My mother tongue - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This was primarily as a result of the influence of my mother tongue. For example, when we went shopping with my Chinese friends, we…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER97.7% of users find it useful
My mother tongue
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "My mother tongue"

My Mother Tongue As an international from a country speaks a language other than English, I found it difficult to speak fluent English on moving to America. This was primarily as a result of the influence of my mother tongue. For example, when we went shopping with my Chinese friends, we could hardly know what to say in English even though we knew exact words in our mother language. It was from such experiences that I realized the significant role played by a person’s “mother tongue” in daily life, especially for those nonnative speakers in English. I came to learn that one’s native dialect forms a foundation for understanding other languages, but it is also difficult communicate when outside the cultural setting within which it is normally spoken. What’s more, I strongly believe that our cultures, family members, and peers influenced our mother tongue most.
My mother tongue is Chinese. Regardless of the language I speak presently, I have spoken Chinese for my whole life. As such, I knew Chinese and English are totally different in some ways. For example, in terms of “Though”, Chinese grammar said you must have a transition “but” after words like though/although/even though. However, in English, it doesn’t, it’s wrong if we add “but” in the sentence. Well, my culture influenced me a lot in that way so that when I first came to United States 3 years ago, I kept making this mistake. Additionally, Chinese culture has one tense, what we did is just simply add a time period before sentence started. For instance, when we want to talk about something in the past, we just add “in the past” before the whole statement, followed by a comma, making all the succeeding words to be in the past tense. If we need to end that past tense, we simply add another transition word. However, in English, I came to learn that sentences could not be outlined like that. Instead, we should use past tense when talking about something in the past and use the future tense when something is about in the future. To that effect, my Chinese culture has influenced my grammar so much that I sometimes keep making mistakes when differentiating tenses. These examples show that, even though all languages are supposed to make communication between people easy, they can differ based on the cultural environments where they are used.
My family and peers were the primary influence to my mother tongue as I grew up. As far as I remember, People who live in Zhejiang Province like me, find it hard to pronounce the letter “R” in Chinese alphabet. For example, when I say “Hot” in Chinese which was pronounced “Re”, I pronounced it like “Le”; which means “Happy” and confuses my Mandarin speaking Chinese friends. Even though I am familiar with Mandarin, I mostly speak Zhejiang dialect, since it is the language I grew up speaking and listening as my family members and peers spoke. The difference between these versions of Chinese opened me up to further understanding that, languages can be different even within a national setting that one thought was similar throughout. For example, even though I relate to Chinese as a language that defines my national identity, I still find that I identify even better and more comfortably with Zhejiang dialect. This shows that mother tongue not just defines my language skillset, but also my personal identity and belongingness to an even smaller community.
Just like other languages, my mother tongue has changed and continues to do so with passing time and interaction changes like internet communication. The external influence may bring change that people do not expect, but there is something cultural we could follow to maintain ties with our families and peers. For instance, although I do not use my mother tongue in my current learning environment, I still use it in social settings like when spending time with my Chinese friends and when communicating with those back home. Recognizing the importance of my mother tongue has significantly helped me to gain in-depth self-identity and good sense of who I am and where I come from. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“My mother tongue Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words - 1”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(My Mother Tongue Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1)
“My Mother Tongue Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document


Only Daughter and Mother Tongue

...Comparing ‘Only Daughter’ and ‘Mother Tongue’ In a way it may be observed that though Amy Tan and Sandra Cisneros havehad distinct origins in terms of nationality, culture, language, and general environment in which they were brought up, the readers of ‘Mother Tongue’ and ‘Only Daughter’ by the respective authors may recognize significant points of similarity. Both writers acknowledge the contributions of their roots and family ties in the process of learning to find remarkable essence in English and love of communicating effectively especially with their parents who occur to be the primary concern in their attempt to simplify approach in writing. Through the use of...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

...?Mother Tongue by Amy Tan I have chosen to use for the first part of my comparison essay, the article Mother Tongue by Amy Tan. The reason I chose this is quite simple. I can identify with her struggles to learn the socially acceptable form of English speaking while having to deal with “bastardized” English speaking at home. The combination of which would cause any normal child's head to explode as it tried to sort out the mess of an English language that swarmed inside her brain. In the end, Ms. Tan managed to sort herself out and find her true calling as one of the few best selling Asian American novelists. That part of her journey is what she speaks...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Communication and Language - Mother Tongue

