Commentary On The Essay 'Mother Tongue' By Amy Tan

503 Words3 Pages
In the essay “Mother Tongue” Tan refer to how the English she learned is considered "broken or fractured, and it was only because the language her mother spoke was not fluent. Growing up Navajo language has been a second language in my home. My grandmother was fluent in Navajo language but she barley speaks any English.
My grandparents had an arrange marriage when they were only 16 years old. They were married for 50 plus years until my grandpa passed away. My grandpa worked and went to school so he knew how to speak English. My grandparents would tell us stories of them growing up and their marriage. My grandpa taught my grandmother the English words that she knows, he also taught her how to write and do simple arithmetic. To this day she still uses what she learned from him in her
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It brings us closer to family and keeps our tradition alive. In the essay “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan talks about the power of language. She writes, “it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth” (76). On the Navajo reservation you’ll hear a majority of people speak Navajo. I’ve met elders who can speak both English and Navajo. Their English language may not be as fluent but it is easy to understand because I grew up listening to the it. Tan explains ow people mistreated her mother because of her poor language she states “people in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted as if they did not hear her” (Tan, 78). I for myself have seen this happen to my grandmother and a majority of people because they only spoke Navajo. They disrespected them only because they did not understand them. My aunt Vida, who is the caretaker of my grandmother has to go with her everywhere so she can translate for her. My grandmother nowadays is very antisocial because of this situation only because she doesn’t want to be
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