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Bajracharya 1

Shristi Bajracharya
Professor Malvin
English 114 A
22 September 2015
For The Love of Language
In Amy Tans essay Mother Tongue, she explains how she overcame adversities and
managed to pursue a career in writing. As a young immigrant student, she always found herself
being the translator between her mother and other people outside their family. The irony was that
her mother wasnt speaking any other language but English. Coming from China, her mothers
English wasnt the same as everyone elses, so Tan, being her smart young daughter, pretended to
be her mother at times. Tan faced a lot of difficulties in her life while trying to prove to herself
and to everyone how much she could contribute to the field of English language. I have been in
love with language, and Ive encountered similar problems like Tans. Not once did she give in to
the negative feedback she got in her life, and this was a very inspirational for me since Ive been
on a journey to conquer the art of writing as well.
I didnt speak perfect English at home. My English wasnt good enough to be exposed to
people other than my teachers. Since my mother tongue is Nepali, we mostly conversed in
Nepali with each other at home. Similar to Tans essay, the English that I spoke with my family
was different and it consisted a lot of Nepali words. While I did speak English with my parents at
home, I felt that their English was not perfect and would not help me improve mine. I never

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thought of this English as the right English, nor did I think of I think of it as a slang. For me, it
was simply a language that we had invented, the language I seek comfort in.
It may seem strange for someone who wasnt born into an English speaking family to fall
in love with the language, but something about words and its power to build an entire imaginary
world had me completely mesmerized. I have always admired language and its abilities. I think
what I share in common with Tan is our love for language. Tan has eloquently illustrated her love
for language, and I can relate to every word she speaks about how deeply she was attached to it.
English was my favorite subject in school. Although I did feel a bit pessimistic about my
language skills, I never once turned my back against language and literature. When I was
fourteen, a wise person once advised me to read books to keep myself occupied. She told me that
books could be my best friends. At first, I did not believe a word she said, but gradually, I
developed the habit of reading and ever since then, I have been in love with the fictional world. I
found great comfort in reading and wished to possess the same imaginative minds as those of the
authors. I wasnt the best in class, but I wasnt bad either. I wished to excel in English even
though I wasnt surrounded by a suitable environment for it. I tried my best not to use this
English outside the house; however, every once in a while, my tongue would slip and Id find
myself speaking a few words that would make people squint their eyes and wonder what I had
just uttered.
What inspires me most is how rebellious she was against her obstacles and how she
fought all of them to achieve her goal. I tried my best to write in high school. I believe I was a
poor writer, for I lacked imagination and creativity. This wasnt brought into my realization until
my teacher asked me to stop choosing the fictional topics over the argumentative ones. She

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advised me to write essays that suit my ideas better, such as argumentative topics and research
essays, and told me fictional writing was not my field of specialty.
At first, I did agree with my teacher and considered writing non-fiction, but I didnt feel
the same thrill that I felt while writing fiction. So I started writing fiction again, even though I
wasnt really good at it. I had these amazing ideas in my mind that I really wanted to translate
into words, but I always failed to create the ultimate world that I had intended to build with my
ideas and words. At some point, I believed that writing wasnt meant for me, or that I was in love
with something that I could never acquire. I slightly felt like a saddened young fellow in a fairy
tale who was betrayed by something he loved deeply. I was envious of my classmate who always
managed to get the best grades in English effortlessly. It got worse when the teacher started
reading his essays to the class and praised him for his fine work. My confidence level dropped so
low that I no longer felt the same enthusiasm I used to feel every time I read or wrote. I wouldnt
say I hit rock bottom because I still kept writing even when I lacked the zeal I previously
possessed.
I suppose this certain phase that I went through was part of the learning process. I started
reading more and took a keen interest in genres I hadnt touched before. I fought against the
waves of pessimism my mind possessed and tried harder than ever to achieve my goal. Tan states
in her essay how she rebelled against her inhibitions, Fortunately, I happen to be rebellious in
nature and enjoy the challenge of disproving assumptions made about me (Tan 3). Similarly, I
felt an urge to prove everyone, including myself, that I could actually write fiction. I wasnt
going to give up something I loved simply because there was a point where I felt I couldnt meet
the average standards for it.

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Today, Im still reading and learning how to write. Im not great, but Im not bad either.
Ive come a long way from where Ive started and this gives me enough hope to continue my
journey. I dont blame my family or the different languages I speak every time I fail to write an
essay accurately. If anything, I am grateful for the experiences that I get from speaking different
languages. They help me write by providing me with all these ideas, both humorous and
dramatic. Tan is an inspiring figure who inspires us to rebel against the forces that keep us from
achieving our goals. Especially for a student like me, who loves and enjoys the nature of the
English language, but comes from a background with a different first language. My passion for
language has helped me find direction in life and I wish to master it no matter what adversities I
have to face in. At the end of the day, I think it is going to be completely worth it.

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Work Cited
Tan, Amy. Mother Tongue. Models For Writers: Short Essays For Composition.Ed
Alfred

Rosa and Paul Eschholz, Boston, New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2015. 527-

530. Print.

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