The French language is a woman. And that woman is so beautiful, so proud, so modest, so bold, so touching, so voluptuous, so chaste, so noble, so familiar, so mad, so wise, that one loves her with all one's soul and is never tempted to be unfaithful to her.
~ Anatole France (1844-1924), quoted by Ostler in Empires of the Word, who notes this as "characteristically self-conscious & self-regarding," I think of the French in general & not France in particular.
I feel like I am more immersed in English when I study other languages, & see their influence & variants. It's really such a silly thing to say. Unless you're French.