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)
This has been one of my favourite quotes ever since. Languages are about communication, connecting people and different cultures.
Years ago I met a businessman on a train. He told me that when he went abroad, he made sure he knew at least a couple of phrases in that language. Even if he ended up mispronouncing them or using them in wrong contexts, people would still immediately feel at ease with him. Indeed, I noticed it myself; When I came to the UK, not knowing anyone, just the attempt of my teacher to greet me in my mother tongue made me smile and feel more welcome and comfortable.
You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once. (Czech proverb)
The limits of my language are the limits of my universe. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
I’m also strongly agreeing with these two quotes. Every time I started to learn a new language another door opened for me, allowing me to discover a different culture or world. This simultaneously gave me the chance to reinvent myself… (see this article!)
Now if you’re feeling unmotivated to learn for your language exam(s), read some inspiring quotes! 🙂