Limiting a person’s language affects his or her existence. In “Mother Tongue,” Amy Tan reflects on her experience with a controversy of the negative impact of faulty communication. She details the negative impact of faulty communication through conversations, meaningful relationships, and career opportunities. In her writing, Tan describes the abundance of “Englishes” she grew up learning from her peers. Her mother’s English stood out from the others because of her inability to communicate effectively. Most individuals considered Tan’s mother’s language “broken” or “limited” because of her faulty communication. Limited language proficiency negatively affects a person's quality of life. Limitations of a person's language affects his or her communication with other individuals. The inability to speak with conciseness results in a change in perspective towards another person. Tan reflects on an interaction between her mother, who speaks with “broken” English, and her mother's doctor: And when the doctor finally called her daughter, me, who spoke in perfect English-lo and behold-we had assurances the CAT scan would be found, promises that a conference call on Monday would be held, and apologies for any suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake. (Tan, 2016, p. 318) …show more content…
Tan describes her communication with her mother versus communication in her writings, recalling an instance when “...it was perhaps the first time she had heard me give a lengthy speech, using the kind of English I have never used with her” (Tan, 2016, p. 316). Although Tan’s mother understands her language, her mother has a difficult time relating with the type of English Tan utilizes. As a consequence, a person’s limited language negatively impacts his or her communication with
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
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 her belief that there are more than one proper way (proper English) to communicate with each other. Tan hopes her audience to understand that the power of language- “the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth”- purposes to connect societies, cultures, and individuals, rather than to rank our intelligence.
“She used to have me call people on the phone…I was forced to ask for information” (Tan, 78). This is something I can personally relate to. For example, when my mother’s English wouldn’t suffice, I had to step in and request for information. Tan Included this experience to set the stage, she was showing us that her mother’s English was “limited” or “broken” and because of that, she wasn’t acknowledged. Tan stated “My mother’s ‘limited’ English, limited my perception of her” (Tan, 78). Because everyone was saying her mother’s English was “limited”, see started believing it, doubting her mother of capabilities, by thinking that she would be no different than anybody else. However, although not said, Tan must have disregarded that thought as she continued aging. After examining Tan, Anzaldua and Brandt’s respective case, I’ve noted that Tan and Anzaldua seem to focus primarily towards speech and language unlike Brandt who seems to be drawn to literacy especially writing. Tan and Anzaldua focus on language; Anzaldua explores and reveals the unofficial languages spoken by people. Tan supports Anzaldua by introducing us her mother – who is one of those sub-language speakers – while it’s said to be “limited”, who is to say it is not just a variant language that shortens
The Essay written by Amy Tan titled 'Mother Tongue' concludes with her saying, 'I knew I had succeeded where I counted when my mother finished my book and gave her understandable verdict' (39). The essay focuses on the prejudices of Amy and her mother. All her life, Amy's mother has been looked down upon due to the fact that she did not speak proper English. Amy defends her mother's 'Broken' English by the fact that she is Chinese and that the 'Simple' English spoken in her family 'Has become a language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk' (36). Little did she know that she was actually speaking more than one type of English. Amy Tan was successful in providing resourceful information in every aspect. This gave the reader a full understanding of the disadvantages Amy and her mother had with reading and writing. The Essay 'Mother Tongue' truly represents Amy Tan's love and passion for her mother as well as her writing. Finally getting the respect of her critics and lucratively connecting with the reaction her mother had to her book, 'So easy to read' (39). Was writing a book the best way to bond with your own mother? Is it a struggle to always have the urge to fit in? Was it healthy for her to take care of family situations all her life because her mother is unable to speak clear English?
Tan makes an appeal to emotion with the connections she describes. A connection between a mother and daughter that is wrought with emotion is as relatable as humaneness is to a human. There is a soft declaration to be found in Tan’s statement, “I knew I had succeeded where it counted when my mother finished reading my book and gave me her verdict: “So easy to read.” Tan gains trust by appealing to emotion with something as understandable as the loving and more often than not tension riddled connection between a mother and her daughter. Tan incorporates the intimacy of the “broken” language in correlation to her husband with these words, “It has become our language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew up with” (Tan 1). Under the assumption that Louis DeMattei (Tan’s husband) has no prior history with the Chinese Language Tan makes an important point of the use of the “broken” language she learned from her mother. Demattei doesn’t inquire or correct Tan when she switches between the English she acquired from the vast expanses of English literature and the English she acquired from her mother. Tan says, “he even uses it with me,” there is an implied level of comfort within the relationship she has with her husband. Tan shares what is viewed as “broken” and in need of fixing with Demattei and he reciprocates, leaving them
Despite growing up amidst a language deemed as “broken” and “fractured”, Amy Tan’s love for language allowed her to embrace the variations of English that surrounded her. In her short essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan discusses the internal conflict she had with the English learned from her mother to that of the English in her education. Sharing her experiences as an adolescent posing to be her mother for respect, Tan develops a frustration at the difficulty of not being taken seriously due to one’s inability to speak the way society expects. Disallowing others to prove their misconceptions of her, Tan exerted herself in excelling at English throughout school. She felt a need to rebel against the proverbial view that writing is not a strong suit of someone who grew up learning English in an immigrant family. Attempting to prove her mastery of the English language, Tan discovered her writing did not show who she truly was. She was an Asian-American, not just Asian, not just American, but that she belonged in both demographics. Disregarding the idea that her mother’s English could be something of a social deficit, a learning limitation, Tan expanded and cultivated her writing style to incorporate both the language she learned in school, as well as the variation of it spoken by her mother. Tan learned that in order to satisfy herself, she needed to acknowledge both of her “Englishes” (Tan 128).
