierzi la aghe cjalde (to discover hot water; which is to say, to ‘discover’ or speak the obvious, that which is already known by all); al veve la aghe in bocje (he had the water in mouth; Friulian for his mouth was watering).

Other related usages: aghe potabile (potable water); aghe di spine (tap water); aghe di mâr (sea water, which is to say, salt water); aghe dolce (sweet water, which is to say, fresh [not salt] water).

In the Friulian folktale Fait il ben, che lu cjatarês, the old woman says to the young man: us prei, portaitmi di là di cheste aghe (I pray you, bear me beyond this water).

In the language of children, aghe is used to indicate that a hidden object is far from the child who is seeking it: aghe, lusignutis, fûc, where English-speaking children say: cold, warm, hot.

A number of examples drawn from the Bible: lis aghis dal diluvi (the waters of the flood; Gjen 7:10); l’aghe e taponave ancjemò la face de tiere (the water was yet concealing the face of the earth; Gjen 8:9); lis aghis si ritirarin a planc a planc (the waters drew themselves back bit by bit; Gjen 8:3); lu ài tirât fûr des aghis (I drew him forth from the waters; Es 2:10); tu cjolarâs un sclip di aghe dal flum (thou shalt take a bit of water from the river; Es 4:9); o batarai lis aghis dal flum (I shall strike the waters of the river; Es 7:17); jo o benedissarai il to pan e la tô aghe (I shall bless thy bread and thy water; Es 23:25).

Yet more examples from the Bible: par strade al bevarà l’aghe dal riul (Sal 110,7); al cjolè un toc di pan e une bufule di aghe (Gjen 21,14); lis fiis dai oms de citât a jessin fûr a urî l’aghe (Gjen 24,13); ad ôr di un riul di aghe corint (Dt 21,4); ju ài ristorâts cun pan e aghe (1 Re 18,13); tant che une gote di aghe di mâr (Sir 18,9); e l’aghe tu le bevarâs misurade (Ez 4,11); no sta metile in muel ta l’aghe (Jer 13,1); no fan di pan ni sêt di aghe (Am 8,11); jo us batii cu l’aghe (Lc 3,16); a di chel che al à sêt i darai dibant l’aghe de risultive de vite (Ap 21,6); parsore de aghe corint (Lv 14,5); no podaran bevi altri l’aghe dal flum (Es 7,18); urî aghe dal poç (Is 30,14); l’aghe dal batisim (At 10,47); bagnâsi ta l’aghe (Lv 15,5); di ducj i nemâi che a son ta l’aghe (Lv 11,9); tu someis un cocodril ta l’aghe (Ez 32,2); a àn spandût il lôr sanc come che al fos aghe (Sal 79,3); i distudarà la sêt cu l’aghe de inteligjence (Sir 15,3); il cjaveç di une barufe al è come l’aghe che si stranfe (Pr 17,14); a àn ancje il podê di tramudâ l’aghe in sanc (Ap 11,6); che si sfantin come l’aghe che e scor vie (Sal 58,8); Diu al mandà su la tiere un aiar e lis aghis si sbassarin (Gjen 8,1); lis aghis a àn glotût chei che ju odeavin (Sal 106,11); parsore des aghis dal flum (Dn 12,6); a podaran sparî lis aghis dal mâr (Jp 14,11); un grant flum, aghis che no finivin altri (Est 1,1i); tes aghis sot tiere (Dt 5,8); lis aghis dal grant abìs (Is 51,10).