Mother Tongue Reaction

In this piece by Amy Tan, the idea of language and language skills are key. After reading through the excerpt, I found it to be eye-opening. Having grown up in an English speaking home, I never had to worry about speaking in different tongues to different people. My native language is English and my inner dialogue is English. I couldn’t imagine the frustration in not being able to express myself eloquently; not being able to express how I feel, not being able to explain to others what I might have seen. Unfortunately, you become forced to deal with individuals who view you differently, who view you as a lesser individual. This is why language comprehension and expression is such a large part of who you are socially. In this country it isn’t about the content of your thoughts, but your ability to express these thoughts to others clearly. Without this ability, no matter how smart you might be, people simply do not take you seriously. Linguistic capabilities go hand in hand with how much credibility you carry within society. And credibility is what affords you opportunity in this world.


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