A few days ago Adam Beck from Bilingual Monkeys wrote a post on inspiring quotes for parents of bilingual children. I loved the list. So I thought I'd share my own list of language-related quotes. I have had this list on my computer for ages and thought it would look much better somewhere people can actually read it.
About languageOne forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die. Evelyn Waugh
The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.
James D. Nicoll
In the lives of individuals and societies, language is a factor of greater importance than any other. For the study of language to remain solely the business of a handful of specialists would be a quite unacceptable state of affairs.
C’est dans et par le langage que l’homme se constitue comme sujet.
Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The individual's whole experience is built upon the plan of his language.
There is in every child a painstaking teacher, so skilful that he obtains identical results in all children in all parts of the world. The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything!
About multilingualismMany Americans have long been of the opinion that bilingualism is ‘a good thing’ if it was acquired via travel (preferably to Paris) or via formal education (preferably at Harvard) but that it is a ‘bad thing’ if it was acquired from one’s immigrant parents or grandparents.
It makes as much sense to ask your doctor for advice about bilingualism as it would to ask him about your car.
Harding and Riley
To have another language is to possess a second soul.
Apprendre une autre langue, c'est comme le commencement d'une autre vie.
If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
And if in doubt, remember this one:
There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all.
Which one is your favourite? Do you have another one I could add to my list (even if it is not in English)? Please do share.