Iggy dressed as Winston Churchill, saying “Success is not final, failure is not fatal…”

Learning a language is one of the most rewarding experiences. Even if sometimes you feel like you’ve reached a dead-end, with the help of an expert teacher, an app, a book, or even a friend, you’ll probably find a way to get back on track.

If you are at this point and trying to gain back some motivation to keep on improving your language skills, here are some inspirational quotes about life to keep you positive while learning English.

14 Inspirational Quotes About Life & Language

Motivational quotes can help you stay focused and remind you of the value of learning a new language. They can also encourage you to keep pushing through difficult times, even when it seems like progress is slow.

Finally, reading inspiring quotes can give you the strength to keep going and help you to believe in yourself and your skills.

So, let us share 14 life quotes by famous people like Henry David Thoreau and Nelson Mandela that can help you set goals, stay accountable, and focus on achieving success.

“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 famous quote talks about the importance of learning a second language, particularly if you want to establish meaningful relationships with people who speak that language.

Some studies have shown that using a foreign language takes away emotions, as people are less concerned with the common good than when using their native language.

However, when you speak to them in their native language, it creates a deeper emotional connection and understanding: it goes to their heart.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

This one is a bit tricky. Sometimes, you probably feel exhausted after taking long English lessons (particularly if they are about grammar!). However, Leonardo da Vinci means that, somehow, your brain will never be “full.”

Soren sitting at a desk, saying “train, car, ship, truck…”

Somehow, your mind will make room to accommodate new information. That’s how you’re capable of learning hundreds or even thousands of new vocabulary words, even if they seem impossible to remember at the beginning.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

In this phrase, Winston Churchill talks about how true success and failure are not defined by a single event or outcome but rather by your ability to persevere and continue moving forward despite challenges, setbacks, and life's failures.

The quote also highlights the importance of courage, as success is not only about winning but also about the ability to come back from failure and keep pushing forward.

"The only impossible journey is the one you never begin." – Anthony Robbins

This quote by Anthony Robbins emphasizes the importance of taking action to fulfill your dreams, even if it seems impossible. The quote suggests that true failure is not in the journey itself, but in never beginning the journey at all. You’re the only one who can decide to start your language journey.

It encourages you not to let fear or uncertainty hold you back. Learning English can be challenging, especially if you’re doing it on your own. But, don’t let self-doubt or self-consciousness stop you from doing what you truly want to do.

Use this life quote as a source of inspiration if you feel stuck and need a push to take action.

"The time is always right to do what is right." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Junior reminds us that we should do what is right, no matter what circumstances surround us.

It implies that you should not wait for the right moment to act or to do the right thing; instead, you should take action whenever you see an opportunity to do good.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

This quote by Mahatma Gandhi encourages you to live your life fully and with purpose. It also emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement, as if you were to live forever.

The first part of the quote, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow," suggests that we should make the most of the time we have and not waste it. Things happen, but you should focus on what truly matters and pursue your passions.

“Learning another language is like becoming another person.” — Haruki Murakami

By now, you probably know that learning another language can be a transformative experience, as it allows you to access a different culture and way of thinking.

This is exactly what Haruki Murakami wants to express here: that by learning another language, you can gain a new perspective and understanding of the world and, in a sense, become a different person.

Many studies have discussed how switching between languages can affect our personality. The way we speak and even the way we think can change when we use our first or second languages.

This inspirational life quote is a great reminder of how languages are not just an element of communication but also a part of our identities.

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

Here, Charlemagne suggests that the ability to speak and understand another language is like having a second soul, or a different way of understanding and experiencing the world. It implies that knowing another language opens up new perspectives, cultures, and ways of thinking and communication.

 Iggy and Benji speaking on the phone. Both speak in Spanish, Iggy saying “hola, te extraño” while Benji says “yo también”.

Learning a new language like English is powerful: it will allow you to connect to other people and cultures and also open new ways for you to understand and experience the world.