‘Mother Tongue’ a story by Amy Tan tries to take us through the different events one should change the manner in which he or she uses language with the listeners. As the speaker, one should use the appropriate language for the right audience so as to avoid circumstances in which language barrier can occur. The language which Tan uses with her mother is quite different from the one she uses with her listeners when engaging in public or official talks. It is quite evident that when Tan was confronting the stock broker who wanted to con her mother she changes her diction which matched a sophisticated language from the one her mother used. Language becomes hectic when one is trying to fit in a language he or she can hardly talk (Diyanni 633-639).
Tan goes on talking about how language is important and how “the power of language” can change the way people feel, show ideas, and just the simple truth (Tan, 1). In the passage, she describes how her mother suffered through people that don’t take her seriously, did not give her good service and ignored her “because she expressed them imperfectly, her thoughts were imperfect” (Tan, 2).
Both the brains and the hearts of the audience have been convinced. She also used many rhetorical strategies, like emotional appeal to convey her rough childhood to the reader. She gave numerous examples of being discriminated, and stereotyped because of their race. Tan’s audience reaches out to family members who speak broken English. Amy Tan also comprehends that although people may not be able to speak perfect English, they can comprehend what others are saying, and that you shouldn't discriminate others because of their race. A persons understanding of someone who speaks “broken-English” could be very limited, but the wisdom of the “broken English” speaker is
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 those who were unable to understand her mother’s broken english. She tells about her mother’s broken english and its impact on her communication to those outside their culture. Her mothers broken english limited others’ perception of her intelligence, and even her own perception of her mother was scewed: Tan said, “I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mothers ‘limited’ English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say.” (419) The use of standard english was a critical component to Tan’s assimilation into American culture. Standard English was an element she acquired to help her mother but more importantly is was an element that helped in her gain success as a writer. Tan changed her ‘Englishes’ (family talk) to include standard English that she had learnt in school and through books, the forms of English that she did not use at home with her mother. (417-418) Tan realized the ch...
In the essay “Mother Tongue” Amy Tan, the author, gives a different, a more upbeat outlook on the various forms of English that immigrants speak as they adapt to the American culture. Using simple language to develop her argument, she casually communicates to the audience rather than informing which helps the audience understand what is being presented at ease. Her mother plays an important role in her outlook of language, because she helps her realize that language not only allows one to be a part of a culture but create one’s identity in society. Amy Tan shares her real life stories about cultural racism and the struggle to survive in America as an immigrant without showing any emotions, which is a wonderful epiphany for the audience in realizing
‘Mother Tongue’ is a short story written by Amy Tan for American literary magazine, The Threepenny Review (Shea, n.d.). This text raises ideas around the way we speak or use language throughout our daily lives, and what truly counts as ‘proper’ English.
Having parents who are unable to speak “perfect” English may affect their child’s possibilities in life. Sociologists believe that peers have an influence on a person’s developing language skills. According to Tan, she states “…language spoken in the family…plays a large role in shaping the language of the child. And I believe that it affected my results on achievement tests, IQ tests, and the SAT” (213). Because Tan scored higher in math and science and teachers began to steer her away from writing. She was also told by her former boss that writing was her worst skill and that she should hone her talents toward account
Life is tough when one doesn’t speak the native language or is new to a country. “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan is a personal essay written in the first person point of view that tells the audience a story of a non-English speaker. Tan shares her story of how difficult it is for her mother to communicate with others. The presumption that people treat one another differently and with disrespect when one does not speak English is categorical truth. Tan’s purpose is to share her story and give the audiences the message of how tough life can be for non-English speakers because they have to work hard to achieve success; therefore, non-English speaker deserves the same respect as other people. Tan’s experiences along with my experiences are similar because
Amy Tan, the author of The Joy Luck Club, talks about in the article, Mother Tongue, how her mother’s broken English would affect her daily life, how people treat her because of it, and how she felt about her mother’s language. She also talks about when she was in school she was pushed towards science and maths because of her cultural background, as an Asian American student; when she really wanted to write English and become an English major. In the beginning paragraph of the article Tan explains how she has to depict the different Englishes she uses through her daily life in writing and how she is able to deal with it.
If you are not fluent in a language, you probably don 't give much thought to your ability to make your personality attractive, to be in touch with the people and be understood in your world, that doesn’t mean you are an underestimated person. Every person has something special to make them more unique, remarkable, and gorgeous between people. The opinions could lead towards success, or those opinions could be one that is losing, and have a negative impact on how people connect with you. In Amy Tan 's “Mother Tongue” she made this book for several reasons. She had started her life by learning language, and she always loved to spend her time to learn language, but this story focuses about Amy Tan 's mother with her terrible English,