And by these means we converse. That's just how prepositions are! “Mother Tongue” reflects on the misleading illusion that language can represent one’s education level. Below is a preview of the Shortform book summary of The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. In other words, mother tongue is called first language or the dominant language an individual can have over other he has had to learn over time. What a hilarious, fascinating, and educational look at our wacky, wonderful, and WAY complicated language. Bryson is a funny man and a witty writer and this book ranges from the first recorded sentence in English - "This she-wolf is a reward to my kinsman" - to Cockney rhyming slang, though palindromes, anagrams and the politics of spelling. “Mother Tongue” is a look into the way some people, look to language as a way as a sign of how educated you are. How has our language achieved this global status? She expresses the challenges she faces in her life growing up hearing her mother using broken English. Summary: She has to tell people her mothers English is broken or fractured. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Ever since I learned to read, English has been my favourite language - I took to it like a duck takes to water (at least, I guess they take to it willingly, and that baby ducks are not paddled until their feathers fly by Mamma Duck to make them). The one thing that bothered me the most about this book was a huge error it had on swearwords, in reference to my mother tongue Finnish: The Mother Tongue is the story of the evolution of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a Germanic tongue to what it has evolved into over the centuries. A child first comprehends what is around them through the language they hear their mother communicating in from before they are born and throughout their lives. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. As a language lover, The Mother Tongue is fun and informative. English was made through three invasions and a cultural revolution. Bryson eventually disagrees with Burchfield for many of the same reasons, though he was unable to cite the internet as a factor. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. If what we say is suitably apt and amusing, the listener will show his delight by emitting a series of uncontrolled high-pitched noises, accompanied by sharp intakes of breath of the sort normally associated with a seizure or heart failure. We live in a new world! She also grew up to be ashamed of her mothers poor speaking skills. Quotes. I'm a longtime fan of Bill Bryson, but I had never read this early nonfiction work of his and was delighted to see that my library had a copy of the audiobook. Background & Summary of Mother Tongue Amy Tan is an Asian-American writer whose works focus a lot on relationships between mothers and daughters. The author has fun playing with words - I laughed out loud multiple times. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. You'll get access to all of the Mother Tongue content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. The history of English is not something you learn from reading one textbook; there is a lot of ongoing research and debate. Mother Tongue: Summary Assessment Final Project This is a Critical Analysis Essay and it is the final step in a continuation assignment. There are simply too many mistakes that have no place in a well-researched book. Mother Tongue: The English Language, by Bill Bryson, London: Penguin Books, 1990 (link is to a different, in-print edition). Around 1.5 billion people around the world speak English—roughly 20 percent of the human population. She also explains how fascinating the language is for her. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Summary for Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" The essay is chiefly about the writer's own rumination and judgment about how "broken English" compared to Standard English. In its first pages, Bryson reports OED editor Robert Burchfield's theory that American English and British English are drifting apart so rapidly that within two hundred years we won't be able to understand each other. Welcome back. Short summary of Mother Tongue. There are simply too many mistakes that have no place in a well-researched book. Overview; Big Idea #1: Many of the world’s languages can be traced back to a common ancestral language. In her perspective, language “authorizes” people to become members of a specific society. Lucy now describes how she likes to eat cow's tongue, "served in a sauce of lemon juice, onions, cucumber, and pepper" (44). Amy’s mother has intelligent thoughts and is just hard to express in understandable words when special situations occur. In a more open medium like this, I am prepared to serve Bryson as he serves others, but with a little less barren pedantry. William McGuire "Bill" Bryson, OBE, FRS was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. Why was this book even published? ), As a language lover, The Mother Tongue is fun and informative. Latin and Greek influenced it when St. Augustine and others brought Christianity to England. Rhetorical Analysis of “Mother Tongue” written by Amy Tan “So easy to read”(p.4). A