The English language is full of traps for people learning it as a second language. Download "The Mother Tongue Book Summary, by Bill Bryson" as PDF. For example, the word “brave” once meant something close to “cowardly,” while its root is related to depravity. 1. The settlers were quick to introduce Native American words into the English language. Now everyone has a legal name and documents that give their names, occupations and places of residence. Download "The Mother Tongue Book Summary, by Bill Bryson" as PDF. Mother Tongue-Based-Multilingual Education. Later, a German mapmaker named the continent after Vespucci because he thought that Vespucci had discovered the entire land. I'll send you notes on entrepreneurship and summaries of the best books I'm reading. Similarly, Malaysia has been trying to phase out English since the 1970s but continues to use it for professional and educational purposes. Bill Bryson has encountered many examples of English as a second language. It’s easier to say that you’re going to the gym rather than a gymnasium. This led to the emergence of modern-day English as we know it today. Nobody really knows, but it’s believed that humans didn’t say anything for 100,000 years. However, there are certain ideas that are easier to explain in other languages than they are in English. Want to get smarter, faster? The name “America” had already spread widely by then. 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. Shortform has the world’s best summaries of nonfiction books and articles. Big Idea #5: Our last names can reveal information about our family’s past. Nigeria also has a history of attempting to eliminate English but still uses it for business purposes. If you know someone with the last name of Smith, Schmidt, Herrero or Kovacs, they probably share a common ancestor who worked as a metalsmith. The author is a fictional writer who is “fascinated by language in daily life” and uses language as a daily part of her work as a writer. It’s interesting that the addition of a prefix can sometimes create words with similar meanings, such as “habitable” and “inhabitable.” Sometimes new words are created by shortening longer ones. Big Idea #3: As English evolved, new words were added and old ones took on new meanings. As a result, even when speaking their native languages, people use certain words without translating them from English. Sometimes, words will take on new meanings while keeping the old ones. They removed swear words from literature and even changed Shakespeare’s works by removing “damned” from every play. The Mother Tongue Book Summary, by Bill Bryson, Make It Stick Book Summary, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel. How the broken speech of her mother has had an influence on her life. I don't think that there is any way anyone and accurately say that music is the…, Bowling For Columbine... finished reflection, Is Violence Reflected in Music-Bowling for Columbine. Tan's mother tongue is her mother's language (a mix of Chinese and English), and she is PROUD of it! One of the changes in the basic curriculum of education brought about by the new K + 12 program is the introduction of Mother Tongue – based Multilingual Education. Big Idea #4: Words were created in the New World through adaptation and “America” came about through a misunderstanding. Surnames that indicate lineage include Peterson or Johnson. It’s also likely that their ancestors lived in England at some point because names like James of Preston were simplified over time to skip the preposition and leave just James Preston. The Summary: Mother Tongue is an essay by Amy Tan describing her life with her mother in America. Shortform: The World's Best Book Summaries, Shortform Blog: Free Guides and Excerpts of Books. She is the author of different novels including children books, essays, and memoir. She begins this narrative essay by talking about the day she became aware of the different forms of English that she was using at home and during formal events. English was once the language of nobility in Britain. Volapuk did not feature the letter “r” because he thought it was too hard for children, elderly people, or native Chinese speakers to pronounce. It is the first language you heard or spoke when you were a child. She grew up taking phone and making phone calls for her mother. Tan believes that everyone's mother tongue is important and essential in life because it makes each individual special and unique. Americans were even more prudish than their English counterparts during this time period. It’s hard to imagine all this happening without some sort of communication system in place. It will continue to do so in any time period, regardless of its oppression or liberation. Along the way, you’ll learn more about our culture as well. Many countries that were colonized by the British Empire adopted English as their official language. The Mother Tongue isn't something to be ashamed of, but instead, should be something that should be embraced and protected. As a result, we borrow some of our words from other languages. For example, in Latin, “king” is “rex”, and in Sanskrit it’s “raja”. How Do You Build One? It had an English-like structure but its vocabulary was obscure and difficult to understand. For example, words like heard/beard are spelled similarly but pronounced differently; five/give; early/dearly; road/broad, etc., have different pronunciations despite being spelled almost identically. The Mother Tongue Summary Chapter 2: Later Development of English We’ve seen how invasions from the Angles, Saxons, Vikings, and Normans helped to form the basic structure of the English language. Like this summary? Tan elaborates this idea by scrutinizing her mother's language, her own use of English and society's response to … For example, India’s constitution was written in English because it is seen as a way to unite its citizens who speak 1,652 different languages and dialects. I didn't know there were…, I think that music has a very small part in