Tanya Barrientos explained her struggle with her identity growing up in her writing “Se Habla Español”. Barrientos describes herself as being “Guatemalan by birth but pure gringa by circumstance” (83). These circumstances began when her family relocated to the United States when she was three years old. Once the family moved to the states, her parents only spoke Spanish between themselves. The children learned to how read, write and speak the English language to fit into society at that time in 1963. (83) Barrientos explained how society shifted and “the nation changed its views on ethnic identity” (85) after she graduated college and it came as a backlash to her because she had isolated herself from the stereotype she constructed in her head. She was insulted to be called Mexican and to her speaking the Spanish language translated into being poor. She had felt superior to Latino waitresses and their maid when she told them that she didn’t speak Spanish. After the shift in society Barrientos wondered where she fit it since the Spanish language was the glue that held the new Latino American community together. Barrientos then set out on a difficult awkward journey to learn the language that others would assume she would already know. She wanted to nurture the seed of pride to be called Mexican that her father planted when her father sent her on a summer trip to Mexico City. Once Barrientos had learned more Spanish and could handle the present, past and future tenses she still
Gloria Anzaldua, the author of “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” expresses a very strong tie that she has to her native language. Anzaldua grew up in the United States, but spoke mostly Spanish. She did not speak the normal form of Spanish though; she spoke Chicano Spanish, a language very close to her heart. The text focuses on the idea of her losing her home accent, or tongue, to conform to the environment she is growing up in. From a very young age, Anzaldua knows that she is not treated the same as everyone else is treated. She knows that she is second to others, and her language is far from second to others as well. Anzaldua stays true to her language by identifying herself with her language and keeping
“I remember being caught speaking Spanish at recess-that was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp ruler. I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for “talking back” to the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name. “If you want to be American, speak ‘American.’ If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong.”
In “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” by Gloria Anzaldua, she speaks from personal experiences she grows up with while living as a Chicana in the United States. Throughout her life she was subjected to being oppressed because of her native language. From a very young age she felt as if she was not allowed to express and acknowledge herself while speaking Spanish. Anzaldua believes that “If you want to really hurt me, talk bad about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity – I am my language”. What I get from this quote is if a person is really looking forward to tearing me down, speak poorly of my roots or culture since that is a part of my identity. Since both are all I know, it would be extremely offensive. In “How to
The rhetorical situation of Gloria Anzaldua’s, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” from her book Borderlands/La Frontera, is the most important piece to her argument. A writer’s rhetorical situation is the use of the elements of the rhetor, audience, text, medium, context and exigence. Through the correct use of these pieces, a writer is able to greatly strengthen their argument and persuasive abilities. In her passage, Gloria Anzaldua is speaking to the unfair and unjust treatment of Spanish speaking children growing up in the United States educational system. These are not just kids who have moved here from a Spanish speaking country, but even those born in the United States that grew up speaking Spanish because of their family’s culture. Through her writing she wants to bring this into light to induce change and help children of the future be able to learn in an environment where they are also able to comfortable speak their own language. She is not looking for them to be able to speak their own language in an American school just because she wants to be difficult. In her eyes, your language is part of your identity of self. And without your language, you are also losing part of yourself. Again, she expresses and increases the persuasiveness of these ideas through the use of her rhetorical situation, which includes the rhetor, audience, text, medium, context and exigence.
In her passage, Anzaldua claims that language is an identity. She stresses the importance of how people who speak Chicano Spanish are viewed as inferior due to it not being a real language. Anzaldua reveals that “repeated attacks on [their] native tongue diminish[es] [their] sense of self” (532). Being criticized by the language one speaks causes a low self-esteem and a misconstruction of identity. It can lead a person to stop or hide the usage of their language thus suppressing one’s self. She highlights the discrimination of Chicanos, so people are aware of it therefore encouraging tolerance and social justice. Anzaldua argues that “until [she is] free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having to always translate. . .[her] tongue will be illegitimate” (533). This shows how truly she
Language is much more than a method of communication. Permeated within it are traditions, customs, and legacies of one’s culture. The identity of an entire population is in the distinct vocalizations of their native language. Unfortunately, as a wave of immigrants enters the United States at young ages, many face language barriers that pose significant challenges. Language barriers affect a multitude of immigrant populations to different degrees. This, in turn, causes many of them to abandon not only their native tongue but a piece of their ethnic identity, as well. In Maxine Hong Kingston’s personal narrative,“The Language of Silence,” she describes the difficulties she experienced throughout her childhood with a language barrier as a
In the article, Speak Spanish, You’re in America!: El Huracan over language and Culture, Juan Gonzalez, a journalist and broadcaster of the daily show, Democracy Now, describes how bilingualism has impacted the United States’ modern education system. He describes an amendment that would constitute English as the official in the United States, which he believes can be a potential threat to the educational system. Gonzalez suggests that instead of having an amendment that constitutes English as the national language, American schools should implement Spanish to highlight the importance of being bilingualism in the American educational system. A constitutional amendment declaring English as the national language would be damaging to bilingual students because it would limit their capability of communicating in English or their native language, and therefore they have would fall behind in classes and will not succeed in the American educational system. To highlight the importance of bilingualism, even more the educational system should implement a variety of languages.