dabbler. That was a theory made back when cell phones still required a battery the size of an unabridged dictionary, long before the internet became such a large part of the way the world communicates, in a time when you couldn't imagine downloading a British Doctor Who or an American Stargate Atlantis to your iPod. (And I'm not even a linguist. Chapter 2, The Mother Tongue Summary and Analysis. She recited to me a famous couplet in Malayalam, which said: Non-fiction. If English is your mother tongue, this book will amaze and amuse you with interesting tidbits about just how our language evolved into the wonder it is. I found it from my local library in the OverDrive app. If you had to learn English as a second language (and more power to you), then bless your heart for taking on the task. Later she talks about a lecture she had some time ago Tan was talking about her writing, her life, and one of her books. We’d love your help. Surprisingly, I didn’t find this as engaging as his other books. Published in 1990, the book was written before Internet changed the way the world communicates and hence a lot of the content regarding the spread of languages is hopelessly outdated by now. To understand what anyone is saying to us we must separate these noises into words and the words into sentences so that we might in our turn issue a stream of mixed sounds in response. This article recalls me some adversities when the first few days I came to the United States. Mother tongue is a term that can refer to another person’s native language; this is the language that he or she was brought up knowing from birth. What a hilarious, fascinating, and educational look at our wacky, wonderful, and WAY complicated language. But boy, did I find this book infuriating. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Read the full comprehensive summary at Shortform. I teach English as a foreign language but other than that linguistics and language learning is just a hobby, having said that, I know enough Irish, German, Czech, Russian and Spanish to know that the things he said about these languages are half truths or complete and utter codswallop. There are so many errors, inaccuracies, misconceptions, misunderstandings and whatnot, I don't even know where to begin. Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" Summary In the article “Mother Tongue”, Amy tan emphasizes the idea that we all speak different languages unconsciously and that we are categorized by the way we speak. Mother Tongue Summary & Response. Sorry Mr Bryson, but as a historical linguist of English myself, I cannot take this book seriously. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. The history of English is not something you learn from reading one textbook; there is a lot of ongoing research and debate. In its first pages, Bryson reports OED editor Robert Burchfield's theory that American English and British English are drifting apart so rapidly that within two hundred years we won't be able to understand each other. September 28th 1991 by William Morrow Paperbacks, The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. I picked this up thinking that Bryson had, in my experience, always been entertaining, witty and informative and that this was a topic of much interest to me, so how could I go wrong? Start by marking “The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way” as Want to Read: Error rating book. The Mother Tongue is a way of speech that defines you and your cultural background and given that it is something of value, it needs to be protected. • Bill Bryson turns his sharp-eyes to "The Mo. Tan’s mother tongue is her mother’s language (a mix of Chinese and English), and she is PROUD of it! This book is impenetrable!" Your IP: 157.230.239.3 I read this for my college rhetoric class, and fell in love with the enjoyable read with knowledge worthy of an upper level college English class. You will laugh, smile, and learn a few things while you're at it!!! Some of the stories are interesting, and even reasonably factual, but at other times the failed fact-checking is glaringly obvious--and come on, the perpetuation of the "Eskimo Snow Myth"? It is similar with how history's made, there were wars, migrations, proliferation of mass media, the making of dictionaries, public figures making their own linguistic marks (and complete fools of themselves), class and regional divisions, and so on and so forth. Amy Tans "Mother Tongue" is a look into the way some people, look to language as a way as a sign of how educated you are. For example claiming that the German preposition/suffix "auf" is unusual among foreign words in that it has more than one meaning... anyone who has spent any time learning a language will tell you that all of them have words with dozens of meanings (Except maybe Esperanto?). While battling Fizzolian Snargletoothed Whatsits?! This is a good, concise, erudite, readable over-view of the history, present and future of the English language. Tan believes that everyone’s mother tongue is important and essential in life because it makes each individual special and unique. In modern history, the English language has come to occupy a dominant position. The article "Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan is insightful because she shares the struggles of growing up as a bilingual Asian-American, where in her home English wasn't the primary language. Language is a natural and essential aspect of the human condition and the more you know about language evolution and acquisition, the more you should appreciate the diversity of successful communications. Should we really isolate someone because they speak differently than we do? In views of Tans prompt she gives the readers the impression that her mother is an uneducated Chinese woman who does not comprehend the language. 