Not all people who speak the English language speak it the same way. A language can be subdivided into any number of dialects which each vary in some way from the parent English language. “Mother Tongue,” an article based on the power of language; without standard language skills, one is identified as an outsider, often wrongly perceived and unfairly discriminated against.
In the article, Amy Tan describes her observation and thoughts about the use of the English language and the perceptions and prejudices of others regarding other languages. Amy describes the pain and shame she felt observing the negative reaction her mother received from others. Her mother received negative reaction in such places like department stores, banks, and restaurants. People did not take her seriously, they did not give her good service, moreover, they pretend not to understand her, and even acted as if they did not hear her at times.” Language can be the glue that binds individuals into a community; it can also be a double-edged sword that bears the power to alienate an individual from a community. (Green)
The reason they treated Mrs. Tan in such disrespectful manner was because she spoke a non-native variation of English, derogatorily, referred to as “broken” English. Tan believes her mother’s “English” is rich and interesting regardless, of it being entangle with the passion and directness that characterized her mother’s character. “My mother’s English is perfectly clear … It’s my mother tongue. Her language as she hears it is vivid, direct and filled with observation and imagery.” Tan views the “English” that is characterized as broken and inferior as special, intimate and the insight expression of how her mother view the world even though at times she is embarrassed by the way her mother speaks English.
Even if we are not multilingual, do we not all have a different mother tongue taught to