violence in the world. And then there are all of these new words that people create to describe things that didn’t exist before. It began when 350 Viking warships left Scandinavia and sailed up the river Thames. In some cases, it’s simply shortening Latin phrases like “fickle crowd” into something more convenient and easy-to-say like “mob”. The priests had memorized certain hymns called the Vedas and were passing them down from generation to generation without understanding what they meant. Mother Tongue Amy Tan Summary 1127 Words | 5 Pages In the essay, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, she narrates to her audience, people who are, or know someone ashamed of their English, that the English they, or anyone else speaks is still English and isn’t “broken.” People in other parts of the world would use names like Tolstoy (“fat”) and Gorky (“bitter”). Big Idea #2: Repeated conquests of the British Isles changed and expanded the English language. Jones noticed that many languages have similar grammatical structures. Summary: “Mother Tongue”. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to hear English words pop up in other European languages. However, many essential terms survived including “love,” “drink,” and so forth because they are fundamental to everyday life. Many people believe that the world is more connected than ever before. For example, he once saw a sign that told drivers to honk the horn “first melodiously” and then with vigor if pedestrians didn’t pay attention. Some professions are still obvious, but others have died out over time, for instance Fletcher refers to a person who makes bows and arrows, and Bateman is an adulteration of boatman. In the past, people didn’t have surnames. There are certain words that can get a movie an R rating, but they’re not always the same. Summary Of Mother Tongue By Amy Tan 883 Words | 4 Pages In “Mother Tongue”, Amy Tan reflects on her childhood to describe how her mother contributed to her understanding of language. Afterward, an area of Britain called the Danelaw was established to divide the nation between the southern English and the northern Vikings. First, some people believe that it’s because of its rich vocabulary and precise words, which make it easier to communicate with one another. They crossed the North Sea to Britain after the Romans had abandoned that area around 450 AD. For example, the US and UK have different versions of English, which are drifting apart so rapidly that residents of those countries won’t be able to understand each other in two hundred years. It’s similar to how people spoke over 1,000 years ago in Britain. Summary Mother Tongue After reading the strongly written “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, it shows a great deal of strength from the Asian American culture. In other languages, you can’t say “I kicked the dog” and mean the same thing as if you said “the dog was kicked by me.” Also, in many languages there would be only one way to say something like “I swim,” but in English we have options such as: I do swim; I am swimming; or I swim. Mother Tongue Questions and Answers - Discover the eNotes.com community of teachers, mentors and students just like you that can answer any question you might have on Mother Tongue English is a language that we use every day, but most of us don’t think about where the words come from. It has 16 rules, no definite articles, regular endings, and logical spelling. Her mother had a brain tumor and her father and brother both died of brain tumors. Subscribe to get summaries of the best books I'm reading. Also, skeletal remains from 20,000 years ago suggest that larynxes were positioned deeper in throats than before which made well articulated speech possible at last. The Celts must have felt indignant about being ruled by an uncivilized hoard with no education or hygiene practices. The Europeans eventually agreed with Jones’ hypothesis and named the parent language Indo-European. Over time, verb tenses were standardized and confusing word endings were removed from its vocabulary. Summary of "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan In "Mother Tongue, Amy Tan writes about how her mother 's broken English affects her life. There are several languages that have been created with the goal of being easier to learn and use. 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. During the 1500s and 1600s, there was a boom in new words. For example, “hickory” was taken from pawcohiccora, which is an Algonquin word. The words for snow and cold are similar, implying that the Indo-Europeans lived in places with a moderate climate. This transformation isn’t uncommon because many Latin words have changed over time. 'Mother Tongue' is your native language. A surname is a name that distinguishes one person from the rest. Then came the Viking invasion of 850 AD. This changed in 1413 with the introduction of medieval bureaucracy in England. 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. Tan encountered numerous situations when she felt like she was being judged based on … English originated from Germanic tribes, a group of people who spoke related languages. Amy Tan is the writer of the article Mother Tongue”. Want to get the main points of The Mother Tongue in 20 minutes or less? It’s pretty easy to take a word and alter it so that its meaning or function changes. Next came Norman rule by William I (the Conqueror) who invaded England in 1066 with over 10,000 French-derived words added to our vocabulary such as “painter,” “tailor,” etc., while Anglo-Saxon terms like “baker” remained for labor jobs due to their lower class status during this period of time under Norman rule where there was a two-tiered society consisting of both French speakers and commoners who spoke only English at this time which eventually evolved into modern day England after 300 years under Norman control from 1066 – 1350 AD.. The kiss was not typical of a young child--she sucked Tanner's tongue as if trying to discover its