Nobody downloaded yet

How Does Language Define Who We Are - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Writer Amy Tan, daughter of Chinese immigrants, born and bred in New York, begins her essay "Mother Tongue" with the following words, "I am fascinated by language in daily life" (p.257). This sentence in its simplicity sets forth a self-evident truth. It shows that there can be different versions of a single language…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER96% of users find it useful
How Does Language Define Who We Are
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"How Does Language Define Who We Are"

Download file to see previous pages For instance, the English that one uses at home is poles apart from the language one would employ in ones workplace or educational institution. This is because when a person is around his family or friends, i.e. around people who are intimate with him and have known him for a length of time, the mask that one wears to the outside world slips away and an individual feels no need to hide behind a facade of formality. This natural and daily transition that one makes from formal mode to casual mode, might appear strange when studied from a distance but if one were to observe closely, it would be seen that this is universal behavior where even the most formal of people will be seen using an entirely different type of English when in informal surroundings. Another point worth noticing is how individuals for whom English is not their mother tongue, speak it.
There is a common perception amongst people that those who speak accurate English, free from any grammatical errors, are gifted with greater insight, depth of perception, logic and common sense and have comparatively superior education and wisdom than those who speak, as Tan puts it, "broken" "fractured" or "limited" English. This case is discussed at great length by Tan who gives the example of her own mother. Tan's mother reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses with her stockbroker and reads Shirley McLain's novels (p.258). All these prove that she is a woman of above-average intelligence and her command over English language is better than most people, even better than those whose mother tongue is English. Unfortunately, Tan's mother's speaking powers are slightly weak and she tends to speak English that is grammatically poor. As a result, she faces great difficulty in her day to day life as most people in public places such as banks, restaurants and hospitals ignore her or are rude to her. For them she portrays the image of a woman who is unable to understand and pick up simple rules of a simple language. It is due to this that once, even her daughter, despite knowing of her mother's reading habits and talents, thought of her as somehow lacking in wisdom. As Tan writes, "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" (p.259).
It cannot be denied that basic judgments about people are made based on a lot of factors, not the least of which is the person's language. A person who uses well-crafted sentences, employs all manner of embellishments or better still, uses difficult words, is considered to be highly learned, professional and someone with hordes of intellect. Perri Klass, a pediatrician by profession, related just such an experience from her personal life in her witty essay "She's Your Basic LOL in NAD." She relates how she came to adopt the medical jargon that her colleagues used in their daily communication while discussing patients' medical condition. Klass relates her initial sense of awe at hearing all those acronyms and how even the complicated LOL turned out to be nothing more than "Little Old Lady" (p.98) but sounded extremely professional nonetheless. Klass recounts how she happily used these words despite knowing that at times they were nothing but deliberate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“How Does Language Define Who We Are Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/english/1528420-how-does-language-define-who-we-are
(How Does Language Define Who We Are Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
“How Does Language Define Who We Are Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1528420-how-does-language-define-who-we-are.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
How adults talk to children and whether it influences their language development
Delayed or deviant language and communication development are implicit in our definitions of mental retardation and autism. Early communication and language problems are often implicated as contributing factors in later appearing learning disabilities and behavior disorders.
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
How does Douglass define manhood
As a result of research it was comprehended that Fredrick Douglass says that every man can achieve his full manhood: every man has a potential to be great. This can be done through intellectual and moral growth resulting from self culture. He says that men can therefore expand their potentials to become ideal men: achieve manhood.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Language, Communication and Culture
All in all, Language can be viewed in various angles that focus on its core foundations. One of the angles is the use of language as a cultural tool that defines identity of a group of people or a society. The groups of people or society are bound to similar cultural values and practices and their understanding is enhanced by sharing a common language.
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay
Who we are is determined by the groups we belong to
Critically evaluate the statement: ‘Who we are is determined by the groups we belong to’. The personal qualities of an individual are often attributed to his genetic qualities and later, as he ages, to his environment. These personal qualities eventually evolve to form the particular identity of a person.
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Does language influence thinking skills or cognition
Would there be an influence in the way we think? Another more thrilling case is imagining having been brought up without any language at all. Does learning
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Language and Race
When race is discussed from the perspective of humanities, such as philosophy, religion, history, communication etc often is not supported by different scientists. Further on we will make an attempt to define relations between language and race as a social construct.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Impact of the Turkish Language on the Turkey Culture
Turkish language is a key bondage factor for the people of Turkey. Moreover, it also confers an identity to the Islamic community. Turkish language is very old dating back 5500 to 8500 years. Its structure is morphological, phonetic, and syntactic structure, and in addition, it possesses an affluent vocabulary.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Language Variety
This is because all languages are in constant state of flux, and this continuous change is the reason for dialects and even new languages. In monolingual societies people don't have much choice. But in some bilingual and multilingual situations, the language we choose is governed by social and economic factors.
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Linguistics - How far can the PROCESS of 1st language acquisition be taken as a model for the acquisition of a 2nd language What are the implications for the 2nd language teacher
s on messages to other members of their class, the communication systems of animals do not possess the richness and complexity of the human language that theirs cannot be considered language (Deacon, cited in Harley, 2001: 50). For example, when parrot talks, it is not
20 Pages(5000 words)Essay
What do our clothes say about who we are or who we think we are How does the way we dress communicate messages about our identities (Davis, 1992: back cover blurb). What is identity and what role do clothes play in creating it Use two relev
include those concerning what clothes can do about who we are or what we think we are, how the way one dresses communicates messages about his or her identity whether the desire to be in fashion is universal or whether it is unique to the western culture. Additionally, the
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic How Does Language Define Who We Are for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us