Essay: Mother tongue

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Essay: Mother tongue

Sample Essay

The title of the reading is mother tongue written by Amy Tan. It was published in the year 1997.

Words looked up and definitions

Some of the words that have been looked up in this essay include ii-ne implying time, upoi implying upon. She also uses the words “thus-and-iluis” to mean ones way of thinking.

Short summary

The essay is about the importance of language and the effects it has on one’s daily life for “it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth”. The narrator is giving out speech to some people in the presence of her mother although for the first time and she is using the language the mother is not used to. Although she does not have the mastery of English she uses some mother tongue words when she is cannot get an English word for some issues.

The speech she is giving makes her know that she does not know the language properly. She makes her mother understand that she has learnt English in school by using some words that she has never used while at home, even though her tense is not good. She does not like the kind of English she uses when with her mother. As she is discussing about the price of new and used furniture with her mother she says “not waste money that way”. Her husband is there but she does not notice that grammar because she has been using that kind of language since they met. She thinks that it has become their family language.

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