Response to Mother Tongue

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Response to Mother Tongue Amy Tan, the author of “Mother Tongue” shares her personal opinion upon the English language, and the power that language could influence us these days. She is fascinated with language, spending most of her time thinking how language can induce one’s emotion, creates a visual image, elaborates on one’s ideas, or simply tell a truth. We could not imagine how powerful language could be, and how language could be used as a tool for her. As a Chinese-American, the form of English she uses been fully influence by her mother, but this does not mean that her mother’s English is affecting how she writes, nor affecting Amy to use standard English. She pointed out that mother tongue could affect everyone one of us, just like how she is affecting her husband without noticing. Her husband is not aware of the change of English form and the ‘weirdness’ of this form of English that they used to communicate among their family and the kind of English that she grew up with. It may be misunderstood by others, but to Amy, this type of English is perfectly clear and natural because this is her mother tongue. Her mother tongue is not a barrier in her ability to learn this English language, besides, she consider her mother tongue to be vivid, direct and full of observation and imagery which helped her to shape her way of seeing and expressing things, and to look at this world in a different way. People may consider her mother tongue to be ‘broken’ or ‘fractured’, or in another way they consider them as ‘limited English’, where people tend to relate limited English and limited perception together. She felt ashamed that people look down on them due to their limited English speaking skills, to a point where people don’t treat them seriously. She also gives examples of the embarrassment that she has to pretend to be her mother and talk on the phone to solve problems

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