Inthe article “Mother Tongue”, the author Amy Tan emphasizes the concept that weall speak different languages unintentionally, and she expresses a perspective onthe English language in various outlooks of English.
Tan starts off by definingwhat a writer means to her: someone who is intrigued by and loves language.English is quite a complex language and especially to foreigners. Tan mainly talkingabout her mother’s spoken English: “It has always bothered me that I can thinkof no way to describe it other than “broken,” as if it were damaged and neededto be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness.” Yet Tan alsosays that she understands her mother’s tongue well, being as her mother seemsto get the main point across. Learning a new language is difficult for anyone,but the English language is a bit harder because of all the grammar rules andexceptions.
Foreigners don’t do so well on academic tests like the SATs becausethey simply cannot comprehend the material as well as native speakers do. Tan describes how wespeak differently to family compared to how we speak to people out in public.More importantly, Tan describes that we have a completely different languagethat we speak within our own families and a different language that wespeak out in public. She also speaks about how helping her mother hasgiven her the ability to learn and experience how language is used asa tool within aspects of society.
Has given her the strength to continueher pursuit as awriter and lover of language, even when she did not believe shecould do it.