The native language is a very important part of human culture. The mother tongue is an integral part of human consciousness. It is not only a tool of communication but a sociological tool of measuring individual worth.
The theme of cultural encounters and intercultural communication is not new in fiction. We live in a globalized world where different cultures are in constant interaction. The process of assimilation of immigrants in a new culture is quite difficult. It especially influences on children, who grow at the junction of two cultures and cannot identify themselves with any of them. Amy Tan, an American novelist, presented this topic in her analytical essay “Mother Tongue.” This essay is strong evidence that language influences on our life.
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The children of immigrants are the link between parents and the new culture in which they live. This function of children is due to the fact that children understand the traditions and values inherent in the culture of their parents, but they share the foundations and customs of the new cultural community, the new society.
The essay “Mother tongue” is devoted to the problem of linguistic identity and self-awareness. Amy Tan grew up in two greatly different worlds, speaking in different “Englishes.” In the essay two types of language are contrasted: dialect English, she also calls it “broken” or “limited” English and standard or official English, the language of business.
The author pictures and explains how the ignorance of her mother influences her. The first part of the work is dedicated to Amy’s warm feelings about learning languages. Moreover, the girl highlights strong superpower of the language as it is the main tool of verbal communication. It is interesting to read how she illustrates how they communicated within the family as their languages were different.
The main essence of the essay about mother tongue
Then Amy describes how other people perceive and characterize the language of her mother, that someone understand 50 percent of her speech, someone even none of it, and she tries to defend it by the fact that her mother is Chinese immigrant and that the “limited” English spoken in her family “has become a language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk”. This citation shows that for Amy, this speech is filled with meaning, color and expressiveness. Despite the fact, that she clearly understands that this language is grammatically and structurally incorrect, Amy understands her mother because her voice helped the daughter to learn this world. Amy Tan uses various rhetorical devices such as anecdote and oxymoron to convey her confused and fault, but the loving attitude toward the limited English of her mother. Amy also explains how she gives her mother the possibility to learn and experience how language is used as a tool within the social and cultural facets of society.
So, “Mother tongue” is a play of words based on direct and contextual values. Polysemy is peculiar to the words “mother” and “tongue”, their meaning can only be installed in a specific context by Amy Tan answers. As part of this “Mother Tongue” essay is understood as both a mother tongue and a mother’s language (there are all the properties and characteristics inherent in the speech of the mother of the author). The importance of mother tongue for Amy Tan is more intimate in a sense that her mother tongue is unique to her, and that the variation of English she speaks to her mother is her mother tongue.
The author has no doubt that the language is the main tool that helps people create their own understanding of the things that they see and realize the essence of the world. If you have a poor speech, there is a possibility that people will underestimate you and your place in society. Be ready to be ignored if your speech does not correspond to the speech of people that surround you. The family is the main point where the person forms the character and inner word. Moreover, the language that a child heard in the family affects his future behaviour and life. We can notice one interesting example of Asian students that realize the math lows but cannot cope with the diversity of the English language. The main reason for it is that in comparison with math we cannot there are a lot of possible answers to one question.
Despite different life difficulties, Amy was happy about being the representative of such profession. She is aware of different linguistics laws and that facts motivate her to work and improve herself.
The environment and society form the individual and have a huge impact on human speech. Author of “Mother Tongue” also addresses the problem of the influence of the environment on a person and reveals linguistic features of human interaction with society. One of the considerable aspects Amy Tan makes is that many people have a restricted attitude toward people of different languages and cultural backgrounds. The analysis demonstrates examples from her mother’s life to show that because of her mother’s “broken” English many people did not take her seriously.
In summary, the focus of this essay is cultural tolerance and diversity. The goal of the essay “Mother tongue” by Amy Tan was to try to determine the role of language and its power in society. We speak in a variety of different dialects to different people in our lives. This essay is a good example of linguistic discrimination of other languages. We may not speak the same way, but that does not affect the value of our words. Amy Tan proves that the language spoken in a family circle is a key to understand each other, it can help people realize their personality, cultural roots and it can form the way people think. The author discusses her life in the USA with her mother, having to deal with such injustices that come with their ethnic background. Amy Tan clearly convinces the reader to pass over the language barriers that are restraining the non-English speaking people living happily and in welfare.