Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

996 Words 4 Pages
Identity found through language in “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan Many people in this world do not understand the power of language. Language is much more than just a way of communication. In America, language is a key aspect in how others see you and what they think of you. People make assumptions about others from their appearance, from their actions, from the way they speak and also from what they speak of. Many people who speak proper English do not understand how much of an advantage they have over others who cannot speak it as properly. In the essay, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, Tan opens our eyes to the reality of how people in America easily define others by the way they speak and successfully explains how there can be multiple variations …show more content…
When she isn’t speaking proper English, she speaks what she likes to call her mothers tongue. She talks about how import this type of language is to her family and says, “It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew up with” (Tan, 59). This type of language connects her family and brings them closer together. Most American professionals speak the proper and standard type of English that all educated citizens should be aware of, but not all of them speak only this. Some Americans, like Amy Tan’s family, have other types of languages that are spoken within the home and within the family that are different from the standard type. Like the Tans home language, these types of English’s can express the family’s identity, but can also be considered as broken or fractured by many people. Many people would agree to say that the type of English Tan speaks in the home is wrong, but the truth is, no language can be wrong. A certain type of language might be considered as proper, but the type of language that we choose to speak with others can never be wrong if we succeed in communicating. Tan respects and uses both of her English’s, knowing when and where to use each of these languages most appropriately. Having a second language …show more content…
People define her by her un-proper language and immediately make assumptions that she is a confused and unintelligent immigrant from China. People immediately assume that she has no idea what she is doing and that she has a very little intelligence level. Tan explains that the way her mother expresses the English language does not mirror her intelligence. Even though her mothers’ language sounds imperfect, that doesn’t mean one has the right to assume that her thoughts are also imperfect. Tan speaks of her mother’s intelligence saying, “She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads all of Shirley MacLaine 's books with ease--all kinds of things I can 't begin to understand” (Tan, 59). Tans mother is a very intelligent woman. If she weren’t, she wouldn’t have been able to immigrate all the way to America and provide for her family coming with

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