I don’t know if it was intentional on Bioware’s part (it probably wasn’t), but I have just discovered that ‘not of the People’/’nothing of the People’ and ‘not a person’ are both the same word in elven: banal’vhen.
Whichg is honestly kind of fantastic, because the Dalish and the ancient elves do both seem to have a groupthink problem: the ancient elves in particular had some fantastic xenophobia going on that would absolutely have resulted in this kind of linguistic shit happening! And then the Dalish have inherited it, and it’s all gone downhill from there.
So if we say there is ‘nothing of the People’ (banal’vhen, again) in a city elf, or indeed in a Dalish who’s a bit weird... we’ve got undertones of ‘and therefore not a person at all’. When Solas says the same thing about the Dalish and city elves both (and you know he does)... we end up right back at ‘like waking in a world full of Tranquil’, and
Cole: You're real, and it means everyone could be real. It changes everything, but it can't.
It’s almost - but not quite - as deliciously xenophobic as the Qunari calling everyone else ‘things’.
(I bet poor Sera’s had it thrown at her a couple of times, too.)