Mother Tongue By Amy Tan

1098 Words5 Pages
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 our parents speak broken English; however, Tan is a native English speaker, while I am not. Amy Tan has experiences with the different types of English because she speaks different English to her mother and at school. Tan believes that her mother’s English is perfect. The way her mother speaks makes the world seem more clear and thoughtful. According to Tan, “Some say they understand none of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mother’s English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. It’s my mother’s tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world” (491). Tan states that her mother’s English is perfect and easy to understand. In my experience, my mother’s English is difficult to interpret because she makes English sounds like Vietnamese. I believe my mother’s English is not perfect, but it does not make her less smarter than othe... ... middle of paper ... ...perience” (493). Tan states that math is easier to interpret than English because math only has one answer; whereas, English has multiple correct answers. Tan’s statement is true. Math has always been my favorite subject because math is straightforward, whereas, English can be confusing and it’s a matter of opinions. In conclusion, Tan’s purpose is to leave a message to the people who have disrespected her mother and people with similar experiences to know that life isn’t easy for non-English speakers, but if one works hard, one will become successful. Tan’s statement is a categorical truth because I’ve experienced it. Tan’s experience is similar to mine because both of our parents speak broken English; therefore, I have to help them communicate and complain. The differences between Tan and I is that Tan speaks English fluently, while English is my second language.

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