Mother Tongue Quotes

Quotes tagged as "mother-tongue" (showing 1-15 of 15)
Bill Bryson
“These Cro-Magnon people were identical to us: they had the same physique, the same brain, the same looks. And, unlike all previous hominids who roamed the earth, they could choke on food. That may seem a trifling point, but the slight evolutionary change that pushed man's larynx deeper into his throat, and thus made choking a possibility, also brought with it the possibility of sophisticated, well articulated speech.
Other mammals have no contact between their air passages and oesophagi. They can breathe and swallow at the same time, and there is no possibility of food going down the wrong way. But with Homo sapiens food and drink must pass over the larynx on the way to the gullet and thus there is a constant risk that some will be inadvertently inhaled. In modern humans, the lowered larynx isn't in position from birth. It descends sometime between the ages of three and five months - curiously, the precise period when babies are likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. At all events, the descended larynx explains why you can speak and your dog cannot.”
Bill Bryson, The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way

Munia Khan
“Facing a language you don't know is like returning to your infancy when your mother tongue used to be a foreign language to you”
Munia Khan

Meg Rosoff
“La idea de no tener una lengua materna me preocupa. ¿Es como sentirte un nómada dentro de tu propia cabeza? no me puedo imaginar no tener palabras en las que refugiarme. Ser huérfana de lengua.”
Meg Rosoff, Picture Me Gone

Kurt Vonnegut
“The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child. English was the novelist Joseph Conrad's third language, and much of that seems piquant in his use of English was no doubt colored by his first language, which was Polish. And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench.

In some of the more remote hollows of Appalachia, children still grow up hearing songs and locutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, and many Americans grow up hearing a language other than English, or an English dialect a majority of Americans cannot understand.

All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens not to be standard English, and if it shows itself when you write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue.

I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: to write like cultivated Englishmen of a century or more ago.”
Kurt Vonnegut

David B. Lentz
“God in His infinite wisdom blessed humans with redundant tongues: one to outfit the mouth for speech. And a mother tongue to give it meaning... Though it wags out such inconceivable beauty, attached to the mother tongue lies one much maligned woman.”
David B. Lentz, Bloomsday: The Bostoniad

Danabelle Gutierrez
“My tongue was handed down to me
by datus and katipuneros. The truth is
my mouth is a battlefield that
you wouldn’t know how to fight in.”
Danabelle Gutierrez, & Until The Dreams Come

Manasa Rao
“It's okay to be proud of your good English. But don't be proud of being poor at your Mother tongue. Only the scum of the earth do that.”
Manasa Rao

Enock Maregesi
“Kiswahili ni lugha ya Kibantu na lugha kuu ya kimataifa ya biashara ya Afrika ya Mashariki ambayo; maneno yake mengi yamepokewa kutoka katika lugha za Kiarabu, Kireno, Kiingereza, Kihindi, Kijerumani na Kifaransa, kutoka kwa wakoloni waliyoitawala pwani ya Afrika ya Mashariki katika kipindi cha karne tano zilizopita.

Lugha ya Kiswahili ilitokana na lugha za Kisabaki za Afrika Mashariki; ambazo nazo zilitokana na Lugha za Kibantu za Pwani ya Kaskazini Mashariki za Tanzania na Kenya, zilizotokana na lugha zaidi ya 500 za Kibantu za Afrika ya Kusini na Kati.

Lugha za Kibantu zilitokana na lugha za Kibantoidi, ambazo ni lugha zenye asili ya Kibantu za kusini mwa eneo la Wabantu, zilizotokana na jamii ya lugha za Kikongo na Kibenue – tawi kubwa kuliko yote ya familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kinijeri katika bara la Afrika. Familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kibenue ilitokana na jamii ya lugha za Kiatlantiki na Kikongo; zilizotokana na familia ya lugha za Kikongo na Kinijeri, ambayo ni familia kubwa ya lugha kuliko zote duniani kwa maana ya lugha za kikabila.

Familia ya lugha ya Kiswahili imekuwepo kwa karne nyingi. Tujifunze kuzipenda na kuzitetea lugha zetu kwa faida ya vizazi vijavyo.”
Enock Maregesi

Enock Maregesi
“Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi ya nchi za Tanzania, Kenya na Uganda. Ni lugha isiyo rasmi ya nchi za Rwanda, Burundi, Msumbiji na Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo. Lugha ya Kiswahili ni mali ya nchi za Afrika ya Mashariki, si mali ya nchi za Afrika Mashariki peke yake. Pia, Kiswahili ni lugha rasmi ya Umoja wa Afrika; pamoja na Kiarabu, Kiingereza, Kifaransa, Kireno na Kihispania. Kiswahili ni lugha inayozungumzwa zaidi nchini Tanzania kuliko nchi nyingine yoyote ile, duniani.”
Enock Maregesi

Laurence Overmire
“I have embraced Robert Burns and his beloved Scotland. I have heard the music of the authentic mother tongue. I have walked where he walked, lived where he lived, if only for a brief time, and seen where he died and where he was finally laid to rest. The ghost of Rabbie Burns will continue to walk beside me. And when I am gone, I will walk beside others who fight for the cause of truth.”
Laurence Overmire, The Ghost of Rabbie Burns: An American Poet's Journey Through Scotland

Munia Khan
“The joy of knowing a foreign language is inexpressible. I find it really difficult to express such joy in my mother tongue.”
Munia Khan

David Anthony Durham
“She sat, rediscovering the fullness of her first tongue in one long submersion. Again and again she would pause on a word Melio uttered. She would roll it around in her mind, feeling the contours of it. At times her mouth gaped open, her lips moving as if she were drinking in his words instead of breathing.”
David Anthony Durham, Acacia: The War with the Mein

Amit Chaudhuri
“Class was what formed you, but didn’t travel to other cultures – it became invisible abroad. In foreign places, you were singled out by religion and race, but not class, which was more indecipherable than any other mother tongue. He’d learnt that not only were light, language, and weather contingent – class was too.”
Amit Chaudhuri, Odysseus Abroad

“A strong tie binds novelists to their mother tongue. Though novelists can and do write in languages other than their own, there is a common belief that a novel has a special, almost mystical affinity with the novelist's mother tongue.”
Minae Mizumura, The Fall of Language in the Age of English