Millions of people immigrate to the United States from various parts of the world. In the Namesake, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli moved to America from India. After moving to America, they gave birth to their two children Gogol and Sonali. In America, the Ganguli family had to face many obstacles such as language barrier, cultural barrier, and loneliness.
For many immigrants, in America, language barrier is one of the many obstacles that they have to face. Ashima encountered this barrier when she was at the hospital for Gogol’s birth. “Patty smiles, a little too widely, and suddenly Ashima realizes her error, knows she should have said “fingers” and “toes.”” Ashima realized that she made a mistake. This hurts Ashima because she tried hard to learn English like many other immigrants. Immigrants not only have to worry about learning another language but they also have to worry about teaching their kids their native language. Usually, when people move and have kids in America, the kids have a hard time learning their parent’s native language. Ashima and Ashoke wanted to avoid this problem so they sent Gogol and Sonia to Bengali language and culture lessons every other Saturday because it failed “to unsettle them that their children sound just like Americans, expertly conversing in a language that still at times confounds them in accents they are accustomed not to trust.” This shows the language barrier between the parents and the kids. When Gogol and Sonia speak they sound American
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In the work of Amy Tan’s “Mother’s Tongue” she provides a look into how she adapted her language to assimilate into American culture. She made changes to her language because her mother heavily relied on her for translation. She was the voice of her mother, relaying information in standard English to
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 Tan’s literacy narrative “Mother Tongue” is about the different dialects of English, she is familiar with. She explains that her intelligence is judged by the way she speaks. Amy Tan, explains memories from her life where she encounters many forms of English. Her mother, a Chinese immigrant spoke “broken English.” She describes her mother as someone who was able to understand English, well the mother claims that she understands everything, but when it came to speaking, she spoke without the correct grammar. Due to her mothers broken English, Amy Tan has adapted to the type of English her mother speaks, their own type of English language. Tan feels as if the English she is speaking with it outside world is more complex than the English 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
Ganguli family had both good and bad experiences in America, a country which is intensely foreign to them. They faced a lot of problems to adjust in a foreign country after leaving back their family and coming far from their own native society to a place which is very new to them and near people who are very different from them. They both tried to maintain the cultures and rituals of both the societies. While Ashoke’s was enjoying the American society, Ashima was missing her family and was day by day getting homesick. She finds difficult to understand the rituals and customs of American society but she maintained proper balance between both the societies in India and America. In one way she made her children watch English serials and on the other hand she taught them Indian traditions. This proves her love for both the societies. This can be known by the lines mentioned in the novel:
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
Imagining journeying across the globe to better your life, this concept sounds familiar to many immigrant Americans. They all come across the globe to improve the lives of their families and themselves. Many people who move across the world are foreign to the language and culture. In many instances, their children are representing them. The children elaborate what the parents cannot. In Mother Tongue by Amy Tang, she writes the struggles her mother had been through while living in America. While she knew the language, her accent made speaking difficult to understand. Many people wrote her off without even attempting to understand her needs. When you’re an immigrant it is heartbreaking, seeing your parents struggle with the language while you
What does it feel like to be raised in an immigrant family? In the essay “Mother tongue” by Amy Tan, the author describes how her mother’s English influences her in her career and life that the “mother tongue” does not limit her as a writer, but shaped her and her perception on life instead. And her attitude to her mother’s English changes from the initial embarrassment to the final appreciation.
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.
English is an invisible gate. Immigrants are the outsiders. And native speakers are the gatekeepers. Whether the gate is wide open to welcome the broken English speakers depends on their perceptions. Sadly, most of the times, the gate is shut tight, like the case of Tan’s mother as she discusses in her essay, "the mother tongue." People treat her mother with attitudes because of her improper English before they get to know her. Tan sympathizes for her mother as well as other immigrants. Tan, once embarrassed by her mother, now begins her writing journal through a brand-new kaleidoscope. She sees the beauty behind the "broken" English, even though it is different. Tan combines repetition, cause and effect, and exemplification to emphasize
The mediocre speakers are tasked with translation between their family and the rest of the world. They learn about handling adult responsibilities and protecting their families from the world's criticism before they even finish elementary school. These children learn that there is an unspoken dynamic of us and them, with their families being the underdogs. The world is pushing them to adapt to this new society. Their surroundings preach conformity to this new nation. All the while they try to maintain connection with their past world and rich culture. They endure torment from ignorant peers, are labeled terrible names, and constantly face underestimation from those who view non-native speakers as incompetent. This kind of environment feeds their insecurity and requires repeated effort to disprove the assumptions of others, but where most would give up their efforts, immigrant children persevere. They learn to use their environment to their advantage. For them, the media is now an interesting way to pick up on the language and slang the other kids use. With these newfound words and knowledge the children have more confidence to approach new people and attempt to make
Unconsciously, we all speak different languages; we categorize the way we speak by the environment and people at which we are speaking too. Whenever a character enters an unfamiliar environment, they experiment with language to find themselves and understand reality. For immigrants, language is a means to retain one’s identity; however, as they become more assimilated in their new communities their language no longer reflects that of their identity but of their new cultural surroundings. When an immigrant, immigrates to a new country they become marginalized, they’re alienated from common cultural practices, social ritual, and scripted behavior. It’s not without intercultural communication and negotiation
What defines the cause that ultimately depicts our take on life? On the surface, people typically see gender as a definable matter, but fail to consider the variations that exist. Stories provide examples of infectious reasons one views the world as they do. One’s identity influences the authenticity of a situation presented, maturity affects how one contributes to foul behavior, and those reflecting a wide variety of experiences are more adaptable to foreign circumstances.
The teenage years and transition to adulthood is in itself a very difficult period. Blending or fitting in are omnipresent issues that must be dealt with. For children of immigrants, this difficulty is only intensified through language. Both Amy Tan and Khang Nguyen strategically use narrative anecdotes and employ several rhetorical devices to illustrate this struggle in their works, “Mother Tongue” and “The Happy Days,” respectfully. Amy Tan chooses her childhood home as the primary setting of her work. This allows her to focus primarily on her conversations and interactions with her mother. However, she also gives several anecdotes in which her mother’s background and improper English negatively affected her, outside the home. Through
Tan’s attitude towards her mother’s English begins with embarrassment and humiliation. Growing up in an immigrant family which speaks imperfect English, Tan witnesses many discriminations that her mother has encountered in department stores or at banks, those experiences help to shape Tan’s opinion to her mother’s English. For example, Tan states that “[she] was ashamed of [her mother’s] English. [She] believed that [her mother’s] English reflected the quality of what [her] mother had to say” (508). In young Amy’s opinion, her mother’s expressions and thoughts are broken and imperfect like the way she speaks, and she believes that linguistic expression is linked to a person’s intelligence. As a result, she was ashamed of her mother in public because of her fractured English.