The Importance Of Language In The Chinese Language

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Language is one of the many things covered in the book as the mothers in the book tend to have a language barrier. The mothers started off in a country where they didn’t speak the common language. One of the mothers, Lindo Jong, says that, “…I tried to get a job as a salesgirl, but you had to know English for that.” She says this as she tries to find a job in a country she had recently moved to. This language barrier continues even when she finds a job, “…She picked up one of the strips of paper and read it aloud, first in English… Then she translated in Chinese.” The problem that Lindo Jong faces isn’t just in English; she also faces this problem with her future husband as he spoke Cantonese and she spoke Mandarin Chinese: “So we were shy at first, your father and I, neither of us able to speak to each other in our Chinese dialects.” Ultimately, the language barrier helps her get engaged to her future husband: “I don’t know this word ‘spouse.’ Tonight I will look in my dictionary. Then I can tell you the meaning tomorrow.” The mothers aren’t the only ones who have to deal with a language barrier. One of the daughters, Jing-mei Woo, experiences this when she goes to China to meet her half-sisters, “Aiyi and my father speak the Mandarin dialect from their childhood, but the rest of the family speaks only the Cantonese of their village.”. She as well states that, “I understand only Mandarin but can’t speak it that well.” This language barrier extends to both the mothers and
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