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Importance Of Mother Tongue Essay In Hindi

Mother Tongue Essay

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There are many bilingual and multicultural people in the world today. For many, the choices of which language they use, and how they use it, correspond to what social or cultural community they belong to. Amy Tan, a Chinese American novelist, portrays this well in her short essay "Mother Tongue." Tan grew up in two vastly different worlds, using different "Englishes." The first world, which consists of her close family, she speaks what we may call "broken" or "limited" English. The second world, which is her business and professional world, Tan speaks and writes perfect standard and academic English. Having to "shuttle" between these two communities with very different languages has had many different positive and negative effects on…show more content…

She realized that her "mother tongue" has become their "language of intimacy, a different sort of English that relates to family talk,"(Tan 61) Her "mother tongue" is the English she uses while she is in her first world, her private world, which is a completely different cultural community.

As Tan was growing up, the speech she used in her family environment affected her results on various tests at school. Many other Asian Americans had this similar problem, and had teachers "who are steering them away from writing and into math and science, which is what happened to me(Tan)."(Tan 64) This is because Math has only one correct answer, whereas English was a "matter of opinion and personal experience."(Tan 63) As a result of this, Tan drove herself to disprove others assumptions and became an English major. She wrote in a way to prove her "mastery" over the English language. An example she gives is this line, edited from the final version of her book, "'That was my mental quandary in its nascent state.'"(Tan 65) This is the type of language she uses in her professional life. Her words are "filled with carefully wrought grammatical phrasesall the forms of standard English that (she) had learned in school and through books."(Tan 61) Without realizing it at first, Tan widened the gap between her professional community and her private family

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