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This is a quote from Silmarillion, but I really do not know if there are two meanings or one. Because on my language this "Followers" can means that come after the Firstborn or those who likes following, like sheep. For example, I can say "The Secondborn" instead Followers. This is the oficial translation.

So, in your interpretation, these word has just one meaning and the second one is just misunderstood or that word really can be used with these two meanings and that looks like a double intentional interpretation?

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From the actual narrative, Men came after Elves, but certainly did not try to follow in their footsteps. Here, follow = come later than. –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 11 at 22:15

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

As Edwin Ashworth stated, the elves awoke before the men in time, hence they were firstborn; the men awoke hundreds of years later, thus were called the Secondborn, or the followers.

But to say that men followed the elves as sheep follow a shepherd is obviously (from the book itself) not correct. The men were the allies of the elves.

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