Amy Tan Mother Tongue Analysis

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Reading Amy Tan 's "Mother Tongue", I came across the idea of language being "fractured and broken". In the essay, she provided examples of how her mother 's limited English caused her to be given poor service by staff at department stores, banks, and restaurants; she stated how they would consider her mother’s lack of depth in her thinking was caused by the "broken" or "limited" use of the English language. Conversely, she thinks that her mother 's English is "vivid, full of observation and imagery". We have given that language many names: non-native tongue, broken English…but I think Chinglish is what gives it the most character. Indeed, Chinglish is what creates meaning for the speaker and highlights the emotional aspects of the native tongue, despite it being the literal translation of a Chinese phrase (which makes it grammatically incorrect with funny pronunciation and deemed as a form of "broken English"). Being raised in a Chinese household, one of the fondest memories was listening to the way my grandma scolded us. I grew up hearing phrases like "no eye see", a quite common way for a Chinese family to express dissatisfaction. This phrase is a direct translation from the Chinese phrase 冇眼睇, which describes a situation so bad that “it’s not worth looking at or talking about”. In Chinese, these words carry more than the literal meaning, because of the intention of the speaker is to convey dismay to the listener through a feeling of guilt and remorse. Growing up,
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