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Post: What makes up my “mother tongue”

In the context of my parents, the initial words, phases while expressing their opinions, or home conversations were my first communication models. My parents’ informal English dialect, as described in the essay as broken or limited English, is the foundation of my communication skills as an Asian American. I had to learn to speak like them before learning what is considered Standard English in a professional setting, like in speech. Since my parent’s structuring of English at home was my first-language “English,” shaking it felt like eroding my mother tongue. For instance, the essay describes the writer’s influences as her mother’s words or phrases linked to specific emotions, visual images, ideas, or truth. Adhering to a mother’s form of language maintains a similarity which is primary. Forming a habit of using a similar way of communicating influences how and what I say based on conditions (environment and people).

Peers and school reinforce informality and formality simultaneously. In an attempt to sound like peers or School-learned, I adopted a communication behavior that is relative to my parent language. My mode of communication became my estimated proximity to either type of English. The upbringing background was my dialect compass because I believe it shaped my mother’s, which is my learning point of origin to avoid sounding like an outsider. Language defines our mastery of linguistic knowledge. It is a representation of the boundaries to fitting into specific conditions. Therefore, the mother tongue is this first language; the daily language. As the writer states, the speech and early writings are expressions of proximate self in terms of Standard English and other englishes. Proximity in terms pronunciation, words, and expression is the critical influence.

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