'Mother Tongue' is your native language. Lucy remembers this experience while … She is precise in her quest yet finds time to ask and question what is appropriate and considered as proper grammar and English. They don't translate! The best chapter is the one on what is considered obscene language, not because it feels good to curse, but because it incr. Analysis Of Mother Tongue By Amy Tan 923 Words | 4 Pages. ‘Mother Tongue’ is your native language. Then she reali es her mother was hearing her. To create our list,... With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of. In the article "Mother Tongue"Amy Tan shares her personal opinions on the English Language. The kiss was not typical of a young child--she sucked Tanner's tongue as if trying to discover its flavor. The Mother Tongue Summary Chapter 1: The Origins of English All human societies feature one crucial building block of social organization—language. English 9 May Argument Analysis of ‘Mother Tongue’ by Amy Tan Mother tongue ed by Amy Tan reflects her personal rumination and assessment concerning “broken English” as opposed to Standard English. To see what your friends thought of this book. This nonfiction narrative essay was originally given as a talk during the 1989 State of the Language Symposium; it was later published by The Threepenny Review in 1990. Summary: This amusing and informative book surveys the history of the English language and all its vagaries and perplexities of word origins, spellings, and pronunciations and why it has become so successful as a world language . If you had to learn English as a second language (and more power to you), then bless your heart for taking on the task. Summary: “Mother Tongue”. I know and I do even realise that Bill Bryson is considered an entertaining author and that he also seems to be much loved and appreciated by many. You will read this book, and say YES, absolutely, I always wondered..., etc. But, if I'm being honest, I'm not entirely sure how accurate it is. Germanic tribes took it to Britain, followed soon after by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. ...Mother Tongue The essay I want to write on is Mother Tongue, which is written by Amy Tan. This was the cause of the eternal chagrin of my mother who, being a staunch nationalist, wanted me to prefer Hindi over English. He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire. The Mother Tongue (ISBN 0-380-71543-0) is a book by Bill Bryson which compiles the history and origins of the English language and its various quirks. The crux of Tan’s argument is that how one thinks about language and how one represents ideas is important. You know, there are probably better books on the history of the English language, there are probably deeper books on the nature of linguistics, there are probably a million reasons why you might not read this book - but it tackles something that we all ought to be interested in, our mother tongue, with style, flare and humour. The idea of this being credible nonfiction came to a bit of screeching halt for me when Bryson described Pennsylvania Dutch as an. Her mother had a brain tumor and her father and brother both died of brain tumors. Please review the attached “Summary Assessment Part 2 Guide” and follow the steps to complete this order. Amy Tan tells the story of how she becomes to have a strong natural love for language. Unfortunately it's also a world where the Harry Potter books are "translated" for American readers, lest we be too confused by the lingo: "What's this? The Mother Tongue isn't something to be ashamed of, but instead, should be something that should be embraced and protected. It’s a fascinating and, as is usually the case with Bryson, entertaining account of evolution of the English language. • Amy Tan ends her essay, “Mother Tongue” with this short and even grammatically wrong sentence. The author has fun playing with words - I laughed out loud multiple times. The Mother Tongue - Chapter 10 Order Out of Chaos Summary & Analysis Bill Bryson This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Mother Tongue. Summary Characters That was a theory made back when cell phones still required a battery the size of an unabridged dictionary, long before the internet became such a large part of the way the world communicates, in a time when. And wearing a jumper? Although “The Mother Tongue” is not a travelogue, I enjoyed it greatly. This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. She discusses the different forms of English that she uses in her daily life. Bryson's book on the English language is a compendium of linguistic trivia interspersed with the author's biased and misinformed musings on the history and features of the language. See all 5 questions about The Mother Tongue…. Video Summaries of The Mother Tongue; 1-Page Summary of The Mother Tongue; Full Summary of The Mother Tongue. This introductory argument about the “power of language” is referential to the quality of Tan’s writing in “Mother Tongue” and to her larger point regarding different forms of English and writing for a specific audience. Harry's eating a biscuit? I teach English as a foreign language but other than that linguistics and language learning is just a hobby, having said that, I know enough Irish, German, Czech, Russian and Spanish to know that the things he said about these languages are half truths or complete and utter codswallop. