Mother Tongue

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Based on Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”(Tan, 76-81) it is evident that language has an affect on our lives. Language defines the type of person I am generally and it has had an affect on my choices as well as my lifestyle. Language has become my way of seeing life in a different perspective. In Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”(Tan, 76) she discusses the way the language that she was taught affected her life in so many ways. I can definitely relate to Tan’s essay since I as well came from a bilingual home. Like her, I have intelligent immigrant parents and I am their main source of communication with people who don’t understand them. I believe the main idea of Tan’s “ Mother Tongue” is to stress that just because someone cannot speak the English language to perfection does not in any way make them less intelligent than someone who is born in this country who speaks fluently and understands English. However, what makes us different is that it is rare to find two people who speak the exact same English. Although Tan and I both helped our parents and came from non-traditional homes, Tan came from a Chinese family while I came from an Albanian family. We both had similar ideas about language being a major role in our families, and it was also a big challenge for both of us while we were raised by immigrant parents that spoke “limited English” (Tan, 78).

The first reason I can relate to Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue” essay is that I am also not a natural born citizen of the USA. I, too have parents who have their own way of speaking and understanding the English language. Another reason is how similar her personal inferences remind me of my very own memories with my parents. They are both bright and intelligent individuals. I have been my parent’s translator for as long as I can remember. Amy Tan states “like others, I have described it to people as “broken” or “fractured” English (Tan, 78). Having to constantly be present for an appointment with my parents always made me wonder how...
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