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January 2016

5 Inspiring Quotes for Language Learners

Inspiring quotes to motivate you to learn a language in 2016

With a new year comes new resolutions. For those motivated to learn a new language in 2016, it's important to stay inspired. Language learning, like dropping pounds or exploring a new dance, takes lots of time and practice. The payoff, however, is one that can benefit a life immensely moving forward. Today we’ll take a look at five inspiring quotes for language learners that are sure to keep inspiration flowing on the path to language fluency.

“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.” ‒Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a man of much wisdom. A leader of a country once separated by a racial divide, he was one who understood the importance of diversity and togetherness. Exact meaning can be translated, but nothing touches the heart more than the native words. To learn a new language is to learn how to communicate deeply with one who speaks the language.

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

It's a strange thing how sometimes our characteristics, our personalities, change with the adoption of a foreign language. For example, Cantonese can be a humorous and sarcastic language, displaying irreverent wit. Italian is vivacious, and one speaking the language can't help but involve the hands. A manner of speech changes a person, at least in subtle ways, such that it resembles the acquisition of a second style of being.

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

When it comes to learning new languages, the first is always the most difficult (all things considered). This is because the new learner must not only learn the new language, but also the process of learning itself. Even if subsequent languages are technically more difficult to learn, the experienced learner has already acquired the tools necessary to approach the task.

“A different language is a different vision of life.” –Federico Fellini

Leave it to visionary director Federico Fellini to talk about visions of life. Much like how speaking in a new language can change one’s personality in small ways, thinking in another language can open pathways to new visions in life. Words like saudade do not exist in English, but it is used to describe a melancholy feeling akin to nostalgia in Portuguese. Inuits, for example, have many more ways to describe snow than those speaking English, so that even seeing snow offers them a much more involved experience than those who do not have the linguistic (and thus mental) tools to experience snow as they do.

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

Words are powerful and alive; they can trigger ideas in the minds of others. Words can hurt or heal, inspire or inhibit. Each language has its strength in portraying ideas, a different kind of poetry that exhibits unique ideas. It is a fundamental tool for communication, and communication is the fundamental glue for togetherness.

A sixth quote for levity:
“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

What are your language resolutions for 2016? What motivates you to learn? Leave a comment on Facebook and be sure to follow us with a “like”. Happy 2016!

Picture: (c) Coloures-pic, Fotolia

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