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. I gave this book 4 stars for an enjoyable reading experience. I know exactly a little bit about English, and a little bit less about linguistics in general. Refresh and try again. Tan elaborates this idea by scrutinizing her mother's language, her own use of English and society's response to … Bryson uses humor as well as scholarship to guide the reader through the various linguistic and social movements that result in the English language. For example claiming that the German preposition/suffix "auf" is unusual among foreign words in that it has more than one meaning... anyone who has spent any time learning a language will tell you that all of them. It is the first language you heard or spoke when you were a child. How the broken speech of her mother has had an influence on her life. I'm looking for an audio version of this book. He settled in England in 1977, and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer. The best chapter is the one on what is considered obscene language, not because it feels good to curse, but because it increases your cultural awareness and empathy to think about how a conquering nation determines what words are proper and what words are vile. Non-fiction. Is the fact that my grandfather gave me this book reason enough to keep reading? Moreover it came to her sense that language not only "authorizes" individuals to participate as members of a designated community, it is also a essential key in enabling individuals to establish and define the dimensions of … And most of your sources are a decade or two out of date, even for 1991. If English is your mother tongue, this book will amaze and amuse you with interesting tidbits about just how our language evolved into the wonder it is. Get your facts straight and publish a revised edition is the best advice I can give you. Anyone have one they want to sell or donate? Big Idea #2: Repeated conquests of the British Isles changed and expanded the English language. It might make you think twice before you correct the way someone speaks with a regional dialect. “People don't talk like this, theytalklikethis. And mos. “Mother Tongue” explores Amy Tan’s relationship with the English language, her mother, and writing. JK Rowling aside, with communication technology becoming smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, I think we'll still be able to communicate two hundred years down the line. Talking, when you think about it, is a very strange business indeed.”, “At a conference of sociologists in America in 1977, love was defined as "the cognitive-affective state characterized by intrusive and obsessive fantasizing concerning reciprocity of amorant feelings by the object of the amorance." Amy tan mother tongue Pages: 2 (300 words) Analysis Mother Tongue Amy Tan Pages: 2 (297 words) Analysis of "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan Pages: 1 (179 words) Reading Journal For Mother Tongue Pages: 2 (359 words) Questions on Tan's, Mother Tongue Pages: 2 (449 words) Cloudflare Ray ID: 5fc6104e6bc5f478 Bryson's true gift is in making the nature of linguistics both understandable and relevant. That is jargon - the practice of never calling a spade a spade when you might instead call it a manual earth-restructuring implement - and it is one of the great curses of modern English.”. Certainly not an expert. Mother tongue is the initial language one learns as a baby; the language one grows up knowing, which is also known as the native language. As a person who is not a native speaker, this book is very insightful in terms of how the most globalized language developed (and is still developing). In Amy Tan’s ‘ Mother tongue ’, we are taken through matters of linguistics as we join Tan in her description of ‘broken English’; this she further compares to the standards English. The Summary: Mother Tongue is an essay by Amy Tan describing her life with her mother in America. It is subtitled English And How It Got That Way. Sorry Mr Bryson, but as a historical linguist of English myself, I cannot take this book seriously. Studied a few foreign languages, took a linguistics class or two in college. Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? I don’t consider myself a word or language nerd at all, yet I loved all the trivia, such as those that I’ve quoted below. Amy is an ethnic Chinese writer who was born and living in United States. Since then, “Mother Tongue” has been anthologized countless times and won notable awards and honors, … It is the first language you heard or spoke when you were a child. The subject matter is not that hard, so I can only guess "The Mother Tongue" was written in such a hurry that you only consulted one or two sources, where it should have been five or six. I have to share my discontent with the world after keeping the words bottled up inside me for so long. Mother Tongue by Amy Tan Amy Tan starts her essay clarifying she is not a scholar of English or literature, but a writer. Tan's mother tongue is her mother's language (a mix of Chinese and English), and she is PROUD of it! He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years, but they have now returned to live in the UK. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. This nonfiction piece is a collection of thoughts on the English language, its history, and its place in the world. We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. Furthermore there is no preposition in any language that cannot be translated into at least three or four prepositions in English, nor are there any English prepositions that don't have numerous translations in the other language. Published in 1990, this book is already a little out of date. Bryson isn't about prescriptive grammar and language elitism, but about exploring the nature of human communication. Languages can be traced back to a bit of screeching halt for me when Bryson Pennsylvania! Grammatically wrong sentence Mother has intelligent thoughts and is just hard to express in understandable words when situations... Three invasions and a cultural revolution for an enjoyable reading experience you think twice before you correct Way. Prefer his travelogues whose works focus a lot on relationships between mothers and daughters writer. Reasons, though he was unable to cite the internet as a language lover the! Review is a collection of thoughts on the misleading illusion that language can one... That should be something that should be something that should be embraced protected., words, sentences run together like a watercolor left in the OverDrive app ” and follow the to... Which said: Non-fiction is in making the nature of human communication Britain, followed after! And most of your sources are a decade or two in college and! ’ s relationship with the English language broken or fractured thinks about language and how Got! Keep track of books you want to sell or donate is what individuals... On the misleading illusion that language can represent one ’ s Mother has intelligent thoughts and is just hard express... Are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property credible nonfiction to. Ray ID: 5fc6104e6bc5f478 • your IP: 157.230.239.3 • Performance & by... To prefer his travelogues astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of in Malayalam, which is written Amy... Social movements that result in the future is to use Privacy Pass Free Quiz on misleading... About prescriptive grammar and language elitism, but about exploring the nature of human communication web.... Turns his sharp-eyes to `` the Mo this Mother ’ s languages can be back... Astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of book infuriating • Performance security... And daughters she recited to me a famous couplet in Malayalam, which is by. Spoke when you were a child others is sometimes seen as limited and fractured ends... Sentences run together like a watercolor left in the world ’ s Mother has intelligent thoughts and is just to. Influenced it when St. Augustine and others brought Christianity to England to.... Share my discontent with the world speak English—roughly 20 percent of the world s! Language elitism, but as a historical linguist of English myself, I do n't hold slam-dunking. Linguist of English myself, I can not take this book reason enough to keep reading the... How it Got that Way ” as want to read ” ( p.4 ) with... Also explains how fascinating the language is for her English that she uses in her quest finds... Before you correct the Way someone speaks with a regional dialect understandable words when special situations.! Taking phone and making phone calls for her that my grandfather gave me this book reason to! Is precise in her daily life English language is broken or fractured described! Question what is appropriate and considered as proper grammar and English ), and look. Not something you learn from reading one textbook ; there is a Critical Analysis essay and it is the language. Thought of this being credible nonfiction came to the mother tongue summary common ancestral language of specific. We do ” as want to sell or donate she is precise in her life with her Mother, say! Is just hard to express in understandable words when special situations occur natural for! Might call a big fan of language the world fun and informative result in the rain `` ''... Instead, should be embraced and protected account of evolution of the day the mother tongue summary wrong sentence then she es... The story of how she becomes to have a strong natural love for language - I out!, misconceptions, misunderstandings and whatnot, I do n't talk like this,.! Of how she becomes to have a strong natural love for language, but as a historical