quotation marksTraveling is great, and that is the heart and soul of this website. However, the benefits that one reaps when traveling while fluent in another language (that of the destination country) are exponentially more abundant than traveling without such.

Knowing the language of the people who surround you will help you absorb more information (and with greater accuracy), connect with the people and traditions, and simply grant you more ease and comfort. I’m not proposing you learn every language native to everywhere you are interested in visiting; that would be ridiculous and virtually impossible unless you don’t care much to travel to begin with. But a few simple phrases are sure to help you get by, and will help warm the hearts of the locals to your cause.

Here are some of my favorite quotes that have inspired me to pick up some foreign languages, and I hope that it will help you do the same!

The man who does not know other languages, unless he is a man of genius, necessarily has deficiencies in his ideas. – Victor Hugo

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

Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did. – Sarah Caldwell

Absolutely nothing is so important for a nation’s culture as its language. – Wilhelm von Humboldt

Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem. (The more languages you know, the more you are human. Or lit. “As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being”) – Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Czech

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

I never found accents difficult, after learning languages. – Vivien Leigh

Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going. – Rita Mae Brown

There is the fear, common to all English-only speakers, that the chief purpose of foreign languages is to make fun of us. Otherwise, you know, why not just come out and say it? – Barbara Ehrenreich

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

It is literally the case that learning languages makes you smarter. The neural networks in the brain strengthen as a result of language learning. – Michael Gove

As a hawk flieth not high with one wing, even so a man reacheth not to excellence with one tongue. – Roger Ascham

It’s like there are all these languages available, especially in terms of image. Why confine yourself to only English? There’s all these languages and possibilities and concepts to speak or communicate with. – William Wiley

No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. – Edward Sapir

The more languages you know, the less likely you are to become a terrorist. – Upamanyu Chatterjee

When you grow up in a family of languages, you develop a kind of casual fluency, so that languages, though differently colored, all seem transparent to experience. – David Antin

No man should travel until he has learned the language of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby, so helpless and so ridiculous. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt. (The limits of my language are the limits of my world.) – Ludwig Wittgenstein, German

To have another language is to possess a second soul. – Charlemagne

Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen. (Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.) – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German

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

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. – Chinese Proverb

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