flavor. Jones noticed that there were many similarities between the European languages and Sanskrit. Posted by Unknown at 4:18 AM. With just three hours per week for a year-long course of study, anyone can become fluent in the language. One such language is Esperanto, which was invented by Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhoff in 1887. Corporations and governments use English to communicate with the rest of the world, and there are many people who learn English as a second language. These branches then subdivided further to become scores of modern languages spoken today. But the most widespread case of extreme primness began in the 19th century, when morality censors tried to sanitize language. People enthusiastically promoted this language for 15 years until it fell out of favor due to its difficulty. Sir William Jones learned Sanskrit in India, even though it was long dead. In “Mother Tongue”, Tan writes about the awareness and discrimination about “broken English” compared to Standard English. Tans work has appeared in McCall’s, Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, and other magazines. One of the most popular attempts was Volapuk, which was invented in 1880 by a German priest named Johann Martin Schleyer. They do much better in math and science. When were the first words spoken? He explored the history of English and how it evolved into what we know today. Such compounds can be vivid and descriptive, such as rattlesnake or catfish. In 1623, the English Parliament made it illegal to swear and threatened to fine people who used words like “Jesus” and “hell.” The laws grew even stricter in 1668, when swearing at your parents could lead to a death sentence! To top it off, he discussed why learning English is so difficult and whether or not that matters in the big picture of things. You'll love my new book summary product Shortform. Read a quick 1-Page Summary, a Full Summary, or watch video summaries curated by our expert team. This presentation led to a new field of study and inspired European scholars to conduct their own research. Thus began a battle that would rage for almost three decades, until the English finally settled things in 878 AD. Short summary of Mother Tongue. Summary of Mother Tongue. 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. Although we are connected in many ways, such as through language, it’s nothing new. Have too much to read? Ordinary people continued to speak English during this time period; however, it was seen as a crude peasants’ tongue because nobility did not use it regularly again until 1399 when Henry IV became king of England after the Norman invasion. This nonfiction piece is a collection of thoughts on the English language, its history, and its place in the world. Lucas Loredo’s stories have been twice named as distinguished by Best American Short Stories, and his essay “Mother Tongue,” originally published in the Oxford American, will be anthologized in Best American Travel Writing 2019.He earned his MFA at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, his hometown. Norman French had an impact on the English language. Even better, it helps you remember what you read, so you can make your life better. We’ve scoured the Internet for the very best videos on The Mother Tongue, from high-quality videos summaries to interviews or commentary by Bill Bryson. However, not enough people have adopted this language to make it useful as a global means of communication—it is unlikely that English will be replaced any time soon. Eventually, those languages branched off into a dozen different groups: Celtic, Germanic, Greek and so on. She is precise in her quest yet finds time to ask and question what is appropriate and considered as proper grammar and English. Shakespeare is responsible for many new words, and Isaac Newton contributed to the English language as well. People have tried to create a new language that is more logical and neutral than English. And when Volkswagen set up a factory in Shanghai they found that too few Germans spoke Chinese and too few Chinese spoke German so everyone agreed to speak English. The early Anglo-Saxons were illiterate and didn’t bathe. Essay on Essay Summary of Mother Tongue Jeffrey Michel Prof. Natalia Sucre ENG 1101 Tues, September 10, 2012 Essays #1: Rough Draft Language & Power in “Mother Tongue” A higher level of Big Idea #6: Words can be perfectly acceptable in one century and profane swear words in the next. After it was reinstated, it became refined and normalized throughout the region. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This quote holds true for English because when settlers came to America they encountered many new plants and animals that needed names. There are many explanations for why English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. Then, she published her first book “The Joy Luck Club” in 1987. They did so after gaining independence because it was the only language they had in common. Humans just produced offspring and survived until about 30,000 years ago when they started to paint cave walls and develop better tools. Bishops, scholars, cooks, and scribes were all replaced by people who could speak French. Background & Summary of Mother Tongue Amy Tan is an Asian-American writer whose works focus a lot on relationships between mothers and daughters. In this chapter, we’ll look at more recent developments in the history of the language that made it into the language we know today. But this wasn’t always the case – historically, English was the main adopter of foreign words. He also stayed in a Yugoslavian hotel where the maids would “flatten” guests’ underwear with pleasure rather than simply saying they offered laundry service. What's special about Shortform: Sound like what you've been looking for? 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. Read the world’s #1 book summary of The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson here.
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