My dad found these two texts in a book whose title I don't know. For a guess of the origin, see below.

13th century:

sed libera, mais delivre nous, sire, a malo, de tout mal et de cruel martire

And this a prayer from the 14th century:

pater noster, tu n'ies pas foulz Quar tu t'ies mis en grand repos Qui es montes haus in celis

Can you translate these texts?

Unfortunately I cannot provide more context for this. My dad took a photo of a page from a translated book and sent it to me. The book has these words left untranslated! I realised that this is a mixture of Latin and French (from Google Translate) so that's why I posted it here, believing a person who knows Latin may know old French as well.

Apparently, if my dad has found it correctly, this is from the Carmina Burana, which by googling I found is an old manuscript.

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    Is this Latin? It looks more like a mixture of Latin and French. Please add the book's title, author and publication date.
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 11:02
  • Like @ChristopheStrobbe said, this looks like a mix of Latin and French. It should be easier to answer your question if you give the whole Latin translation, the name of the book and the author.
    – L. Peters
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 12:46
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    Hi xbmono and welcome to the site! I suggest taking a look at our guide for asking translation questions and our tour. Additional context and your own thoughts would be helpful, as others have commented. The text is more French than Latin, and it is not clear to me if it is supposed to be bilingual or if it is the result of a Google translation gone awry. Can you edit your question to explain more?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 13:01
  • 2
    Let me add to my previous comment that improving your question will also improve its score. I believe many are willing to retract their downvotes and many will vote up. I have refrained from voting so far to give you a chance to edit.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


These seem to be versions of the popular prayer "Pater Noster". Here is an approximate literal translation:

sed libera, mais delivre nous, sire, a malo, de tout mal et de cruel martire

"(Latin:) But free [us], (Middle French:) but deliver us, father, (Latin:) from evil, (Middle French:) from all evil and cruel torture."

This is a hybrid translation-explanation of the Latin words in French, possibly intended for those who did not know Latin, from the 13th century.

pater noster, tu n'ies pas foulz Quar tu t'ies mis en grand repos Qui es montes haus in celis

"(Latin:) our father, (M. French:) you are not insane. For you have taken great repose. [You] who are mounted high (Latin:) in the heavens."

This is from the Patenostre de Lombardie (1379), a parody on the prayer, mocking and accusing God.

  • 1
    Why would passages / prayers be written in interlaced tongues like this?
    – cat
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 2:41
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    @cat: The first one might be for educational purposes, as both original and translation are presented in succession. The second one is probably for no reason in particular, just as we now often intermingle foreign expression when we write and speak, most especially in informal and comedic utterances/genres.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 19:26
  • I'd guess that in this milieu, most anyone who could read and write French could also read and write Latin. There was no need to attend to which language you were using, since you could pick the expression you like (from either language) and expect to be fully understood. Here's a random passage from a court opinion from 1544: Et lou ill apiert un parcell de tiell mesme, per que ilz agarderont quod hoc habeatur pro scripto. The latin is likely a routine expression used by judges.
    – user1002
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 1:38
  • @cat, cf. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaronic_language Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 22:35

The text is a mixture of French and Latin. The Latin part is just:

sed libera, a malo, pater noster

Deliver [us] from evil, our father, an obvious quotation of the Lord's Prayer. The us (Latin nos) is omitted, but apparent in the French side.

This essay qualifies the whole text you cite as macaronic (i.e., an intentional mixture of languages, especially Latin and a vernacular). It comes from the High Middle Ages and according to the source is an irony writen in times of war, arguably blaming God for not delivering the author from the penalties of such hard times.

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    Note that this is old French: A modern French speaker could easily understand it (though my mind is blanking on foulz--transcription error?) but the orthography has notable differences.
    – brianpck
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 14:10
  • Thanks for your reply. I have edited to separate the text into 2 as they are from different time apparently. Do you think I should ask this in French site for translation?
    – xbmono
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 1:47
  • I believe I should pick your comment as the right answer... but just keen to know your idea after editing the question.. maybe you have more to say. Thanks again
    – xbmono
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 1:55
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    @xbmono unfortunately I don't speak French. The only thing I get (based on the text and the essay) is a general idea that I've already put in the answer.
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 12:39
  • Perhaps @brianpck can help with the French text?
    – Rafael
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 12:43

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