With languages, you are at home anywhere.

Edmund De Waal

Wise words (Ali Smith)

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‘Language is our best, most versatile, simultaneously most complex and most simple means of communication.’

There’s language in everything. There’s language in every silence.’

‘Translation – which I think of very broadly, as the coming together of language and meaning – is at the root of everything, every exchange.’

‘Language means we’re not alone.’

‘Verbal language is a revelation of family since no language exists in singularity and every one of our verbal languages has been produced by a fusion of other languages. Plus we’re born not with a passport intact, say, but with a readiness and keenness for the brilliant structures of meaning to ignite us, our brains are longing for and equipped to be adept at all the languages of all the possible kinds.’

‘When words mean, we all mean. This is why language relates directly to worth. (In English the phrase goes: to tell a story, and the word tell is also the word used for counting money, for bank tellers.)’

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