The article “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan addresses the issue of language can vary in structure depending on the audience in any speech. Tan says that she uses different English while speaking to her mother in comparison to while giving a speech to people. Her mother speaks “broken” English language, but they communicate clearly (Tan). However, other people may not talk with her mother properly. The author’s key point is how language varies in use from one person to another.
The author is addressing Non-Native English speakers and challenges that come with it. The author encourages the non-native English speakers that the English language does not reflect the level of intelligence. It is a way of communication and passing information just like any other. She says that she speaks “good” English to enlightened people such as students but goes back to a “broken” English to communicate with her mother. Most people who cannot articulate the English language effectively are embarrassed in public (Winkler). However, Tan encourages then to keep communicating because it is their mother language. It does matter the language used but the understanding of the concept. She talks with her mother clearly yet other people cannot.
I agree with the author that the use of language varies depending on the audience. It happens unconsciously in the mind of the speaker. In cases where people do not speak using the same structure of English, communication might not be achieved. Tan gives an example of her friends who face challenges while communicating with her mother yet she clearly understands everything (Tan). That is because she understands and can articulate her mother tongue better than anyone else.
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue .” Read (2006): 20-25.
Winkler, Elizabeth. Understanding Language: A Basic Course in Linguistics. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2012.
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