In the examining and writing my analysis of the article Mother Tongue by Amy Tan, I hope to appeal to an audience that wishes to expand their knowledge of the cultural use of various languages and their social impacts. In this case, the language would be English and the culture would be that of Asian-Americans. I would think that this work, and the analysis of, would primarily be of interest to those in academic or research fields of sociology and language. I would hope the reader of my analysis would be interested in gaining insight into how using a “broken” English system heavily influences one’s communication and feeling towards those outside of your culture. The analysis would benefit the reader by
Tan goes on to explain what sociological impacts she experienced based on her upbringing. She concludes that her mother should not be judged based on her “watered down” English, and that people should be more accepting to those who cannot express their feelings in English.
In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan an American writer, shares her experience growing up with the family where no one speaks perfect English, and how it affected her education and her life. As the second generation of Chinese immigrants, Tan faces more problems than her peers do. Her mother, who speaks limited English needs Tan to be her “Translator” to communicate with the native English speakers. Tan states, “I was ashamed of her English” (2). Her mother is like a burden to her, at least in Tan’s early years. But the cultural conflict she becomes the theme of her writing and it is under this situation she wrote many novels and essays including “Mother Tongue.”
Amy talked about how people don’t understand her mother English and the main reason why they don’t understand her English is cause her tongue. “Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking Chinese.” (Tan pg.1)
The essays, "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan and "Public and Private Language" by Richard Rodriguez are recollections of both of the author’s personal encounters and difficulties with the gap that was created between their families by differences in languages. These two writers grew up with bilingual families, in which English was not the primary language. Consequently, they had a hard time accepting and understanding the issues surrounding the different languages they spoke with their families at home, and within society. Because of this, the gap between their public and private languages that had been created through the introduction of a second language slowly grew larger, and eventually impacted their relationships with their family and caused them to view them in a different light. In their writing, Both Tan and Rodriguez reflect on their personal experiences and memories and illuminate the effects that a private language can have on various aspects of life.
There are many bilingual and multicultural people in the world today. For many, the choices of which language they use, and how they use it, correspond to what social or cultural community they belong to. Amy Tan, a Chinese American novelist, portrays this well in her short essay "Mother Tongue." Tan grew up in two vastly different worlds, using different "Englishes." The first world, which consists of her close family, she speaks what we may call "broken" or "limited" English. The second world, which is her business and professional world, Tan speaks and writes perfect standard and academic English. Having to "shuttle" between these two communities with very different languages has had many different positive and negative effects on
“When I was growing up, my mother’s “limited” English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to
Amy tan was raised by her Asian mother that she did not speak proper English “broken English”. The strategies that Amy Tan used in the
Mother Tongue is a story that describes how Amy Tan’s mother was treated unfairly because of her “broken English”. As the second generation of Chinese immigrants, Tan faces more problems than her peers do. Her mom, who speaks “limited” English, needs Tan to be her “translator” in order to communicate with the native English speakers. Tan has felt ashamed of her mother “broken” language at first. She then contemplates her background affected her life and her study. However, she changes her thought at the end since she realizes things behind language might be more valuable than language itself sometimes. Through the various different literary devices and rhetorical strategies such as the ethos, pathos, and logos appeals, as well as a
In Amy Tan’s famous speech “Mother Tongue”, mainly describes the struggle about her and her mother as a foreign immigrant in America. She points out the differences and conflicts between these two different cultures throughout the speech. Tan virtually informs the reader that life in America can be tough if you can’t speak the good English. However, the story mainly focuses on the prejudices of Amy Tan and her mother. Her mother has been discriminated throughout her whole life because of the fact that she speaks the “broken”, “limited” or also known as the “fractured” English. Tan describes her struggle of growing up with her mother’s “limited English”, but eventually embrace the beauty of it. The author’s main purpose is to show the audience that the “standard English” is not the only proper way to communicate with each other, that “broken English” can also be an important tool to express our thoughts and emotions.
4. Some specific situations where Tan says her mother’s “limited English” was a handicap is when her mother could not be able to talk directly with people, or would not be taken serious by the people she talked to.
In, “ Mother Tongue” Amy Tan characterizes her mother English is not perfect. Her mother cannot use the correct English when she speaks. She doesn’t care all the forms of standard English, and she can say whatever words she likes. However, Amy’s mother really like to read Shirley Maclaine’s books, and talks with everybody. Some people can not understand her mother, and some people understand about 50 or 80 percent. That is why, she could not have a good service when she went to banks, restaurants or every public place. For example, she came to the hospital to get the result of her brain CAT scan, and the hospital did not find her scan. However, they did not say sorry to her, and would not give her the another appointment. By the way, Amy Tan always think her mother English is perfectly and clearly.
Although this misunderstanding might be rooted from the systematic differences in thinking patterns and generation gap, we will focus specifically on the linguistic aspect of the issue. Throughout the movie, there are many unsuccessful attempts of both the mothers and daughters to communicate their ideas to the other, leading to frustration and a mutual lack of sympathy. To better understand the reasons for this conflict in verbal communication, we have to look closely into the differences in fundamental construct of language in China and America. This difference does not necessarily be the difference in language, since both communicating parties are using English. However, it is
As I have already mentioned, Singapore has four official languages: English, Tamil, Mandarin and Malay. It was so historically formed that the official language of Singapore is Malay and the national anthem is also written in Malay language. English is the administration language of Singapore and it is mainly British English, but also contain some American English influences. English remains the first language medium in schools and colleges of the country, and is also the most widespread language in the literature. All signs and official publications are written in English, but there are also versions translated into other official languages. But the population doesn’t speak English, but so-called Singlish with Creole characteristics, Chinese dialects, and Indian and Malay languages.