Language & Identity Quotes


Language identity quotes
by Beth Purdy – Monday, April 30, 2012, 04:21 AM

Another really important theme of Chapter 2 is the incorporation of language as part of one’s culture and identity. A couple of years ago I started putting together a list of quotes on this topic, so I thought I’d share.

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

Language is an anonymous, collective and unconscious art; the result of the creativity of thousands of generations.
– Edward Sapir

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

We infer the spirit of the nation in great measure from the language, which is a sort of monument to which each forcible individual in a course if many hundred years has contributed a stone.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generation.
– Edward Sapir

The world is a mosaic of visions. With each language that disappears, a piece of that mosaic is lost.
– François Grosjean

Language embodies the intellectual wealth of the people who use it.
– Kenneth Hale

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.
– Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch, 1988

Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Am fear a chailleas a chanain caillidh e a shaoghal.
He who loses his language loses his world. (Scottish Gaelic)

For every language that becomes extinct, an image of man disappears.
– Octavio Paz

A natural language is the archive where the experiences, knowledge and beliefs of a community are stored.
– Fernando Lázaro Carreter

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