American Tongues Film Commentary

Topics: English language, Dialect, Chinese language Pages: 2 (774 words) Published: March 7, 2013
American Tongues Film Commentary

In the film “American Tongues,” enormous majority of American from different cities have different regional accents of English. Some people have positive attitude towards the different regional accents of English. They believe that the way people speak is always changing based on what they hear from their linguistic environment. There are a few scenes in the film where people share what they think about using certain dialects in positive attitude. In one scene, there is an African-American woman who is interviewed and asked whether she uses a vernacular dialect or a standard form of English in her everyday life. Her reply was that she uses both types of dialects during different times of her life. She said that when she is out in public or at her work, she talks in a standard form of English. However, she also said that when she is with her family or with her friends, she talks in her vernacular dialect. This shows that the woman thinks that both forms of dialect are useful depending on the situation. By using Standard English towards her professional life, this shows that she knows that people will judge you by the way you speak. So she uses a standard form of English out in public or at her work, because people will think she is more "educated" or more "professional". However, some people believe that some differences in dialects can grow into stereotypes and the way individuals are observed. For example, those who have a southern accent may be considered slow and drawn out, and the opposite is said for northerners. Those with northern accents are judged on their typical high fast paced dialect. In some cities, people can accept and understand different accents, but others can’t accept it. They would feel funny, and laugh at the person who pronounces in a strange way. For the Black, they also feel that racism occurs to them when they speak “black English” to others who are not Black. Because there’s so much slang in “black...
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