Usage 4—Translating the Word “People”

The English noun “people” has two distinct meanings. In its original meaning it is a collective noun meaning the entire body of persons who constitute a tribe, nation, or other group united by a common heritage. In its second (more modern) meaning, people is an alternative plural of “person”. The chart below shows how to translate “people” in its two meanings:

MeaningSingularPlural
Tribe, Nation, Groupa peopleнародpeoplesнароды
Human Beinga personчеловекpersons or peopleлюди

Seeing these two meanings as different takes practice. A few examples will help: