My Favorite Language Learning Quotes

Here, in no particular order other than the order in which they came to my mind, are some of my favorite language learning quotes:

1. Everyone you meet knows more than you do about something, so you might as well be quiet and learn. (Eugene Nida)

2. It is said that children learn languages from their environment. They get into an environment where language can happen, and language learning happens. (Greg Thompson)

3. A basic rule of culture learning is that you will never be present in a new culture as a normal person unless you are first willing to be present as a weirdo. Weirdness is the only path to normalcy.” (Greg Thompson)

4. Learn a second language, gain a second soul. (Czech proverb)

5.  A language is not an academic subject. It is something that happens between people in flesh and blood. (Greg Thompson)

6. If we could talk to people in their language, we could see them better. (Don Larson)

7. Language is more than a tool for understanding and being understood. It helps us maintain health and well-being. Without it we imprison our minds and lose control of our emotions. Slowly, but surely, we die a social death.  (Don Larson)

8· Learn what they talk about, not just how they talk. (Don Larson)

9. You have to be able to speak poorly before you can speak well. (Don Larson)

10. “If you’re not making errors, you’re not breaking new ground.” (Greg Thompson)

Do you have a favorite language learning quote? Use the comments section to let us know what it is.

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8 thoughts on “My Favorite Language Learning Quotes

  1. “You can’t be cool and study Chinese. You will have to relinquish coolness continue.” -1st year language training, orientation.

  2. This is my favorite from Greg: “Don’t learn the language! Rather, relearn the world, as it is known and shared by the people whose language you are learning.”

  3. Warm greetings from HOT Beaverton, OR, Joann! Marilyn posted something from you on the yahoo group and how nice to find that it was your website! You have no reason to remember me, but I was in the summer 2012 group of NATs and you did such a great job of helping us with orientation. I also bought your book, but haven’t taken time to use it as I don’t see myself returning to China in the foreseeable future.

    Happy to see your website and be reminded of the great time you gave us with your very humorous presentation.

    Love and blessings, Minnie