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20 Quotes for Foreign Language Learners

January 3, 2012

Eiffel Tower at New Year

Kicking off the New Year with 20 quotes dedicated to the excitement and wonder that a new language brings about.

“Language is the road map of a culture.  It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”

Rita Mae Brown

“Learning a foreign language not only reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced and value, and how they express themselves, it also provides a cultural mirror in which we can more clearly see our own society.”

Chancellor Edward Lee Gorsuch


“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”

Geoffrey Willans

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”



“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

“One language sets you in a corridor for life.  Two languages open every door along the way.”

Frank Smith

“A different language is a different vision of life.”

Federico Fellini

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

“A man who knows two languages is worth two men.”

French Proverb

“You live a new life for every new language you speak.  If you know only one language, you live only once.”

Czech proverb

“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.”

Roger Bacon

“One who speaks only one language is one person, but one who speaks two languages is two people.”

Turkish Proverb

“Change your language and you change your thoughts.”

Karl Albrecht

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.”

Flora Lewis

“A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.”

Gaston Bachelard

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift.  Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club -the community of speakers of that language.”

Frank Smith

“Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”

Dave Barry

4 Comments leave one →
  1. aBI permalink
    February 27, 2013 8:18 pm

    In the second quote i think its supposed to say “…clearly see ouR own society.”

  2. March 27, 2013 8:13 pm

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  3. new muslimah permalink
    May 12, 2013 3:32 am

    Thanks, your blog helped me write mine! 😀


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