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¡Hola, amigas y amigos de SpanishCompadres.com! In this post, we’ll share 19 famous Spanish quotes that will help you improve your language skills. We have selected one famous quote from one prominent intellectual per Spanish speaking country, so you can get to know the words of intellectuals from Latin America and Spain. We know we’re leaving many good quotes out, but we’re saving those for a future post.

 

Learning famous Spanish quotes is a great way to improve your language skills by expanding your vocabulary in order to be able to understand each quote thoroughly. Our selection of famous Spanish quotes includes authors like Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), Gabriela Mistral (Chile), Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), Miguel De Cervantes (Spain), and many other Spanish speaking writers. 

 

Table of contents

 

Argentina

“De todos los instrumentos del hombre, el más asombroso es, sin duda, el libro. Los demás son extensiones de su cuerpo. El microscopio, el telescopio, son extensiones de su vista; el teléfono es extensión de la voz; luego tenemos el arado y la espada, extensiones del brazo. Pero el libro es otra cosa: el libro es una extensión de la memoria y la imaginación.” (Jorge Luis Borges, escritor argentino, 1899 – 1986)

“Out of all man’s instruments, the most amazing one us, without a doubt, the book. The other ones are extensions of his body. The microscope, the telescope are extensions of his sight; the telephone is an extension of the voice; we then have the plow and the sword, extensions of the arm. But the book is another thing: the book is an extension of memory and imagination.” (Jorge Luis Borges, Argentinian writer, 1899 – 1986)

 

Bolivia

“Conocemos al hombre teórico, genérico, eterno, pero estamos incapacitados para el conocimiento del primero que pasa por la calle o de nosotros mismos. Le conviene al pícaro ignorar a las gentes honradas y al mediocre le interesa desconocer que existen hombres de inteligencia superior.” (Gustavo Adolfo Otero, escritor boliviano, 1896 – 1958) 

“We know the theoretical man, generic, eternal, but we are unable to know the one that passes by on the street or ourselves. It’s convenient for the rogue to ignore the honorable and for the mediocre to ignore that men of superior intelligence exist.” (Gustavo Adolfo Otero, Bolivian writer, 1896 – 1958) 

 

Chile

“Donde haya un árbol que plantar, plántalo tú. Donde haya un error que enmendar, enmiéndalo tú. Donde haya un esfuerzo que todos esquivan, hazlo tú. Sé tú el que aparta la piedra del camino”. (Gabriela Mistral, escritora chilena, 1889 – 1957) 

“Where there is a tree to be planted, you plant it. Where there is an error to fix, you fix it. Where there is an effort that everybody avoids, you do it. Be the one that removes the rock from the road.” (Gabriela Mistral, Chilean writer, 1889 – 1957) 

 

Colombia

“El escritor escribe su libro para explicarse a sí mismo lo que no se puede explicar.” (Gabriel García Márquez, escritor colombiano, 1927 – 2014)

“The writer writes his book in order to explain to himself what can’t be explained.” (Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian writer, 1927 – 2014)

 

Costa Rica

“Todo escritor sincero y genuino que desea reflejar la realidad de su pueblo, llegará a la conclusión de que esa gente con la que vive es la que le da todo y la que en definitiva inspira y construye su obra literaria”. (Fabián Dobles, escritor costarricense, 1918 – 1997)

“Every honest and genuine writer that wishes to reflect the reality of his people, will come to the conclusion that those people he lives with are the ones that give him everything and the ones who definitely inspire and build his literary work.” (Fabián Dobles, Costa Rican writer, 1918 – 1997)  

 

Cuba

“Ayudar al que lo necesita no solo es parte del deber, sino de la felicidad.” (José Martí, escritor cubano, 1853 – 1895) 

“Helping out the one who needs it is not only part of duty, but of happiness.” (José Martí, Cuban writer, 1853 – 1895)  

 

Dominican Republic

“La esperanza es la raíz en la humedad, y el arroyo en el desierto.” (Pedro Mir, escritor dominicano, 1913 – 2000)

“Hope is the root in the moisture and the stream in the desert.” (Pedro Mir, Dominican writer, 1913 – 2000) 

 

Ecuador

“El verdadero buscador crece y aprende, y descubre que siempre es el principal responsable de lo que sucede.” (Jorge Icaza Coronel, escritor ecuatoriano, 1906 – 1978)

“The true seeker grows and learns, and discovers that he’s always the main responsible for what happens” (Jorge Icaza Coronel, Ecuadorian writer, 1906 – 1978)

 

El Salvador

“Hay una ciencia que debe ocupar toda la vida del hombre, desde que su razón despierta hasta que deja de vivir: tal es la moral o ciencia de la conducta, la más práctica e interesante de todas, pues de su conocimiento y aplicación depende que la humanidad avance o retroceda.” (Alberto Masferrer, escritor salvadoreño, 1868 – 1932) 

“There is a science that must occupy all of man’s life, since his reason awakes until he stops living: such is morals or science of conduct, the most practical and interesting of all, for humanity’s upgrade or downgrade depend on its knowledge and application.” (Alberto Masferrer, Salvadoran writer, 1868 – 1932) 

