But to me, my mother's English is perfectly clear, perfectly natural. 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. Lately, I've been giving more thought to the kind of English my mother speaks. Like others, I have described it to people as 'broken" or "fractured" English. But I wince when I say that. It has always bothered me that I can think of no way to describe it other than "broken," as if it were damaged and needed to be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness. I've heard other terms used, "limited English," for example.
But they seem just as bad, as if everything is limited, including people's perceptions of the limited English speaker.
I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mother's "limited" English limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English.
I believed that her English reflected the quality of what she had to say That is, because she expressed them imperfectly her thoughts were imperfect. And I had plenty of empirical evidence to support me: My mother has long realized the limitations of her English as well. When I was fifteen, she used to have me call people on the phone to pretend I was she.
In this guise, I was forced to ask for information or even to complain and yell at people who had been rude to her. One time it was a call to her stockbroker in New York. She had cashed out her small portfolio and it just so happened we were going to go to New York the next week, our very first trip outside California. I had to get on the phone and say in an adolescent voice that was not very convincing, "This is Mrs.
And my mother was standing in the back whispering loudly, "Why he don't send me check, already two weeks late. So mad he lie to me, losing me money. And then I said in perfect English, "Yes, I'm getting rather concerned. You had agreed to send the check two weeks ago, but it hasn't arrived. Then she began to talk more loudly. If I don't receive the check immediately, I am going to have to speak to your manager when I'm in New York next week.
Tan, was shouting at his boss in her impeccable broken English. We used a similar routine just five days ago, for a situation that was far less humorous. My mother had gone to the hospital for an appointment, to find out about a benign brain tumor a CAT scan had revealed a month ago. She said she had spoken very good English, her best English, no mistakes. Still, she said, the hospital did not apologize when they said they had lost the CAT scan and she had come for nothing.
She said they did not seem to have any sympathy when she told them she was anxious to know the exact diagnosis, since her husband and son had both died of brain tumors.
She said they would not give her any more information until the next time and she would have to make another appointment for that. So she said she would not leave until the doctor called her daughter.
And when the doctor finally called her daughter, me, who spoke in perfect English -- lo and behold -- we had assurances the CAT scan would be found, promises that a conference call on Monday would be held, and apologies for any suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake.
I think my mother's English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as well. Sociologists and linguists probably will tell you that a person's developing language skills are more influenced by peers. But I do think that the language spoken in the family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the language of the child. And I believe that it affected my results on achievement tests, I. While my English skills were never judged as poor, compared to math, English could not be considered my strong suit.
In grade school I did moderately well, getting perhaps B's, sometimes B-pluses, in English and scoring perhaps in the sixtieth or seventieth percentile on achievement tests. But those scores were not good enough to override the opinion that my true abilities lay in math and science, because in those areas I achieved A's and scored in the ninetieth percentile or higher. Math is precise; there is only one correct answer. Whereas, for me at least, the answers on English tests were always a judgment call, a matter of opinion and personal experience.
Those tests were constructed around items like fill-in-the-blank sentence completion, such as, "Even though Tom was, Mary thought he was So I never did well on tests like that. The same was true with word analogies, pairs of words in which you were supposed to find some sort of logical, semantic relationship -- for example, "Sunset is to nightfall as is to.
Well, I could never think that way. I knew what the tests were asking, but I could not block out of my mind the images already created by the first pair, "sunset is to nightfall"--and I would see a burst of colors against a darkening sky, the moon rising, the lowering of a curtain of stars. And all the other pairs of words --red, bus, stoplight, boring--just threw up a mass of confusing images, making it impossible for me to sort out something as logical as saying: I have been thinking about all this lately, about my mother's English, about achievement tests.
Because lately I've been asked, as a writer, why there are not more Asian Americans represented in American literature. Why are there few Asian Americans enrolled in creative writing programs? Why do so many Chinese students go into engineering! Well, these are broad sociological questions I can't begin to answer. A new framework for all languages? The right to mother tongue medium education-the hot potato in human rights instruments Address by Dr.
As long as we have the culture, we can hold on to the land. The genuinely universal non -market values obviously include individual and collective human rights, as a part of the universal common heritage of humanity. DelmasMarty exemplifies this with the fact that there is no universal international court that individuals could turn to when their non -market value based human rights have been violated.
And if this monitoring, which I have exemplified with the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention, does not support educational linguistic human rights strongly, there is a problem. These laws are being developed extremely rapidly, with harsh sanctions for violations.
The level becomes inappropriately low. Therefore it is the duty of the state s to take extra measures to increase it. In this, each language is the means of expression of the intangible cultural heritage of people, and it remains a reflection of this culture for some time even after the culture which underlies it decays and crumbles, often under the impact of an intrusive, powerful, usually metropolitan, different culture.
However, with the death and disappearance of such a language, an irreplaceable unit in our knowledge and understanding of human thought and world- view is lost forever.
This does not necessarily mean that they are monolingual themselves, and many of them are global research nomads, holding jobs all over the world, often making the usual rounds in rapid succession, from Britain or USA or Canada to Sydney or Singapore or Hongkong, etc.
Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan - mother tounge Author: Heather Simon Created Date: 8/1/ PM.
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Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Words | 5 Pages. broken English speakers depends on their perceptions. Sadly, most of the times, the gate is shut tight, like the case of Tan’s mother as she discusses in her essay, "the mother tongue.". In her essay, "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan shares her discoveries about the different variations of English she learned growing up in an Asian-American household, and then reflects on these findings. Amidst the essay, Tan shows the reader that racial profiling still exists, even in a time where every person is promised freedom and equality.
The essay “Mother Tongue” was originally published in The Threepenny Review in and also included in The Best American Short Stories , edited by Joyce Carol Oates. In this essay, Tan is likely to reach out to immigrant families that went through similar hardships on communication that she and her mother experienced. mother tongue essaysNot 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," an article based on the power of language; without standard langu.