Laudet te alienus, et non os tuum

At Proverbs 27:2, we read (version Douay): Let another praise thee, and not thy own mouth: a stranger, and not thy own lips. With regard to this verse, a marginal note in the Friulian Bibie par un popul tells the reader that he ought to avoid self-praise, for egotism blinds him, and he is unable to see himself for what he is; rather he is to let others praise him, God above all.(1) This entry will examine the Latin, Polish and Friulian readings of this verse. The reader will note that, for the purpose of this entry, the Polish text is drawn from the Biblia poznańska, rather than the customary Biblia Tysiąclecia. The Latin and Friulian text is, as usual, drawn from the Biblia Vulgata and the Bibie par un popul, respectively.

Latin. Laudet te alienus, et non os tuum; extraneus, et non labia tua. Vocabulary list: laudare (to praise); laudet (let him praise); te (thee); alienus (m., another man); et non (and not); os (n., mouth); os tuum (thy mouth); extraneus (m., stranger); labia (f., lip); labia tua (thy lip). Laudet is a third-person singular, present subjunctive. Consider this pair: laudat te alienus (another man praiseth thee); laudet te alienus (another man praise thee). The Latin for mouth is the neuter os, whence os tuum for thy mouth; the Latin for lip, on the other hand, is the feminine labia, whence labia tua for thy lip. Wherefore: Laudet te alienus, et non os tuum; extraneus, et non labia tua (another man praise thee, and not thy mouth; a stranger, and not thy lip).

Polish. Niechaj cię chwali kto inny, a nie twoje własne usta, obcy, a nie wargi twoje. Vocabulary list: niechaj (let); cię (thee); chwalić (impf., to praise); niech chwali (let him praise); kto inny (m., another man); a nie (and not); własny (own); usta (pl., mouth); usta twoje (thy mouth); obcy (m., stranger); warga (f., lip); wargi twoje (thy lips). Chwali is the third-person singular of the present tense. Kto inny, which will here be rendered another man, may also take readings such as some other man, some other one, someone else, and so on. Niechaj cię chwali kto inny is therefore read let another man praise thee, or simply another man praise thee. The Polish for mouth is the plural usta, whence twoje własne usta for thine own mouth; the Polish for lip, on the other hand, is the feminine warga, whence wargi twoje for thy lips. Wherefore: Niechaj cię chwali kto inny, a nie twoje własne usta, obcy, a nie wargi twoje (another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thy lips).

Friulian. Che ti laudi un altri, ma no la tô bocje, un forest, no i tiei lavris. Vocabulary list: che (let); ti (thee); laudâ (to praise); che al laudi (let him praise); un altri (m., another man); ma (but); no (not); bocje (f., mouth); la tô bocje (thy mouth); forest (m., stranger); lavri (m., lip); i tiei lavris (thy lips). Of the verb laudâ, the masculine, third-person singular of the present indicative is al laude. In the present subjunctive, this takes the form al laudi, preceded by che. Consider: al laude (he praiseth); che al laudi (let him praise). When the direct object ti is included, the atonic al is omitted: che ti laudi (let him praise thee). Un altri may here be read another man, so that che ti laudi un altri finds an English equivalent in let another man praise thee, or simply another man praise thee. The Friulian for mouth is the feminine bocje, whence la tô bocje for thy mouth; the Friulian for lip, on the other hand, is the masculine lavri, whence i tiei lavris for thy lips. The following all mean thy and take position before a noun: il to (+ masculine singular noun); i tiei (+ masculine plural noun); la tô (+ feminine singular noun); lis tôs (+ feminine plural noun); examples: il to pît (thy foot); i tiei pîts (thy feet); la tô gjambe (thy leg); lis tôs gjambis (thy legs). Wherefore: Che ti laudi un altri, ma no la tô bocje, un forest, no i tiei lavris (another man praise thee, but not thy mouth; a stranger, not thy lips).


(1) No sta laudâti di bessôl, parcè che l’egoisim ti svuarbe e no tu rivis a vioditi cemût che tu sês. Lasse che ti laudin chei altris e soredut Diu (2 Cor 10,12).Bibie par un popul, Gnove edizion (2018), Proverbis 27,2, p.1444.