Tina Webber
Professor Clancy
English 122
13 October , 2016

Mother Tongue    Amy Tan
I think the main point Amy Tan is trying to make in "A Mother's Tongue" is that words are more than just words. S ometimes you have to look behind them and read in between to understand the true meaning. For example, her mother did not speak perfect English, but the points and ideas she was trying to get across are what really were important. Not all people who speak the English language speak it the same way. A language can be subdivided into any number of dialects which each vary in some way from the parent English language. Mother Tongue, is an article based on the power of language. W ithout standard language skills, one is identified as an outsider, often wrongly perceived and unfairly discriminated against.
After reading Mother Tongue, my belief of not judging or putting someone down because of the way they speak is stronger than ever. I am reminded of those times , growing up, when others would say something bad about my friends just because they couldn't express their thoughts and feelings due to their limited language skills. I had many foreign born friends growing up, and I became their interpreter at times, as I understood the words they were trying to say when others did not.
Using simple English; the author wants to share a message with those who don't speak the language well, the message being "their point of view is still important". Identification with and acceptance in a community is not the only result of language acquisition. Chiefly, she distinguishes between the simple form of English she speaks with her family and the more complex version of the language she uses in her personal life. "You should know that my mother' s expressive command of English belies how much she actually understands. She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads Shirley MacLaine' s book s with ease—all kinds of things I can't begin to understand. "
Though there was a time when Tan was embarrassed by her mother's English, she now sees things from a different perspective. She writes, "my mother's English is perfectly clear. It's my mother tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world" (Tan, 21). It is also clear that Tan's own mother helped her understand English in a different, unique way, and that is the language she uses today. Blocking out the critics, she knew it was important when her mother approved her book by saying "So easy to read"
Language is many things: the arrangement of words in a particular order, uttered in a certain way, denoting a certain meaning; it is a political instrument which evokes images and motion. At its most fundamental, however, language is quite simply the expression of self and the ability to share that expression with others. The language that she once perceived as inferior, sub-standard, or broken, she now views as intimate, special, and representative of her mother's beautiful and insightful expression of herself and view of the world, which Mrs. Tan, in turn, taught her da ughter. Her point is well taken.
Do we not all speak our own different English's, calling upon them as the occasion and audience direct? Certainly, the language I call upon in a meeting with the president of the company I work for differs from the language that I use with my colleagues, which is different from the language I speak with my friends or family, which differs from the language I use with my nephews. It may be a matter of word choice or intonation or slang or content or purpose, but each is a different part of myself and my world. The learning of one's mother tongue will provide an individual the right to study their culture and will also preserve family bonds and lessen cultural conflicts between generations.
In the short story, "Mother Tongue", Amy Tan takes apart the different ways English is