Nemo potest duobus dominis servire

At Matthew 6:24, Jesus says (version Douay-Rheims): No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. This entry will look at the Latin, Polish and Friulian readings of Christ’s words no man can serve two masters.

Jezu, ufam TobieLatin. Nemo potest duobus dominis servire. For master, the Latin is the masculine noun dominus, nominative singular; its nominative plural form is domini (masters). However, in Christ’s words, we find not domini but rather dominis (dative plural); more precisely, we find the dative plural duobus dominis (unto two masters), employed with the Latin infinitive servire (to serve). As for the infinitive posse, this is Latin for can; the following forms ought to be learnt: possum (I can; first-person singular); potes (thou canst; second-person singular); potest (he/she can; third-person singular); possumus (we can; first-person plural); potestis (you can; second-person plural); possunt (they can; third-person plural). The Latin for no one or no man is nemo, third-person singular. Wherefore: Nemo potest duobus dominis servire (no man can serve unto two masters).

PolskaPolish. Nikt nie może dwom panom służyć. For master, the Polish is the masculine noun pan, nominative singular; its nominative plural form is panowie (masters). However, in Christ’s words, we find not panowie but rather panom (dative plural); more precisely, we find the dative plural dwom panom (unto two masters), employed with the imperfective służyć (to serve). As for the imperfective móc, this is Polish for can; the following forms ought to be learnt: mogę (I can; first-person singular); możesz (thou canst; second-person singular); może (he/she can; third-person singular); możemy (we can; first-person plural); możecie (you can; second-person plural); mogą (they can; third-person plural). The Polish for no one or no man is nikt, third-person singular; the verb used therewith is negated. Wherefore: Nikt nie może dwom panom służyć (no man can serve unto two masters).

FriûlFriulian. Nissun nol pò servî a doi parons. For master, the Friulian is the masculine noun paron, with its plural parons (masters). The Friulian for two masters is doi parons. However, in Christ’s words, we find not only doi parons (two masters) but rather a doi parons (unto two masters), employed with the Friulian infinitive servî (to serve). As for the infinitive podê, this is Friulian for can; the following forms ought to be learnt: o pues (I can; first-person singular); tu puedis (thou canst; second-person singular); al pues (he can; masculine third-person singular); e pues (she can; feminine third-person singular); o podìn (we can; first-person plural); o podês (you can; second-person plural); a puedin (they can; third-person plural). Rather than the masculine third-person singular al pues, found in the words of Christ is the variant al pò; more precisely, found is nol pò, which is the contraction of no + al pò. The Friulian for no one or no man is nissun, masculine third-person singular; the verb used therewith is negated. Wherefore: Nissun nol pò servî a doi parons (no man can serve unto two masters).

The reader will find below the entirety of Matthew 6:24 in Latin, Polish and Friulian versions.

Latin (Biblia Vulgata): Nemo potest duobus dominis servire: aut enim unum odio habebit, et alterum diliget: aut unum sustinebit, et alterum contemnet. Non potestis Deo servire et mammonae.

Polish (Biblia Tysiąclecia): Nikt nie może dwom panom służyć. Bo albo jednego będzie nienawidził, a drugiego — miłował; albo z jednym będzie trzymał, a drugim wzgardzi. Nie możecie służyć Bogu i Mamonie!

Friulian (Bibie par un popul): Nissun nol pò servî a doi parons; parcè che o al odearà un e i volarà ben a di chel altri, o si tacarà a un e al trascurarà chel altri. No podês servî a Diu e a mamone.