Human existed before money, not the other way around.

Hi. I got a phone call from a good friend of mine this morning. We chatted about everything over an hour, which is no sweat for two women. :) At some point, we were talking about money... how good it is to have money, how lucky we are not having to worry about money right now, how stressful at work to make money, how much money we need, how a lot of problems go away with money, why only the rich people are getting richer, on and on and on. Later, I went shopping and bought some stuff with money! Ahhh.. it was nice. :) Money is good as long as it comes after the value of people.

Human existed before money, not the other way around.
사람 나고 돈 났지, 돈 나고 사람 났나.

사람, saram, a person
나고, nago, appear or be born (나다)
돈, don, money
났지, najji, appear or be born (나다) + suffix for contradiction

사람 나고 돈 났지, 돈 나고 사람 났나.
saram nago don najji, don nago saram nanna.

"사람 나고 something 났지, something 나고 사람 났나" is an expression when people should be valued more than that something. Like, I saw "Black Swan" the other day. Well, it was not a bad movie but all I can say is "사람 나고 발레(ballet) 났지, 발레 나고 사람 났나." :)

나다 has so many usages. Try this Korean dictionary if it helps.

The suffix -지, in this case, is used to contrast the first part of the sentence with the second part. I will give you some examples with A being really stupid today. :)

A: Is this an apple?
B: 이게 배지 어떻게 사과야? (This is a pear, how can it be an apple?)

A: Is whale a fish?
B: 고래(whale)는 포유류(mammal)지 어류(fish)가 아니야.

One last comment. I sometimes get confused and say "돈 나고 사람 났지, 사람 나고 돈 났나". I hope that is not what I think at the subconscious level. ;)


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