... Communication and Language - Mother Tongue Communication is essential for almost all living things; it lets us warn others of danger, share experiences, express feelings, and opinions. Human beings by the nature are innate communicators, they rely on it to teach and to learn. In the world there are many different ways of communicating, gestures, facial expressions, body language, certain sounds, and, of course, our words (Shukla). However, languages are differnt all over the world. Here in the United States when someone does not speak English well or speaks a broken version of the language many tend to think less, enforce stereotypes, and not take them as seriously. The two essays...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan

...D. Tan, Amy, “Mother Tongue”---395 words begins her essay with the disclaimer, " I am not a scholar of English or literature. I cannot give you much more man personal opinions on the English language and its variations in mis country or others." Does tins opening remark add to her credibility or detract from it? Explain. The opening remark Amy Tan makes at the beginning of her short story “Mother Tongue” adds to her credibility as a narrator because she reveals that she is giving the reader her story, and not trying to inform or teach us. Since Tan is giving her opinion, her experience gives us confidence that she knows what she is talking about on the subject as...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Amy Tans Mother Tongue

...“simple” English to better reach her intended audience and whenever she was in doubt she delved into her mother’s “internal language” which was a transliteration of Chinese into English, and this preserved the “essence” of her narrative. Amy Tan knew she was on the right course, when her mother, after reading her book simply said “so easy to read”. It is this simplicity of Amy Tan’s mother and her language which the author celebrates in this essay, and pays tribute to a woman who forged her identity in an alien land and diverse culture. References Response essay writing: outline, format, structure, topics, rubric...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Mother Tongue by Amy Tan

... “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan Introduction This article talks about how the writer views and compares Standard English to ‘broken English’. The author comments that individuals are not only authorized by language to involve themselves as members of their designated communities, but also given the freedom to define and establish the proportions of their identity (Tan 1). The article tells of how it is difficult for Asian Americans to get through the challenges of the English language. The first part of the essay focused on the different versions of English that the author learned and used throughout her life. The second part of the essay concentrated on the difficulties that she experienced through her school life because English... was not...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Amy Tan: Mother Tongue

...Amy Tan: “Mother Tongue.” Amy Tan’s essay, “Mother Tongue,” is an exposition on the use of the English language. The essay is particularly relevant in today’s world, in which the internet ensures that rigid geographical boundaries no longer form an impenetrable barrier to communication. Societies are increasingly multicultural and multi-lingual and languages are in a state of flux. In this scenario, the requirements of language need to be redefined, making Tan’s essay very interesting. Tan discusses the different ways in which she uses English. Although she uses a formal style of essay writing, and analyses language forms and cultural pressures, Tan’s piece is not...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Mother Tongue

...Mother Tongue by Amy Tan In the essay Mother Tongue, Amy Tan explores the types of English she uses in her life. Sheuses one in her writing, other one in her family and one more English that connects her family with the community where they live. She writes in polished English selecting grammar structures and words which render her thoughts precisely but this language is out of use in her family as her mother uses English just to meet her basic communicative needs. This story shows that the use of any language heavily depends on the situation where it takes place because people adapt to their interlocutors by using the language expected from them. For...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Mother tongue

...Mother Tongue Amy Tan considers her mother tongue as broken or fractured English. Traditionally, mother tongue is with high esteem. It is considered as a sign of heritage. In this case, Amy Tan despises her “broken “English instead of identifying herself with the unique language. She regards her mother tongue as an inferior language instead of being proud of it. Traditionally, individuals are categorized according to the kind of English that they speak. In this case, the family of Amy Tan has the perspective that they cannot fully integrate with other people because they will not be able to communicate...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

The Mother Tongue The Mother Tongue The expectation of the society made the and the mother to change the use of language to adapt to their different needs in life. According to the writer, her mother had imperfect or broken English language, a fact that affected her mother’s social life. For instance, she note that her mother was never taken seriously in numerous situations she should have been taken serious prompting to her receiving poor services. For instance, the writer notes that at the age of 15, her mother used her to get right quality or desired services from both the hospital and stockbroker among other places (Tan 24). In...
1 Pages(250 words)Coursework
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 My mother tongue for FREE!

Contact Us