The Reflection Of Language In Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

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“Not waste money that way” (Tan 68). Can you understand what is the message of the sentence would like to spread? I am sure that your answer is certain. However, the problem is that this sentence contains grammatical errors. In Mother Tongue, Amy Tan shows the discrimination towards her mother’s “broken English” and the impact of the language brought to her. Tan wants to remind us the real function of language is communication by the awkward situation her mother faced but not a sociological tool to evaluate one’s value, which the limitation brought from her mother’s broken English to her revealed. To many people, language was not seen as a form of communication. While people think that language requires every word grammatically correct, Tan shows us that the real function of language is communication which her example of the discrimination her mother faced displayed. For example, she shares about her mother’s “broken English.” When she is saying, “why he don’t send me…show more content…
So mad he lie to me, losing me money” (Tan 69), the meaning she presented is obviously shown. Yes, I admit that there are lots of grammar mistakes and the sentence is somehow translated from Chinese directly; yet none of them affected the meaning of her. When the meaning can correctly be conveyed, why should we care whether every word is used perfectly or not? However, what the people did to her mother makes a barrier that cuts the people off from their world. Tan’s mother then becomes unwilling to express her needs to the other since her broken English is always ignored. Yet what Tan expressed using perfect English is always be answered. For example, the stockbroker and doctor respond to Tan requested immediately but neglect her mother’s demand. Fence was built between the native English world and Tan’s mother’s broken English world. And that is the reason why many people have the fear of studying languages

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