Some information about the author: She was born in China and studied in a local Chinese school for a few years before switching to an International school. It provided her the chance to experience first hand the real meaning behind "broken English", and understand how non-standard varieties of English have their own rules and shape a community 's sense of identity. In this article, she shares her views on Amy Tan 's "Mother Tongue" and talks about the power of language. I was reading Amy Tan 's "Mother Tongue" when I came across the idea of language being "fractured and broken". She gave examples of how her mother’s limited English caused her to be given poor service at department stores, banks and restaurants. Some may say that their …show more content…
This reminds me of my experience of learning English from a Chinese teacher in a local school and the difference I felt from being in a western style classroom. I remember the first time, when my teacher started introducing herself in English, she obviously had a Chinese accent to her English, which led to me thinking of her being an inexperienced teacher. However, when I heard our English teacher speak, I notice a huge difference between both of the teacher’s English-speaking skills. My English teacher was speaking more clearer and quicker than the Chinese teacher, making it sound more conviving. But because the way they use their words was so different from the "Chinese version" of the English I have listened to all these years, it took me a longer time to understand what my English teacher says. Think back to those years, I am shocked by my different reaction towards the two situations, I never thought I would ever look at people in a stereotypically way based on their language ability. With realizing it, many of us would think less of non-Chinese speakers, but does that mean I actually learned less from my Chinese teacher? Of course not, in the end I learned the same from both teachers. As a matter of fact, I learned a bit more from my Chinese teacher because she knew the language nuances from being exposed to two different
Although it is nearly impossible to get an entirely accurate count, there exist at least 6,500 languages (Leonard et. al., 59). Something tells me that if language were about something as simple as communication, that number would be smaller. In all actuality, people feel deeply connected to their native languages for another reason. Language and culture are one and the same, and Gloria Anzaldua illustrates this in her piece “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” using examples of changes and suppressions of her language, to represent changes and suppressions of her culture as a whole.
Being born to parents who speak Chinese, my first language was Chinese. Growing up, I struggled learning the complex language of English. I had to be in ELD, English Literacy Development, class for years and only until I went to middle school, did I not go to ELD anymore. I was relentlessly made fun of for my grammar in school and I was always afraid to bring Chinese food for lunch because I was scared of people making fun of me.
The power of language We all have some form of language limitations, no matter where we come from and what our background is. “Mother tongue” by Amy Tan and “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua both share similar themes in their stories that demonstrate how they both deal with how different forms of the same language are portrayed in society. In both stories they speak about what society declares the right way of speech and having to face prejudgment, the two authors share their personal experiences of how they’ve dealt with it.
This is a problem that may be passed unnoticed because many of us may believe that this is no longer a problem in our society but sadly keeps happening today. Through her use of pathos, by telling her story, the author is persuading people not to discriminate based on the language others speak. Her purpose is to inform the reader about this issue and hopefully help prevent it from continuing to happen. Anzaldua adopts a declamatory tone in order to help her
Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese, But to me, my mother's English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It's my mother tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery." (Tan 21) It shows how the different the two perceptions are, Tans' and her friends.
Amy Tan's goal has changed slightly. While the Author wants to show the effect language has on one's daily life and how we perceive others who are different, she also wants to show how the language barrier affects our society overall. The first key point I identified after active reading was the sentence beneath the title. "Don't judge a book by its over, or intelligence by her English".
Writer and novelist Amy Tan in her essay “Mother Tongue”, narrates that speaking “broken” or “fractured” English is not a bad thing. Tan’s purpose is to show the readers her interpretation of different Englishes and what affect her mother had on her. Amy Tan builds a case in “Mother Tongue” that just because some people don’t speak English perfectly, doesn’t mean that they are stupid or ignorant. Tan uses metaphors such as “broken” (8) and “fractured” (8), these words are strong metaphors due to the fact that they give the reader an easy understanding of what Tan is trying to say. Tan uses these metaphors as a way of describing how her mother spoke, while trying not to offend her.
In her writing, Tan often describes her experiences as the child of Chinese immigrants, growing up in northern California and living in American culture. Tan explains how she has learned to embrace the many Englishes her mother speaks and how her background has also caused her to have different Englishes. While others classify her mother's English as "broken" she finds no fault in it. In Tan's view, just because something is broken does not necessarily mean that it is in need of fixing. In her essay, author Amy Tan addresses the connections between languages and cultures in describing the different Englishes her mother uses.
The story I chose for my thematic analysis is Mother Tongue by Amy Tan. In the story we see Amy explore the idea of identity and language and how they are combined with one another. She discusses broken English and how her mother being straight from China and Amy being a first generation Asian-American here in the United States. Within the story, she discusses the factors of this broken English and is aware of the discrimination that comes with it in comparison to standard English. Tan would describe her mother's English as “broken” due to her lack of English, which she was also ashamed of she states how “I believed her English reflected the quality of what she had to say.”
Throughout the article, Tan uses a number of personal examples to show and support her point. These examples span from phone conversations and hospital visits to standardized tests. By using examples that cover a wide variety of topics, Tan is able to demonstrate the large effect that her mother’s style of english had and how it was woven into her whole life and not just a part of it. Particularly in the hospital example, Tan also brings in the stereotyping of people who speak “broken” english as not being very smart. In bringing this issue that is at the very root of our society, she darkens the tone to melancholy.
The Rebellious Daughter: Analyzing the Theme of Amy Tan’s “Two Kinds” The story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan explores the deep familial emotions between a mother and her daughter. Jing-Mei’s mother had left China to come to America after losing her family, and had been raising Jing-Mei in America with her second husband. Despite her mother’s grand hopes for Jing-Mei to become successful in America by becoming a child prodigy, Jing-Mei did not share the same opinions.
For numerous amounts of people, with English being their second language, they have been described as having "Broken English". " Broken English" refers to a poorly spoken or ill-written version of the English language. One article called "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan discusses the effects of growing up with a Chinese mother who has "Broken English". In fact, Tan deliberates about the limitations and criticism of growing up with her mother. Although Tan speaks articulate English, she still can comprehend with her mother 's "Broken English".
After reading Mother Tongue by Amy Tan, my perspective changed about the struggles for people who are not as good at English. All throughout this article Tan uses personal experience from her mom to show the readers the struggle while also using primary sources to back up her claim. All the evidence backs up her initial claim and as the reader your perspective changes after reading about how she personally was effected. The author 's main claim of Mother Tongue is to persuade people so respect people who struggle with English because she has serval personal connections, she has fact based proof, and she is an experienced writer on this topic and in general. All throughout the reading she uses many personal stories and personal experiences on how difficult it was for her mother to go through her everyday life.
Yiyun Li feels that same way and can’t comprehend but feel separated from her own language’s culture. “In my relationship with English, in this relationship with the intrinsic distance between a nonnative speaker and an adopted language that makes people look askance, I feel invisible but not estranged. It is the position I believe I always want in life. But with every pursuit there is the danger of crossing a line, from invisibility to erasure” (Lin 7). This clearly shows that she can be isolated from the people around her.
Summary of "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan In "Mother Tongue, Amy Tan writes about how her mother 's broken English affects her life. She begins this narrative essay by talking about the day she became aware of the different forms of English that she was using at home and during formal events. Amy says, "The talk was going along well enough, until I remembered one major difference that made the whole talk sound wrong. My mother was in the room. And it was perhaps the first time she had heard me give a lengthy speech, using the kind of English I have never used with her" (Tan 1).