Best Language Quotes


I (Paul Heller) love collecting the Best Language and Travel Quotes for my Fifty Plus Nomad blog. I spend hours searching to find quotes that:

  • Reflect how I feel about an issue.
  • Add a new or interesting perspective to a discussion about a place or issue, even if I disagree with the author’s viewpoint.
  • Make me laugh, cry, or smile.
  • Perfectly capture a place, emotion, or issue.

I don’t include quotes about unknown places or travel experiences.

My blog posts lead off with quotes relevant to the post’s subject. I frequently post quotes on my Facebook group: Long Term Traveling and Living Abroad Over 50.

In addition, I have added several previously unseen quotes I discovered while putting together this page.

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Let me know if you have any additional quotes to add to this page.

You could talk to this woman about her life or the raft after you have finished taking our intensive Spanish classes.

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28 Best Language and Travel Quotes

11 Value of Language Quotes

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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

“Change your language and you change your thoughts.”
Karl Albrecht

¨Language is wine upon the lips.
Virginia Woolf

“Language is to the mind more than light is to the eye.”
William Gibson

“Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.”
Ralph Waldo Emerso

Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.”
Noam Chomsky

“Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.”
Yakov Smirnoff

“Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.”.
Cesar Chavez

“When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.
James Earl Jones

“Losing the language means losing the culture. We need to know who we are because it makes a difference in who our children are.
Dottie LeBeau

14 Learning a Foreign Language and Travel Quotes

“It is astonishing how much enjoyment one can get out of a language that one understands imperfectly.”
Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve

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

“Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.” 
Amy Chua

I love commuting between languages just like I love commuting between cultures and cities.”
Elik Safak

“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

“To have another language to possess a second soul.

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

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

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

“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.”
Roger Bacon

“With languages, you are at home anywhere.”
Edward De Waal

“A foreign language is like a frail, delicate muscle. If you do not use it, it weakens.”
Jhumpa Lahiri

“We should learn languages because language is the only thing worth knowing even poorly.
Kató Lomb

“Speak a new language so that the world will be a new world.”

3 Language-Related Proverbs

Learn a language, and you’ll avoid a war.
Arab Proverb

“Learn a new language and get a new soul.”
Czech Proverb

“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”
Chinese Proverb

Learn more about the story of the founding of Mexico City depicted on the flag and many other details about Mexican history and culture during the Living and Traveling in Mexico workshop

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10 Best Quotes About Languages Other than English

“Portuguese is cheerful and sweet, like a language of birds.”
Paulo Rónai 

“Occasionally, merely for the pleasure of being cruel, we put unoffending Frenchmen on the rack with questions framed in the incomprehensible jargon of their native language, and while they writhed, we impaled them, we peppered them, we scarified them, with their own vile verbs and participles.”
Mark Twain

“Italian is the language of song. German is good for philosophy and English for poetry. French is best at precision; it has a rigour to it.”
Maurice Druon

“Fuck your fucking mother!’ Gesar howled, twisting the wheel round. In a moment of genuine terror only the Russian language could convey the true depths of his feelings. It made me feel proud of our great Russian culture!
Sergei Lukyanenko

“Travel provided many interesting experiences, but perhaps the most useful lesson I learned was that I really had no proficiency for learning the thousands of characters of the written Chinese language.”
Eric Allin Cornell

“I remember learning German – so beautiful, so strange – at school in Australia on the other side of the earth. My family was nonplussed about me learning such an odd, ugly language and, though of course too sophisticated to say it, the language of the enemy. But I liked the sticklebrick nature of it, building long supple words by putting short ones together. Things could be brought into being that had no name in English – Weltanschauung, Schadenfreude, sippenhaft, Sonderweg, Scheissfreundlichkeit, Vergangenheitsbewältigung.”
Anna Funder, Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

“As a matter of fact, no other language in the world has received such praise as the Lithuanian language. The garlands of high honour have been taken to Lithuanian people for inventing, elaborating, and introducing the most highly developed human speech with its beautiful and clear phonology. Moreover, according to comparative philology, the Lithuanian language is best qualified to represent the primitive Aryan civilization and culture.”
Immanuel Kant

“The preservation of Euskara, the Basque language, is one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the history of philology. It is the only case of an archaic language surviving, of a language resisting the invasions of other languages for centuries and retaining its own personality.”
Antonio Tobar

“The language, the whole culture of the Lakota, comes from the song of our heartbeat. It’s not something that can quickly be put into words. It’s a feeling, it’s a prayer, it’s a thought, it’s an emotion—all of these things are in the language.”
Larry Swalley, Lakota

“I studied Japanese language and culture in college and graduate school, and afterward went to work in Tokyo, where I met a young man whose father was a famous businessman and whose mother was a geisha. He and I never discussed his parentage, which was an open secret, but it fascinated me.”  
Arthur Golden

See also my post on the Best Quotes about the Spanish and English languages

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Want More of the Best Language and Travel Quotes?

Check out these posts from Intrepid Guide and British Study Centres.

Additional Long-Term Travel, Living Abroad, and Language Learning Related Quotes From Fifty Plus Nomad

Additional Posts About Learning Foreign Languages; Spanish, English, Cooking, Art, and Other Classes; and Volunteering for Expats and Long-Term Travelers

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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