Charlemagne Statue by Notre Dame Cathedral

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So said Charlemagne, often called the “Father of Europe”. How great that we have the translations of so many words of wisdom spouted by so man authors, artists, politicians, and singers from other countries.

I’m thinking about the fortunate young minds in our schools who will soon be blessed with beginning the study of a foreign language. While it will be a topic of debate forever, early adolescence (ages 11-13) seems to be the most desirable time to learn a second language. By this time (presumably) the first language will have been properly developed (though how effective that is being done is a matter for discussion and definitely an area that unquestionably needs improvement) and the mind can begin to absorb this new language.

I began French in third grade since I was an English-speaking person in the Province of Quebec. At that time, it was mandated that we begin French in our English school and continue it through graduation. It was never a matter of debate and the expectations were that we would study it each year. It was natural, since it was valued in our curriculum – not as a filler, but as an intricate part of our schooling. Thus, I have a passion for the subject and feel that every young mind should have the privilege and requirement to study a foreign language!

Because I have a keen interest in language, I also love to read quotes that famous people have voiced through the ages. Here I’ve include a few, which I find interesting. The originals were, of course, in the French language said by French citizens. but it’s fun and enlightening to read the wisdom of the ages.

To have another language is to possess a second soul.


Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

‒Napoleon Bonaparte

Confidence contributes more to conversation than wit.

‒Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.

‒Louis Pasteur

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

‒Marcel Proust (writer)

If you hear a voice within you saying, “You are not a painter,” then by all means paint…and that voice will be silenced.

‒Vincent Van Gogh

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.

‒George Sand, pseud. of Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin (author)z,/cite>

What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on.

‒Jacques Cousteau

Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.

‒Antoine-Marie-Roger de Saint-Exupery (Pilot, poet)

It is sad to grow old but nice to ripen.

‒Brigitte Bardot

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