Acculturation can determine whether a first generation Salvadoran American student’s pursues higher education. As new immigrants immersed in the American culture, they have to adapt or comprehend the culture acceptable “behavior, values, language, and customs” in order to educational succeed (McCallister 2015). Moreover, California is a diverse state that first generation students come across a dilemma of longer period of time to dominate the native language. For instance, Lucy grew up in Central California, in a small Hispanic enclave. As a result, Lucy was exposed to Spanish conversations at home and in the community, except in the school. School provided Lucy the opportunity to apply the immersion technique:
Language is a very important part of culture. It’s the method of communication between people, it’s a comforting feeling to hear your own language, and it defines who you are as a person. In the Hispanic culture the language spoken is Spanish. Spanish is such a popular language in the united states that many people become bilingual to be able to speak English and Spanish. "Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in U.S. homes, even among non-Hispanics. A record 37.6 million persons ages 5 year and older speak Spanish at home, according to an analysis of the 2011 American Community Survey by the Pew Research Center” When visiting a different culture, the language barriers are scary, I recently visited Mexico and not knowing what people were saying was frightening, Luckily Spanish is common so it wasn’t hard to find someone to translate. I remember feeling so warm inside hearing someone who speaks English talking, it was comforting to
Summary- In her essay “Se Habla Español,” Tanya Maria Barrientos discusses her struggle of being an English speaker with Latino heritage, her story to search for a sense of belonging. In childhood, she tries to Americanize herself and stay away from any Latino features, including Spanish. Later in her life, as the society become more welcoming to different ethnic groups, it is natural for her to embrace her own group; but her limitation on Spanish causes Barrientos feeling distant. However, Barrientos believes that there are others in the same dilemma and she encourages those to take the pride to be who they are.
In the civilized society that everyone lives in today, all languages and culture should be equal. That is the main idea in both Gloria Anzaldua’s essay, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, as well as James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”. The authors in both these texts support their argument in various ways, and in doing so, manages to effectively persuade their audience. The ways that each author approaches their argument is different in their appeals, evidence, and styles. Similarities also exist between the texts of the two authors. The rhetorical strategies that Anzaldua uses makes her argument much stronger than Baldwin’s argument.
Language has clearly become a powerful force in many countries where different communities actually want to split apart on the sole basis on the language they speak. An article about Spain’s language diversity explains how people feel so passionate about their native languages that the country had to create autonomous regions for each of the major languages, and people are still fighting to have their language become the dominant dialect (Berdichevsky 276). This is also seen repeatedly in America’s history where immigrants to the country struggle to keep their languages alive. These immigrants realize the important role that language plays in keeping a community together, and many immigrants from the same country will choose to live by each other in America and are resentful when they are forced to learn English. My own great-grandparents chose to live in an Italian neighborhood in Ohio when they first came from Italy so that their culture would not be lost. This allowed my grandma to learn Italian as well as English, and even though she was going to an English school she was still taught the morals of her culture because she was able to talk with the older Italian people who did not speak English. My grandma says that this has helped her throughout life because even though she lives in America she says, “I respect my Italian heritage,” and that it has helped “build my confidence” (12 April 2003).
“How to Tame a Wild Tongue”, by Gloria Anzaldua, is a very expressive story about a Mexican American women’s struggle to preserve her culture. Her main fight revolves around a struggle to keep a form of Spanish, called “Chicano Spanish”, a live. In the short story she says, " for a people who cannot entirely identify with either standard (formal, Castilian) Spanish, or standard English, what recourse is left to them but to create their own language?"(page 55). She is stating that despite what the societies both Mexican and American want her to do she will not concede defeat. The American Society would like her to speak proper English, while the Mexican Society wishes she would speak proper
Anzaldua takes great pride in her language, “So if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic diversity is twin skin to linguistic identity – I am my language” (p89). She states that her language is a part of herself so when you insult Chicano it’s like a strike to the heart of Anzaldua. Anzaldua goes on to explains that although Chicanos all over the US speak different dialects of Chicano Spanish, they are still all Chicanos. Just because the language varies a little does not diminish its authenticity. People who speak a variation on a language should not be ashamed because they speak a little differently. “There is the quiet of the Indian about us. We know how to survive. When other races have given up their tongue we’ve kept ours. We know what it is to live under the hammer blow of the dominant norteamericano culture. but more we count the blows, we count the days the weeks the years the centuries the aeons until the white laws and commerce and customs will rot in the deserts they’ve created” (p93). She strongly urges Los Chicanos to not give up their culture and endure. She believes that the will of their culture will outlast any obstacle they encounter and demands that they not give in to the temptation to conform.