Mother’s tongue by Amy Tan

Language, one word but many possibilities to use it your way.
In the story mother’s tongue, the author refers to her mother’s use of the English language as these “ Englishes” to enlighten how she communicates and is understood.
The term “ mother’s tongue” is how the author accustomed herself to her mother’s way of speaking English but it seems as the author grew up, she recalls the time where her mother’s way of speaking was something to be ashamed of like limited English meant not smart enough. However, in the text, she has somehow a revelation “I think my mother’s English almost had on limiting my possibilities in life as well “as she was doubting herself on how much her language could be regarded as a judge even.
The author wrote this article to highlight how much English proficiency is associated with societal assimilation mainly in the immigrant community as well as for a shakedown to the native English speaker’s understanding. To furthermore explain the author’s position of the impact that English had on people’s behavior here’s an example of one the author experiences“my mother was standing in the back whispering loudly, “Why he doesn’t send me check, already two weeks late. So mad he lie to me, losing me money. And then I said in perfect English, “Yes, I’m getting rather concerned. You had agreed to send the check two weeks ago, but it hasn’t arrived.” Somehow to be understood she had to use the correct language without no much compassion for the effort spent.
My relationship with language is pretty much the same as the author. The respectable English is for the outside world but at home, it’s a mix-up of my native languages and English that conjugates itself. My use of language changes between friends. There’s a little more openness. It usually changes depending on the importance of that person or the matter.

1 Comment

  1. Lorenzo

    Annie, I completely agree with your view on ‘Mother Tongue.’ I also agree with the quotes used to describe one of the author’s experiences when Amy’s mother wanted her money from the broker. It is also agreeable that this text was designed for readers that have a history of a family member that didn’t always have an understandable way of speaking English. Overall, your response was great, and I concur with the explanation you gave.

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