On the pronunciation of the Friulian Ç

The sound of the Friulian ç is, after the English manner, that of ch in the English words church, child, chapter. Should the Friulian ç occur before a vowel, it will only come before a, o or u, and never before e or i, the reason for which is explained at the end of this entry; the Friulian ç will also appear at the end of a word.

The Friulian ç, in Friulian itself, is called ci cu la cedilie. The feminine noun cedilie is the Friulian for cedilla, which is a diacritical mark taking the form of a tail. Of the tailless letter c, the Friulian name is ci, which, after the English manner, sounds like chee. Ci cu la cedilie, then, means c with the cedilla.

Examples of ç in Friulian words

The reader is able to hear the four words given below as examples by listening to the recordings made available by Glesie Furlane, on YouTube. The book, chapter and verse where the words occur are indicated in italics below.

MIEÇ (Gjenesi 3,3). The masculine noun mieç means midst, middle. It was in the midst of the garden of Eden that the tree of the knowledge of good and bad was located: tal mieç dal zardin (in the midst of the garden).

ÇUMÂ (Gjenesi 3,6). The Friulian çumâ means to pick. Again in Genesis 3, in the matter of the fall of man, the woman picks a fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, and eats it. At verse 6 we read: e çumà une pome e le mangjà (she picked a fruit and ate it).

ÇAMPE (Esodo 14,22). The feminine noun çampe means left, in opposition to right. In Exodus 14, at verse 22, the Israelites went into the sea on dry ground; unto the right and unto the left did the waters form a wall for them: a drete e a çampe (unto the right and unto the left).

ÇONDAR (Esodo 38,7). Bezalel made the altar hollow, from boards. The Friulian for hollow is the adjective çondar. At the seventh verse of Exodus 38, we read: lu fasè çondar (he made it hollow).

The Friulian ç, should it occur before a vowel, will only come before a, o or u, as in çampe, çondar, çumâ, but also, for instance, braçalet (bracelet), çocul (socle), piçul (little), fantaçut (youth). It does not occur before the vowels e or i for this reason that it is unnecessary, as the tailless c is perforce pronounced as the English ch before these two vowels. For instance, the Friulian for heaven is the masculine noun cîl, where the c is necessarily pronounced like the ch of the English child; to write çîl with the cedilla would be superfluous. Similarly, the Friulian for hundred is cent; the c is again of necessity pronounced like the ch of the English child, wherefore to write çent with the cedilla would be superfluous once more. The Friulian ç will also frequently occur at the end of a word: mieç (midst), braç (arm), cjaliç (chalice), poç (well), palaç (palace), tierç (third), leç (law), to name but a few examples.