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone." - Reba McEntire

Here, Reba McEntire talks about the three elements you need to achieve success: motivation (the "wishbone"), resilience (the "backbone”), and a sense of humor (the “funny bone”). It's the ability to maintain a positive attitude and not take yourself too seriously.

This is a very useful ability when learning English. When trying to improve your speaking skills, you may feel self-conscious, particularly if you have to speak in front of others and you're just a beginner.

So, being able to make fun of yourself becomes essential if you want to enjoy your language journey, be it as a beginner or an advanced student.

"You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” — Lee Iacocca

This quote by Lee Iacocca emphasizes the importance of effective communication. It suggests that brilliant ideas are not enough if you cannot convey and present them to others.

This is exactly what happens when we're learning a new language. We may have wonderful ideas, but we don't yet have enough linguistic abilities to communicate them to others. Gestures, facial expressions, tones, and other non-verbal features of communication can be of great help in these situations.

Benji and Iggy standing on the street, Benji doing the OK sign with his hands and Iggy looking puzzled.

Don't despair: with patience and motivation, soon you'll be able to communicate your ideas easily and clearly.

"Success breeds success.” — Mark Twain

These three words by Mark Twain are powerful. He suggests that once you achieve a certain level of success, it tends to lead to more success in the future. This is similar to a chain reaction of positive outcomes.

Your success may open doors to new opportunities, and it can also lead to gaining more confidence, motivation, and experience.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.” - Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had a powerful life story, and, in this quote, he shares some of his wisdom with us. He emphasizes the importance of living a life true to yourself.

Each one of us is absolutely unique, with our own dreams and expectations, and you should not be concerned with what others want you to do. By doing what you truly want, you'll have a firm foundation for a happy life, regardless of what other people think about it.

"Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” — Paul J. Meyer

This quote by Paul J. Meyer talks about something you probably understand very well: the importance of communication in personal and professional success.

He highlights that the ability to connect and communicate effectively with others is crucial for both personal and career growth. And, what better way to do this than by learning another language, like English?

If you become proficient in English, you'll be able to build and maintain new relationships, whether it's with friends, family, or colleagues. You'll be able to build trust and understand others, manage conflicts, lead and influence people, and anything else you want.

"The world is but a canvas for our imagination." — Henry David Thoreau

Ever heard this wonderful quote by Henry David Thoreau? It suggests that the world around us is a blank canvas on which we can project our own imagination and ideas.

He believes that we have the ability to shape and mold our perceptions of reality and to create our own unique experiences and perspectives. And, this is particularly true when we are learning a second language.

Why Should You Motivate Yourself to Learn English?

English is one of the most widely spoken languages on the planet and is now used as a lingua franca all around the world. This means you can connect with millions of people from other cultures and make new friends from different places. Plus, learning English is an invaluable skill to improve your educational opportunities, whether it be to study abroad or online from home.

 drawings of different flags: USA, UK, Belize, Canada, Fiji, Australia, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore.

And, let's not forget that learning English can open up doors for your career. For example, being able to communicate in English can ensure that you are better understood by your peers, supervisors, and customers, which in turn can result in more career opportunities and positive feedback from employers.

Strong English language skills can also make it easier to collaborate with other colleagues and work in teams, since English is the most widely spoken language in the workplace.

English Life Quotes: Powerful Motivators for Language Learners

For all of these reasons, learning English is a worthwhile investment. Whenever you feel demotivated, you can have a look at these life quotes and inspire yourself to keep on going.

With the help of books, online resources, language apps, and inspiration from these famous figures, soon you’ll find yourself speaking and writing like a native speaker.

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Daniela brings over a decade of expertise as a university-level ESL instructor, guiding students from diverse global backgrounds in learning both English and Spanish languages. Beyond her pedagogical pursuits, Daniela's passions extend to writing, painting, and cooking delicious Argentinian dishes. With boundless enthusiasm, she endeavors to impart her wealth of knowledge on languages and cultures, inviting you to learn more!