Does 사람의 모든 말 mean

  • the language of each person (모든 clarifies 사람)
  • all the languages of people (모든 clarifies 말)
  • both, i.e., ambiguous

I realize that the two sets are identical, but I'm just trying to understand the semantic relationship.

The phrase is in the first line of

내가 사람의 모든 말과 천사의 말을 할 수 있을지라도, 
내게 사랑이 없으면, 
울리는 징이나 요란한 꽹과리가 될 뿐입니다. 

Update: One answer says it can be either, but the second more natural. Another answer says it can only be the second. So, it seems the second is better, but there's disagreement on whether the first is allowed.

  • I am confusing a little. For better understand, could you suggest a whole sentence ?
    – HK Lee
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 15:19
  • 2
    That's a phrase from the New Testament (1 Corinthians), so you can easily find the English version: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."
    – jick
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 17:28
  • 1
    I repeat, i am trying to understand the semantic relationship of the Korean words.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Mar 3, 2018 at 5:00

3 Answers 3


의미상 "사람의 모든 말"은 두 번째 의미인 all the languages of people이 어울립니다.

첫 번째 의미로도 해석될 수는 있지만, 두 번째 의미가 더 자연스럽습니다.


Syntactically, 모든 must modify 말. I'm not sure exactly what is the question, but please keep in mind that Korean doesn't mark plurals, so both 사람 and 말 can refer to multitude ("people" or "languages").


If I translate this:

내가 사람의 모든 말과 천사의 말을 할 수 있을지라도, 
내게 사랑이 없으면, 
울리는 징이나 요란한 꽹과리가 될 뿐입니다.

It would like:

Even If I can speak every language of people and that of angel,
But I do not have love,
It just become ringing Jing or noisy kkwaenggwari.

so in this, second meaning.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.