Fratres meos quaero

At Genesis 37:16, Joseph, in response to being asked by a man what he sought, says: I seek my brethren. The reader will look in this entry at the Latin, Polish and Friulian readings of Joseph’s response.

Latin. Fratres meos quaero. The Latin quaero means I seek; this verb takes quaerere (to seek) for present infinitive. Present indicative: quaero (I seek; first-person singular); quaeris (thou seekest; second-person singular); quaerit (he/she/it seeketh; third-person singular); quaerimus (we seek; first-person plural); quaeritis (you seek; second-person plural); quaerunt (they seek; third-person plural). The Latin for brother, in the nominative, is the masculine noun frater, with its plural fratres; in the accusative, the forms are fratrem (singular) and fratres (plural). Consider the following: frater meus (my brother); fratrem meum quaero (I seek my brother); fratres mei (my brethren); fratres meos quaero (I seek my brethren). The Latin for the possessive adjective my, in the masculine nominative, is meus, with its plural mei; in the accusative, the forms are meum (singular) and meos (plural). The accusative fratres meos is said in Joseph’s words, that they should be marked for direct object. Wherefore: Fratres meos quaero (I seek my brethren; my brethren seek I).

Polish. Szukam moich braci. The Polish szukam means I seek; this verb takes the imperfective szukać (to seek) for infinitive. Present tense: szukam (I seek; first-person singular); szukasz (thou seekest; second-person singular); szuka (he/she/it seeketh; third-person singular); szukamy (we seek; first-person plural); szukacie (you seek; second-person plural); szukają (they seek; third-person plural). The Polish for brother, in the nominative, is the masculine noun brat, with its plural bracia; in the genitive, the forms are brata (singular) and braci (plural). Consider the following: mój brat (my brother); szukam mojego brata (I seek my brother); moi bracia (my brethren); szukam moich braci (I seek my brethren). The Polish for the possessive adjective my, in the masculine nominative, is mój, with its plural moi; in the genitive, the forms are mojego (singular) and moich (plural). The genitive moich braci is said in Joseph’s words, for the use of this case is required by the verb szukać. Wherefore: Szukam moich braci (I seek my brethren). The question asked by the man which led to Joseph’s response is: Kogo szukasz? (whom seekest thou?). Kogo is the form taken by kto (who) when it falls into genitive position.

Friulian. O cîr i miei fradis. The Friulian o cîr means I seek; this verb takes cirî (to seek) for infinitive. Present indicative: o cîr (I seek; first-person singular); tu ciris (thou seekest; second-person singular); al cîr (he/it seeketh; masculine, third-person singular); e cîr (she/it seeketh; feminine, third-person singular); o cirìn (we seek; first-person plural); o cirîs (you seek; second-person plural); a cirin (they seek; third-person plural). The Friulian for brother is the masculine noun fradi, with its plural fradis. Consider the following: gno fradi (my brother); o cîr gno fradi (I seek my brother); i miei fradis (my brethren); o cîr i miei fradis (I seek my brethren). The definite article is employed before the possessive adjective in Friulian: il gno libri (my book); il gno cjan (my dog); la mê peraule (my word); i miei libris (my books); i miei cjans (my dogs); lis mês peraulis (my words), except before the names of family members in the singular: gno pari (my father); gno fradi (my brother); mê mari (my mother); mê sûr (my sister), in opposition to its retention in the plural: i miei fradis (my brethren); lis mês sûrs (my sisters), with the following notable exceptions in the singular, where it is retained: il gno om (my husband); la mê femine (my wife). Wherefore: O cîr i miei fradis (I seek my brethren). The question asked by the man which led to Joseph’s response is: Ce ciristu? (what seekest thou?). Tu ciris (thou seekest) takes the form ciristu? (seekest thou?) in the interrogative.