Are Menschen and Leute not synonyms?
Not quite. See here:
Really strange. I used wichtige, but Duo rejected saying I used the wrong word, and that "bedeutende" was correct, though I've never heard of this word before.
Why not "wichtigen Leute"? Because Leute is in plural form.
Because it's nominative here without article
Thanks! I didn't know that a nominative plural noun without an article doesn't need a "n" ending.
They are really confusing
I've seen many helpful links to revise them on site
This may help:
people could be translated as "Personen" too.
Only in fairly technical contexts, like "This bus is licensed to seat 12 persons".
Why not "wesentliche Leute"?
I also fell into this trap. It seems that 'wesentlich' is mostly used in regard to abstract concepts, and its meaning is actually 'significant' or 'essential'.
Would "Wir sind wichtiges Volk" also mean the same thing?
I think volk is probably used for a large type of people. It's more a synonym for nation, though it can be used in place of leute in some cases.
Amboiii, riak kau ye...