 

Guatemala

“Los espejos son como la conciencia. Uno se ve allí como es, y como no es, pues quien se ve en lo profundo del espejo trata de disimular sus fealdades y arreglarlas para parecer a gusto.” (Miguel Ángel Asturias, escritor guatemalteco, 1899 – 1974)

“Mirrors are as conscience. One sees oneself as one is, and as is not, for whom sees themselves deep in the mirror tries to hide their ugliness and fix it to seem at ease.” (Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan writer, 1899 – 1974)

 

Honduras

“Lo esencial no está en ser poeta, ni artista ni filósofo. Lo esencial es que cada uno tenga la dignidad de su trabajo, la conciencia de su trabajo. El orgullo de hacer las cosas bien, el entusiasmo de sentirse transitoriamente satisfecho de su obra, de quererla, de admirarla, es la sana recompensa de los fuertes, de los que tienen el corazón robusto y el espíritu limpio”. (Alfonso Guillén Zelaya, escritor hondureño, 1887 – 1947)

“The essential is not in being a poet, an artist or a philosopher. The essential is that each one has the dignity of their job, the consciousness of their job. The pride of doing things well, the enthusiasm of feeling transiently satisfied with their work, of loving it, of admiring it, is the healthy reward of the strong, of those who have a robust heart and a clean spirit.” (Alfonso Guillén Zelaya, Honduran writer, 1887 – 1947)  

 

Mexico

“Lo que a mi me parece inaceptable es que un escritor o un intelectual se someta a un partido o a una iglesia” (Octavio Paz, escritor mexicano, 1914 – 1998)

“What I find unacceptable is that a writer or intellectual subjects himself to a political party or to a church.” (Octavio Paz, Mexican writer, 1914 – 1998) 

 

Nicaragua

“No dejes apagar el entusiasmo, virtud tan valiosa como necesaria; trabaja, aspira, tiende siempre hacia la altura.” (Rubén Darío, escritor nicaragüense, 1867 – 1916)

“Don’t let enthusiasm, both valuable and necessary virtue, shut down; work, aspire, always tend to height.” (Rubén Darío, Nicaraguan writer, 1867 – 1916) 

 

Panama

“La literatura es expresión de la vida social, trasunto de valores humanos, un instrumento que ayuda a la mejor comprensión del ser íntimo de un pueblo.” (Rodrigo Miró Grimaldo, escritor panameño, 1912-1996)

“Literature is the expression of social life, transcript of human value, an instrument that contributes to a better understanding of the intimate being of a people.” (Rodrigo Miró Grimaldo, Panamanian writer, 1912-1996)   

 

Paraguay

“Ninguna historia puede ser contada. Ninguna historia que valga la pena ser contada. Más el verdadero lenguaje no nació todavía. Los animales se comunican entre ellos, sin palabras, mejor que nosotros, ufanos de haberlas inventado con la materia prima de lo quimérico.” (Augusto Roa Bastos, escritor paraguayo, 1917 – 2005)

“No story can be told. No story that is worth being told. But true language hasn’t been born yet. Animals communicate among themselves, without words, better than us, who brag about inventing them with the raw material of the chimerical.” (Augusto Roa Bastos, Paraguayan writer, 1917 – 2005)

 

Peru

“Nada enriquece tanto los sentidos, la sensibilidad, los deseos humanos, como la lectura. Estoy completamente convencido de que una persona que lee, y que lee bien, disfruta muchísimo mejor de la vida, aunque también es una persona que tiene más problemas frente al mundo.” (Mario Vargas Llosa, escritor peruano, 1936 – )

“Nothing enriches senses –sensitivity, human desires– as much as reading. I’m completely convinced that a person who reads, and reads well, enjoys life in a much better way, even though they are a person who has more problems in front of the world.” (Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer, 1936 – )

 

Spain

“La abundancia de las cosas, aunque sean buenas, hace que no se estimen, y la carestía, aún de las malas, se estima en algo.” (Miguel de Cervantes, escritor español, 1547 – 1616)

“The abundance of things, even if they are good, makes us not esteem them, and the shortage, even of the bad ones, is somewhat esteemed.” (Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish writer, 1547 – 1616)

 

Uruguay

“El fútbol es la única religión que no tiene ateos.” (Eduardo Galeano, escritor uruguayo, 1940 – 2015)

“Football (soccer) is the only religion that has no atheists.” (Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer, 1940 – 2015) 

 

Venezuela

“No aceptes nunca como compañero de viaje a quien no conozcas como a tus manos.” (Rómulo Gallegos, escritor venezolano, 1884 – 1969)

“Never accept a fellow traveler you don’t know as your own hands.” (Rómulo Gallegos, Venezuelan writer, 1884 – 1969)

 

Conclusion

Famous Spanish quotes are a great way of knowing Spanish speaking culture in depth. Thoroughly understanding these famous Spanish quotes requires intensive vocabulary preparation, since they cover a wide range of topics. We suggest reading these quotes at least a couple of time, practicing pronunciation and retaining the names and countries of the selected authors. 

 

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