He who is ignorant of foreign languages, knows not his own.

[Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Über Kunst und Alterthum (1821)

Alt. trans.:
  • "He who knows not foreign languages, knows nothing of his own."
  • "No man who knows only his own language knows even that."
  • "He who knows but one language knows none."
  • "He who knows one language, knows none."
  • "A man who has no acquaintance with foreign languages knows nothing of his own." [tr. Bailey Saunders]

Added on 6-Jul-04 | Last updated 20-Nov-20
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