Amy Tan Mother Tongue Summary

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In Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” she discusses about how she uses certain ways of English to speak to her family and with her writings. Tan talks about how she uses broken English around her mother and other close family, saying that even though it’s broken they can understand each other perfectly. She bases her writing style off of this saying she pictures a reader to write for and uses her mother for that inspiration so the books are easier to read. Tan had said her mother’s broken English had probably hindered her in school because she thinks “that the language in the family, plays a large role in shaping the language for a child”(421).Tan’s teachers had pushed her more to the mathematic and science side of school and because she was rebellious

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how amy tan's "mother tongue" uses broken english to speak to her family and her writings.
  • Explains that even though tan uses broken english within her family she is very formal when giving her speeches. because tan was better at speaking english than her mother, she used to speak for her on the telephone.
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