Language = Personality? Essay

1125 words - 5 pages

Since English is essential in getting by in America, people are more likely to judge a person by his/her English mastery. If you speak English well and fluently, you are quite respected. In other words, if you speak “Broken” English, they may subconsciously think of you as less intelligent than people who speak Standard English. However, does a person’s language mastery reflect complete personality? Since it has not been officially approved that language reveals complete personality, it is inaccurate to judge a person by his/her language mastery.
The dangers of linking one's worth to his/her language mastery are obvious as it promotes racial discrimination and the loss of identity. Racial discrimination, which actions against equality and the fundamental human rights of another simply because of race or other factors of identity, is by far the biggest issue result from the linkage between language and personality. Since English becomes essential worldwide, people who don't speak English well are often discriminated against by people who do. An example is Chang-Rae Lee’s mother, from the article “Mute in an English-Only World”. As a Korean immigrant who only speaks a little English and mostly Korean, she goes through a huge humiliation and embarrassment because of her "Broken" English. While she goes to a market to buy oxtail, she acts like a mute because she doesn’t know how to speak “Oxtail” in English. Because of that, the male server acts rudely and impatiently to her, which makes her furious and go mad later in the parking lot. However, at the end of his article, Lee indicates that his mother is an enthusiastic English learner who keeps studying English till she dies of cancer. She turns out to be a person that is passionate about learning. It is obvious that the server’s behavior displays real ignorance and is pretty discriminatory to the mother at any rate, and no one should go through that kind of humiliation.
Since America is a multinational society, the link between languages to personality may also promote the loss of identity. An example is Amy Tan, from her article “Mother Tongue”. In the beginning of her life, Tan was always ashamed of her mother’s “Broken” English. As an attempt to get away from this side of her heritage, she becomes a great writer. She writes with great English and diction, and uses plenty of vocabulary. However, she soon realizes that she is being someone she is not. Tan’s story is a revelation of what the majority people think today that no one wants to be misunderstood by their language mastery. Because of this thought, people are desperate to clear their accents, and try their best to speak English perfectly, and more perfectly. Soon, there would be no other identities in America except Americans. If that is the case, it would be a great loss to the country because no one would want to immigrate to a country that fulfilled with forced assimilation.
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