The tongue is vital for communication and understanding of the ideas, values, emotions, and desires of the other people. It could be assumed that language creates new conceptions of self-identity, as it is an essential component of one’s personality and can change one’s perceptions, attitudes, and values. The analysis of this phenomenon is conducted with the help of the texts presented in the reading section. In the article How to Tame a Wild Tongue by Gloria Anzaldua, the author describes her personal experience in learning as a Spanish speaker, who experienced a change in attitude due to acquiring a new language (Anzaldua 2951).
In turn, text Speaking in Tongues by Zadie Smith focuses on the impacts of the language on one’s traits and provides an example of Barack Obama to show an ability of a person to successfully combine different characteristics (Smith 2). The article is entirely different from the first one, as Smith is a native English speaker (1).
Firstly, the opinions of Anzaldua are discovered. Anzaldua tells a story about different Spanish dialects, which are present on the territory of the United States of America (2951). In this text, the author, as a Spanish speaker, refers to the fact that “repeated attacks on our native tongue diminish our sense of self” (Anzaldua 2951). She emphatically claims that language is a part of her identity. Anzaldua sees a strong connection between Spanish language and her personality, “I am my language” (2951). This fact helps her save the memories of her childhood and develop the values, which are a part of her family.
Anzaldua also mentions one more interesting fact related to a change of the attitude and person’s values when choosing another language (2951). “English, not Spanish, will be the mother tongue of most of Chicanos and Latinos”, she claims (Anzaldua 2951). In this case, it can also be concluded that people tend to change their attitudes and standards by choosing a different language. The parts of the values still exist, but it is impossible to maintain their significance on the same level as they used to in the past. A combination of languages helps to create a unique identity with a critical understanding of the world from a different point of view.
Speaking of Speaking in Tongues, Smith also addresses the idea of the uniqueness, and the tongue influences the attitude of a person (1). However, his perception is different, as he is a native English speaker. “Many thousands of men and women…have sloughed off their native dialects and acquired a new tongue”, he says (Smith 1). In general, it is clear that people forget about their cultural principles and morals and acquire a new identity with a new language. It seems to have an adverse impact on society, but people still get some benefits from this transformation.
They gain a new ability to combine several mentalities in one and to understand the desires and wants of the other cultures. Barack Obama is one of the bright examples. Despite his cultural background, he can see the world from a dissimilar perspective (Smith 2). In this case, it could be concluded that the tongue serves several duties, as it keeps the old personality and creates a new one at the same time.
It could be said that the tongue is an essential element in the personality generation process, as people tend to adapt to the change of the primary spoken language. Moreover, the tongue has a significant influence on one’s values and perceptions. It might even question the existence of the native langue, as a person, who is living in a foreign environment, might experience changes in personality, as the spoken language is also different.