Role Of Language In ‘Mother Tongue’ By Amy Tan

Amy Tan’s experiences have shown that language plays a significant role in our day-to-day lives. Language can have an impact on and provide insight into cultures other than our own. Amy Tan writes Mother Tongue about the many ways she felt the native language of her birth was powerful and influential in her life. In order to tell her story, she draws on moments from her childhood. Amy Tan displays her inhibitions while relating her traumatizing past memories to the theme: To find a voice among two worlds. Tan is trapped between two worlds. She speaks simple English while she is speaking with her mother. But when she’s out and about, she uses a more formal, acceptable English. We can see the expressiveness of her mother’s broken English when she tells us her story. Although the language used in her story may not be as familiar to us, it is still easy to understand. Tan tells us her mother’s story is vivid and full of images. Amy Tan writes in a casual, episodic style. To show that the subject is important to her, she writes in the first person. Her tone is intelligent because of the examples she uses. Tan cites Tan’s mom’s words when Tan recounts an incident in which her mom struggled to communicate with her stockbroker. Tan also quotes Tan’s mother’s “Why did he not send me a check two weeks late?” Tan 1: “So mad he lies tone, losing my money.” This is to reflect on the events and show how her mother’s English affected them. Tan is similarly enthusiastic and, to some extent, furious at the purposes of her essay. Tan makes this clear in her story about her mom’s struggles with doctors as well as when she talks about how her teachers “steered” her away form writing and into science and math (Tan 3) Tan’s casual and intelligent tones suggest Tan is writing the paper herself. She is trying to show that her passion is genuine and encourages people to think about the topic. Amy Tan’s audience with the message she conveys in her paper includes many types of people. This exposition focuses on those who speak broken English like her mother. They are those who are mentally regarded as the least in the network. A second group of people that are being cared for is those who don’t understand or care about non-local English speakers. Amy Tan and other like-minded people help English speakers who are unable to communicate with one another understand all aspects of English.

Communication styles can be informal or formal depending on how people use english. One example of a situation that calls for formal English is the work environment. The increase in diversity among the workforce and the inclusion of different ethnicities and nationalities makes it difficult to use the same language at work. With each new person, the variety of accents becomes more apparent. This can create a challenge for those who speak english as an additional language. Bilingualism can be both a benefit and a disadvantage in business situations. Her natural personality is determined by the world she lives in.

Tan uses a range of rhetorical techniques to communicate her use oblique, parallel structures throughout the text. Tan’s first section begins with Tan’s expression “I am no researcher of English” (Tan 1). This expression implies that Tan’s mom might not speak English well, and yet she isn’t off-base. Tan clearly states this when she said, “Some state they do not see it.” It’s as if Tan were speaking pure Chinese. Despite this, I find my mom’s English to be exceptionally clear and characteristic. She also uses exemplification to emphasize the diversity of English she speaks when she refers to ‘the crosspoint of memory and creative energy’. Amy tells stories about individual experiences in the fifth section to show how she came to terms with the humiliation and inconveniences that she experienced as a teenager with her mom. Amy uses exchange throughout the content to give the reader an opportunity to meet her first language.

Tan starts with disclaimers. Tan is, for example, not a researcher in English or literature…but a writer. As she continues with her paper, she shares many anecdotes about her use of English. To highlight the differences in language employments she employs her mother’s broken English. Tan gives several examples of Tan using ‘impeccable English’ in her story about her mom and specialists. She also mentions her address at the beginning. Tan also cites instances where she used ‘impeccable’ English in the story about her mom and the specialists. This shows that, despite her mother’s English being an accurate assessment of hers, she still felt it was important to be able to use ‘immaculate English in her writing. Tan’s exposition is a long, meandering tale that addresses a range of topics. Tan concludes by talking about how she saw her mom’s English and the importance of using it in her writing. Tan then advises Tan about trying to use her mom’s English to write her own book. Tan 3

Amy Tan wrote Mother Tongue as a way to demonstrate and persuade people about the evaluation of thoughts. Tan is still trying to communicate the importance to others of being consistent with themselves and returning to the core of your beliefs, regardless of what the world thinks. Tan believes it is her mom’s plan to communicate her plans in English. Her communication style is increasingly honest, crude, consistent and consistent with Tan, which conveys more meaning than if Tan spoke in ‘impeccable English.



Daisy May is a 34-year-old blogger and student who is passionate about education. She has been blogging about her educational experiences and tips for other students since 2010. Daisy May is currently studying for her Master's degree in Adult Education.