Pater, dimitte illis: non enim sciunt quid faciunt

In this entry, the reader will examine the Latin, Polish and Friulian readings of the first of the seven last words of Jesus on the cross, found at Luke 23:34 (version Douay): Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Latin. Pater, dimitte illis: non enim sciunt quid faciunt. The Latin for father is the masculine noun pater (nominative); the vocative form of this noun (also pater), employed to address, is indistinguishable from the nominative. Jesus here addresses the Father, whence initial upper case: Pater. The second-person singular imperative dimitte translates literally as dismiss {thou}; the corresponding second-person plural imperative, for information, is dimittite: dismiss {you}. The lemma form of this verb is dimitto (I dismiss; present infinitive, dimittere). Rather than dismiss {thou}, the English rendering employed in these notes will be forgive {thou}. The dative illis means unto them: dimitte illis (forgive {thou unto} them), for an action is forgiven or dismissed unto a one, though unto will not be expressed in English. In the remainder of His words are found two third-person plural forms of the present indicative: sciunt (they know) and faciunt (they do); the first of the two is negated: non sciunt (they know not). Enim means for, because. The neuter accusative quid means what, that which. Wherefore: Pater, dimitte illis: non enim sciunt quid faciunt (Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do).

Polish. Ojcze, przebacz im, bo nie wiedzą, co czynią. The Polish for father is the masculine noun ojciec; the vocative form of this noun, which is employed to address, is ojcze. Jesus here addresses the Father, whence initial upper case: Ojcze. The second-person singular imperative przebacz means forgive {thou}, pardon {thou}; for information, the second-person plural imperative of this same verb is przebaczcie (forgive {you}, pardon {you}). We are here dealing with the perfective verb przebaczyć (to forgive, to pardon). The dative im means unto them: przebacz im (forgive {thou unto} them), for an action is forgiven or pardoned unto a one, though unto will not be expressed in English. In the remainder of His words are found two third-person plural forms of the present tense: wiedzą (they know) and czynią (they do), whose infinitives are, respectively, the imperfective wiedzieć (to know) and the imperfective czynić (to do). The first of the two is negated: nie wiedzą (they know not). Bo means for, because. The accusative co means what, that which. Wherefore: Ojcze, przebacz im, bo nie wiedzą, co czynią (Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do).

Friulian. Pari, perdoniur, parcè che no san ce che a fasin. The Friulian for father is the masculine noun pari. Jesus here addresses the Father, whence initial upper case: Pari. The second-person singular imperative perdone means forgive {thou}, pardon {thou}; for information, the second-person plural imperative of this same verb is perdonait (forgive {you}, pardon {you}). We are here dealing with the verb perdonâ (to forgive, to pardon). The indirect object ur means unto them: perdoniur (forgive {thou unto} them), for an action is forgiven or pardoned unto a one, though unto will not be expressed in English. When ur is suffixed to the imperative perdone, the final e must first change to i. In the remainder of His words are found two third-person plural forms of the present tense: a san (they know) and a fasin (they do), whose infinitives are, respectively, savê (to know) and (to do). The atonic, third-person plural pronoun a must be omitted when the verb is negated: a san; no san (they know; they know not). Of savê, the present indicative follows: o sai (I know; first-person singular); tu sâs (thou knowest; second-person singular); al sa (he/it knoweth; masculine, third-person singular); e sa (she/it knoweth; feminine, third-person singular); o savìn (we know; first-person plural); o savês (you know; second-person plural); a san (they know; third-person plural). Now of fâ, the same: o fâs (I do; first-person singular); tu fasis (thou doest; second-person singular); al fâs (he/it doeth; masculine, third-person singular); e fâs (she/it doeth; feminine, third-person singular); o fasìn (we do; first-person plural); o fasês (you do; second-person plural); a fasin (they do; third-person plural). Parcè che means for, because. Ce che means what, that which. The student will note that che a (appears in ce che a fasin) contracts in spoken language to ch’a, pronounced ca. Wherefore: Pari, perdoniur, parcè che no san ce che a fasin (Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do).