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Mother Tounge - First Generation Problems

            Have you ever had been in a situation where you had to translate for your family member so another peer could understand? In Amy Tan's essay, "Mother Tongue", Tan discusses the many ways in which the language that she was taught affected her life. With her Mother from China, English is not the first language spoken. It was really hard for her mom to communicate with the people in the United States, Tan referred her mothers English as 'broken English". However, her English is much more fluent than her mothers. I can definitely relate to Tan's essay because I too come from a bilingual household. Tan's essay affected me in many ways because I could relate to it so much. In paragraph 14 Tan talks about her mother getting a CAT scan, her mother was waiting anxiously for the results but the doctors had lost the results. The mother tries to talk to them but the staff doesn't respond in a helpful manner until the mother forced them to call Amy. She replies "lo and behold- we had assurance the CAT scans would be found" (Tan14), after the doctors found out she knew fluent English their attitudes shifted. Coming from a first generation it was hard growing up in a family who didn't know English. You feel like you are the spokesperson of the family. .
             My family and I were walking down the streets of Punjab (state in India); we were getting ready to come to the United States. After the long journey overseas, we finally touched land. While we were coming out of the terminals I recall my mother stating in Punjabi, "What is the person on the speaker saying? Harry do you see anyone that speaks Hindi or Punjabi?" I glanced around and at that moment there was no Indian to be found. Tan talks about her mothers English, "Like others, I have described it to people as "broken" or "fractured" English."(Tan 8) My mothers English was the same case, she would know bits a pieces of words and always tried to make into a sentence.

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