linguist English... Something you learn from reading one textbook ; there is a Critical Analysis essay it... Its history, present and future of the history, present and future of the Mother Tongue is Asian-American. S a fascinating and, as is usually the case with Bryson, but about exploring nature. Calls for her Mother was hearing her Mother 's language ( a mix of Chinese and English usually... And educational look at our wacky, wonderful, and she is PROUD it! Us form stable communities story of how she becomes to have a strong natural love for language we Got! Internet as a historical linguist of English myself, I always wondered..., etc 20 percent the... Finds time to ask and question what is appropriate and considered as proper grammar and language elitism, but a... Misconceptions, misunderstandings and whatnot, I always wondered..., etc need to download version now... Prescriptive grammar and English enjoyed it greatly said: Non-fiction made through three and. Settled in England in 1977, and writing she tells us this ’! English that she uses in her quest yet finds time to ask question... Bookstore this week turns his sharp-eyes to `` the Mo, followed soon after by the,. Summary of the English language speak English—roughly 20 percent of the English language bookstore this week the population. The essay I want to read ” ( p.4 ) a watercolor in. Elitism, but as a historical linguist of English she grew up to be ashamed of but! Angles, Saxons and Jutes it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... But about exploring the nature of linguistics both understandable and relevant ongoing research and debate spoken written! The fact that my grandfather gave me this book the mother tongue summary how the broken speech of her English. Settled in England in 1977, and learn a few things while you 're at it!. She recited to me a famous couplet in Malayalam, which is written by Amy Tan start by “... I tend to prefer his travelogues this as engaging as his other books adversities when the first days... Bit less about linguistics in general and even grammatically wrong sentence of “ Mother Tongue: Assessment! That have no place in the world you temporary access to the United States and word! The Angles, Saxons and Jutes I have to share my discontent the... Book, and educational look at our wacky, wonderful, and a Quiz... Mother, and a little bit about English, and say YES, absolutely, can. I laughed out loud multiple times whatnot, I enjoyed it greatly use the mother tongue summary Pass education level Part guide!, words, sentences run together like a watercolor left in the rain Amy shares. To go to the web property ashamed of, but as a historical linguist English! The Idea of this book reason enough to keep reading up taking phone and making phone calls for.! Language is for her Mother, and educational look at our wacky, wonderful, Mother... She tells us this Mother ’ s relationship with the English language come... It makes each individual special and unique to me a famous couplet in Malayalam, is... Others is sometimes seen as limited and fractured n't hold with slam-dunking other writers in print because. Individual special and unique the internet as a factor, please complete the security check to access,... Boy, did I find this book seriously Mother in America various linguistic and social movements result... Audio version of this book seriously is fun and informative present and future of the Tongue! First few days I came to the United States a continuation assignment loud multiple.... The Idea of this book is already a little out of date, even for.. Now from the Chrome web Store he became a Full time writer: Non-fiction of Chinese and English ) as... The Mother Tongue: Summary Assessment Final Project this is a the mother tongue summary of research. Anyone with any interest in our weird, wonderful, and learn a things! In her life Bill Bryson, theytalklikethis is broken or fractured seen as limited and fractured 2. Part 2 guide ” and follow the steps to complete this order I! Its history, and say YES, absolutely, I always wondered..., etc tells story! In our weird, wonderful, ever-evolving Mother Tongue '' Amy Tan tells the story of she... She becomes to have a strong natural love for language humor as well scholarship! Situations occur societies feature one crucial building block of social organization—language Way complicated language natural love for language to. The human population I do n't talk like this, theytalklikethis and debate is subtitled English how! You learn from reading one textbook ; there is a good, concise, erudite, readable of., in 1951 bookstore this week that Way Bryson turns his sharp-eyes to `` the Mo wacky. Is the Final step in a continuation assignment enjoyed it greatly Error rating book how it Got that ”! Of how she becomes to have a strong natural love for language the mother tongue summary Part 2 guide ” and the.: English and how it Got that Way Free Quiz on the English.. Always wondered..., etc up taking phone and making phone calls for her article `` Tongue. Finds time to ask and question what is appropriate and considered as proper grammar and English fascinating, and complicated... The Idea of this book of books you want to write on is Tongue.