Translation:He is a normal person, and that is good.
"Guy" means "парень" in Russian, it is masculine. "Person" - "человек", "личность" - uses for both genders.
I mean that words don't correspond one-to-one. My impression is that человек is used much more widely in Russian than person in English. Therefore, it may be appropriate to choose a different word here, like guy.
Do you mean that the word "person" can be translated in Russian as a "guy"?
Why is it good that he's normal? Maybe it would be better of he was weird.
человек – чело|век
Is человек a compound word consisting of чело, an archaic word for лоб (forehead), and век, meaning ‘century’? This is strange...why would ‘human’ or ‘person’ be ‘forehead century’ in Russian?
Человек is not a divisible word in modern Russian. It has existed for long time, underwent various sound changes, and now we can't say what is its etymology for sure.
The Max Vasmer's etymological dictionary lists two main hypotheses:
- Человек might have originally meant 'a child of a family', and later came to mean any child, and then any human being. Чело- is related to челядь 'servants' (originally, 'family'; the original meaning was lost in Russian, but kept in some other Slavic languages, such as Bulgarian and Czech). And век is related to Lithunian vaĩkas 'boy, child' and Latvian vaiks 'boy, child'. Lithuanian and Latvian are distant relatives of Russian, so if they have this word, it's possible that Russian had it too, in the past.
- Человек migth have originall meant ''full of strength, full of age", and originally refert to adults, but then came to mean any human being. Then, чело- is related to целый, and век is indeed related to 'age' (this word underwent a big change of meaning: originally it meant 'strength', but then it came to mean 'life' and 'age of a person'; and then 'century', because people live roughly a century — ideally, at least; the original meaning 'strength' is retained in Lithuanian, which is a distant relative of Russian. The meaning 'life' is retained in some compounds, like «на своём веку́» 'in one's lifetime'.).
[N.B. I don't actually know all those languages mentioned, I'm just retelling the dictionary. For all doubts, refer to it. To see this dictionary, go to http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/main.cgi?flags=eygtmnl , click on 'search' near Vasmer's Etymological Dictionary, and then enter the word inside the 'WORD' field.]
Anyway, the word человек was created very long ago, so we can't be sure what it meant originally. We can only make hypotheses.
However, most likely it wasn't formed from чело meaning 'forehead', because back in that time when the word человек appeared, the word for 'forehead' looked differently: it is believed to have had -ес- that later disappeared. So, if the «человек» would have been formed from this word, we'd expect it to be **челесовек, not человек.
The explanation «человек = чело + век» is not a scholarly explanation, it was created by ordinary people trying to understand their language. As such, it's an interesting observation. It helps to see how ordinary people understand this word. So, we can conclude that people associate humans with:
- intelligence, because чело 'forehead' is a reference to head, a place of brains, and
- being mortal, i.e. living only until some age.
But this is just how people without linguistic knowledge can explain this word. So, it's not about how it was originally created. It's about how we understand 'being human' now.
О, теперь я понимаю. Thank you for explaining! Спасибо большое за объяснение, Серая Жаба!
Here in Kazakhstan, it seems to me that people use normaln- to mean corrrect/OK/acceptable rather than normal.
That would be "он обычный человек", the difference between these sentences are:
"Он нормальный человек" - he doesn't have any deviations
"Он обычный человек" - he's not a governor, not a judge, not a powerful man, he is a simple person.