30 May 2017
15 Inspirational Quotes About Learning Languages

Do we need some additional motivation when it comes to language learning?

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We all know that learning languages can be an enjoyable and richly rewarding experience. However, serious learners also encounter moments of frustration, when progress is slow and time and effort do not seem to pay off.

For this reason, I have selected 15 quotes that can inspire us in times of doubt, remind us of the new perspectives and possibilities that languages offer or simply can help us have a laugh about language use and its misuse.

It is in vogue to claim that any list we make online has been expertly “curated.” All I can I can say these quotes is that they promise to be interesting. Some may be old to you, others could be new or just odd.

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Be that as it may, just enjoy!

  1. “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”
    ― Ludwig Wittgenstein
  2. “Languages are a representation of our thoughts.”
    ― Immanuel Kant
  3. “Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.”
    ― Oliver Wendell Holmes
  4. “Change your language and you change your thoughts.”
    ― Karl Albrecht
  5. “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsynlanguage-is-to-the-mind-post-carlos-aleson
  6. “Since there is no real silence,
    Silence will contain all the sounds,
    All the words, all the languages,
    All knowledge, all memory.”

    ― Dejan Stojanovic

  7. “Friendliness is a language that the doves can hear and the blind can read.”
    ― Mark Twain
  8. “The dictionary is based on the hypothesis — obviously an unproven one — that languages are made up of equivalent synonyms.”
    ― Jorge Luis Borges
  9. “Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it.”
    ― Christopher Morley
  10. “What the survival of threatened languages means, perhaps, is the endurance of dozens, hundreds, thousands of subtly different notions of truth.”
    ― Mark Abley,speak-a-new-language-i-diom-post-carlos-aleson
  11. “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.”
    ― George Bernard Shaw
  12. “Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to speak French.”
    ― P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins
  13. “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.”
    — Willy Brandt
  14. “…it always felt good to have that moment of resolve, like saying, “I’m gonna learn French!” It doesn’t matter if you do it or not, deciding is the high, right?”
    ― Felicia Day, You’re Never Weird on the Internet
  15. “The German language ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it.”
    ― Mark Twain a-warm-is-the-universal-language-of-kindness-ward-i-diom

Do you have your own inspirational quotes that you could add to this list?

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About the author: Carlos Aleson is the director of i-diom, an institute specialized in language and communications training in Austria.

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