Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Amy Tan †Mother Tongue Free Essays

English 101 Mother Tongue Amy Tan makes a valid point about the use of different Englishes that are spoken in different places and to certain people. What one says may sometimes vary based on the person, situation, or event as well. How one speaks and what they pick up on happens in the home and other people see them differently based on the way they speak. We will write a custom essay sample on Amy Tan – Mother Tongue or any similar topic only for you Order Now Different languages become difficult to translate as well because there isn’t always a similar word in the translating language. Many people can relate to this story in the aspect that everyone has their own way of speaking and others’ make them feel inferior with their speech. Some people may have difficulty saying certain words and those who speak well may downsize the verbally handicapped. This is a great essay that relates well to this day and time. Tan relates to her own experiences to compare how people think and to how society sees them. She believed her mother to be illiterate because she spoke improper or broken English and other people looked down on her for it. She was laughed at and often times not taken seriously because, being an immigrant with a strong Asian background, her English wasn’t as proper as others. Amy Tan grew up taking calls for her mother and impersonating her on the phone so her mother did not sound so illiterate while trying to communicate with superiors or people who owed her money. This strategy was soon found out however, when Mrs. Tan had to speak to these people in person. Amy believed, â€Å"her [mother’s] English reflected the quality of what she had to say. That is, because she expressed them imperfectly her thoughts were imperfect†¦ People in department stores, at banks, and at restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her good service, pretend not to understand her, or even acted as if they did not hear her. (142) Society has the need to be perfect and if someone speaks imperfectly, then they are often treated unfairly. Languages spoken in the home and often picked up at school threw peers. The house is the base for learning. Amy Tan came from an immigrant family where no one knew how to speak proper English. This in turn, made it hard to learn the correct way of speaking especially when learning. The first step of speaking the proper way is to recognize how everyone else speaks as well as the way they react to what is said to them. Once someone recognizes that there is a difference in the way they speak, in comparison to the rest of society, and how they are treated, they become aware of how they can change their English. They must first start by paying attention to people around them; how they act and react to the way things are said to them. Different englishes vary based on environments’. When someone is at work, they have a particular way in which they talk to different people; consumers, superiors, and fellow co-workers. While changing to a different situation; at home, one would probably not talk to their parents the same way that they would ague with a sibling. School seems to be the safe place to speak one’s mind, with their peers of course. Speaking to teachers would also differ from being with friends or speaking with strangers. Englishes vary based on group or environment because the people who are being spoken to need to be able to fully understand what is spoken. Amy and her mother experienced this as well. She states, â€Å"Some of my friends tell me they understand 50 percent of what my mother says. Some say they understand 80 to 90 percent. Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking Chinese. But to me, my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It’s my mother’s tongue. † (141) Growing up with her mother, Amy became accustomed to the way her mother spoke, everyone interprets a languages differently based on their own perspective. Amy Tan believes that with growing up in an immigrant household and her mother being her role model, speaking broken English in the home negatively impacted her academically. I think my mother’s English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well. I do think that the language spoken in the family plays a large role in shaping the language of the child† (143) Tan claims that her I. Q. and S. A. T scores where hindered by improper English in the household. What Amy states makes sense in the aspect that everyone learns to speak the language they where raised wit h. Peers influence your speech, but your home life defines it. When you hear a language all your life, it becomes the way you speak as well. When one grows up with a language, they don’t think to question it. Need of improvement does not even become an idea until you connect that the way you speak reflects the way you speak to a point. The use of different Englishes is so natural that few people are aware of any change in our language, but it has become so natural for people to alter their speech in a way that is comfortable for everyone and so that it can be better understood. Our vocabulary and ideas change to better suit any given environment and differs for all groups of people as well; peers, family, superiors, and clients. The environment one grows up in begins shaping the language of each individual in the household. It becomes second nature and many people do not become aware of differences in speech until a later age. Speaking differently from other people can be a rough challenge and no one deserves to feel inferior because they are different. Some people may have difficulty saying certain words and those who speak well may degrade these people which should not be socially accepted. This is an easy essay to relate to when you can observe the way others interact with each other. How to cite Amy Tan – Mother Tongue, Papers

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