How to Tame a Wild Tongue

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How to Tame a Wild Tongue

By | March 2007
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Natalie Gonzalez
3/14/2007

Gloria Anzaldua, author of the article " How to tame a Wild Tongue", expresses very strong views on how she feels her native Chicano Spanish language needs to be preserved in order to maintain cultural unity when used as a private form of communication. Her statement, " for a people who cannot identify with either standard (formal, Castilian) Spanish, nor standard English, what recourse is left to them but to create their own language?" suggests that despite the societal pressures of needing to learn more formal and ‘properly' accepted English and Spanish, the very nature of the Chicano language is a unique creation of acceptance, through language within the Mexican culture. She is opposed to assimilation on the grounds that " for a language to remain alive it must be used". For any immigrant, adaptation to a new country is always an issue. Adaptation can take on many forms – weather, culture, and for many, language. For an immigrant whose native language is not English, they are considered to be outsiders. Many Americans are of the opinion that if you want to live in the United States, then you need to be able to speak the language of the country. And while Anzaluda accepts this opinion in theory, she thinks that adapting to a new culture doesn't necessarily mean abandoning her own. In fact, Gloria Anzaluda, strongly believes that her Chicano language is a secret and living language. She calls it ‘secret' because only Chicano's can understand the dialect of what is being spoken and with that she associates a deep-seated sense of pride. She wants to be free to use her native tongue to create what she calls a "linguistic identity". No matter where she goes or how Americanized she may be inclined to become, the Chicano language is her way of maintaining the Chicano people alive. Anzaluda speaks of identification. She is not ashamed of being Chicano. She is proud and she feels that her Chicano language no matter how much it is...