Mother Tongue Summary

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  • Published : April 6, 2012
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In the article Tan shares how growing up with a mother who speaks very little English has shaped her life. Tan explains how she uses different Englishes when talking with different people. She makes her argument for the power of different Englishes by showing examples from her life and how the different ways the people close to her spoke influenced her life. Tan’s position is that she loves language and how it is used to impact people’s lives or change the way they think. Tan was determined to become a better writer rather than lean toward math and science like other Asian Americans. When Tan was fifteen she often had to call people pretending to be her mother while her mother whispered things to tell them in the background. Tan also explains how in school she wanted to prove the teacher wrong and become the best she could at writing. Tan started to write freelance nonfiction the week after her former boss told her that she should focus her efforts on becoming an account manager. Stories like these help Tan to support her claim that even though people who do not speak English very well are not limited in their thoughts and more than likely understand you better than you might think, but even if you are not good at something with hard work anything can happen. Tan has gone to write several books and is a public speaker. Tan makes her argument very well by using examples like when she talks to her husband it is their own intimate English .with her mother she uses very caring English. I think is effective because it makes me think of the way I talk to people close to me. This relates to me because I work with and often serve customers who understand more English than they speak. Tan’s speech about the difficulties of growing up in a non-English speaking home and how it made her the way she is today. I would really like to hear Tan give this speech I think it would be very interesting to hear the different Englishes that she uses. Even if we are not multilingual,...
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