Foreign Language Department

Language Proverbs and Sayings

"... Effective communication and successful negotiations with a foreign partner--whether with a partner in peacekeeping, a strategic economic partner, a political adversary, or a non-English speaking contact in a critical law enforcement action --requires strong comprehension of the underlying cultural values and belief structures that are part of the life experience of the foreign partner." - Dr. Dan Davidson, President of the American Councils on International Education

"A different language is a different vision of life." -Federico Fellini, Italian film director

"No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive." -Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian nationalist and spiritual leader

“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.

“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, American writer

Change your language and you change your thoughts.” -Karl Albrecht, is a German entrepreneur who founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo

“Any man who does not make himself proficient in at least two languages other than his own is a fool.” -Martin H. Fischer, German-born American physician and author.

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

“I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my dog.”
-Emperor Charles V

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

"Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.' And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.' So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.' Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth." -Genesis 11:1-9

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world” -Ludwig Wittgenstein, was an Austrian- British philosopher.

“In general, every country has the language it deserves.” -Jorge Luis Borges, Argentinian writer

“Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it.” -Christopher Morley, American journalists, novelist, and poet.

“Parents should conduct their arguments in quiet, respectful tones, but in a foreign language. You'd be surprised what an inducement that is to the education of children.” -Judith Martin, Miss Manners.

“One language sets you in a corridor of life. Two languages open every door along the way” -Frank Smith, a contemporary psycholinguist recognized for his contributions in linguistics and cognitive psychology.

“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, great German poet

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” -Rita Mae Brown, American writer.