MENSCHEN oder LEUTE?
Would someone kindly give some examples on which word to use - and when? Danke!
This is not easy to answer. In 2015, during the refugee crisis, a politician stated "Das sind Menschen" meaning These are human beings too. Since then Menschen is widely used instead of Leute (people, persons) in most cases it sounds still wrong to me. Menschen (human beings) used to be a category opposed to gods or animals or other categories or species but now it is used for Leute, what is not completely wrong as it was originally the same some centuries ago. Now you hear everyday in the news "Fünf Menschen wurden verletzt" not Leute, Personen, Fußgänger, Passagiere, Vekersteilnehmer, Bewohner or something like that, what was used before, and I always think "wow, no cats, no dogs".
Haha! Danke! It's just that in one of the exercises I was 'wrong' for putting Leute and not Menschen. Unfortunately I don't remember the sentence. Best to play it safe and use 'Menchen' from now on.....thanks for your answer!
That's really hard to explain. I will try to explain it but take it with a grain of salt.
Leute ist something like guys or folks - just a random group of people. Sometimes it's really equivalent to the indefinite pronoun man (~one) or manche (~some). Manche Leute sehen das so. Leute sehen das. Leute sind auf der Straße.
Menschen emphasizes the human part. It's often used like human beings. Menschen sind verletzlich. Die Menschen sind in großer Gefahr. Menschen brauchen Wasser. Menschen stammen vom Affen ab. Da sind noch Menschen auf der Andrea Doria!
Das ist interessant...I think I am getting a 'feel' for it now! Vielen Dank! :)
Here are examples which should help:
From what I gather if you are applauding the quality of the people or referring to them specifically as humans you use Menschen. Just generically - people in general, then Leute.
Menschen means 'humans'/'human beings' so if the emphasis is on them being human, than you use that. 'Leute' means 'people' (in the sense of a group of people, not an ethnic group, that would be 'Volk'). It only exists in a .. let's call it unspeficif plural. 'Person' means 'person'^^ If you're only talking about one person or a definite number of people (like three people) you would normally use 'Menschen' or 'Personen'. (I'm not sure if you can say Leute tbh ... some probably do, but Personen is often the more elegant way to solve this.)
To my understanding, and I hope someone corrects me if I am wrong.
Leute = that random group of people you want to talk about, with no real qualities about them. "Hey you guys" "those people over there"
Menschen = is more specific. I don't really know how to explain well. "persons" English is slowly getting rid of it and replacing with people.
Volk = Like an ethnic/national/or other very specific group of people "The people of Germany" "The Palestinian people"