Manipulative Tongues

Language is a form of communication that people or animals use. Since everyone is different, that means that we have different ways of communicating. Mostly by age groups; but there are also other major differences in the way we communicate. .

One day when I was walking from school, I saw an old friend of mines. I didn’t even recognize her until she came up to me.

“Hey! I haven’t seen you in like forever!”

“I know right, how you been?”

“Good, how ‘bout you?”

“I’m great, everything is ok.”  

“That’s good, it’s nice to see you, I gotta go right now, I’ll call you later. Maybe we can go out for lunch or dinner next time.”

“Sure, that’ll be nice, see you!”

People have many different  ways to talk to one another. The Japanese said that you have three faces. The first face is the one you show to the world. The second one is the one that you show to your family and your close friends. The third one is the one that you never show anyone, and that’s the truest reflection of yourself. To my understanding, the faces you show also needs to be shown by communicating. They way you communicate to the people around you shows who you are as an individual.

Most of the time, people talk to their peers, their closest friends, using a slang words, or

short phrases that are usually common within their generation.  Maybe it might be different when you talk to people that’s not your age, because different generations have different ways of speaking. For example, if a teen uses slang talking to an adult, the adult could think that the teen isn’t properly schooled, or is dumb. It’s also the other way around, where the kids would say that the adults are too “old” to know what they are talking about.

Language can intersect with a person’s identity in many different ways.

“Hey man, how you doin?, I heard Tay threw you an oop with that girl the other day.”

“Wassup man, I’ve been good. Yea he did, that girl got them full moons, yamean”

When people hear things like that, they’re going to say that you’re a kid from the hood. But, if someone said,

“Hey, how are you? I haven’t see you in a long time”

“Hi, I’m doing very good, how about you? And yes, I think the last time I saw you was when you were on your way to school.”

Now, if people hear that conversation, they’ll quickly identify me as an educated kid, who’s smart, kind, etc. Since everyone has a language that they speak, people will criticize or assume who you are just by the things you say. If a little kid came up to me, or anyone that’s older than them, and they start cursing and saying things they shouldn’t be saying; we will all automatically say that the little kid was poorly raised.

Why? Because everyone has a fixed mindset on how someone should talk. I think that people would criticize me more just because of my race. Since, I’m Asian, people assume that our parents are strict and that if we curse or say something bad, people are going to say many different things about me. My parents aren’t that strict, they let me do many things and they trust me to do the right things. I know that if I talked to an adult or someone older than me the way that I talk to my friends, they’re going to say that I have no manners and that my parents didn’t raise me correctly.

I talk differently when I’m around different people. If I’m at school, I’ll talk a certain way to my friends and then another way to the adults or teachers. I usually talk using less slang and more proper English with the grown ups that I encounter. I also talk differently when I’m at home. Since my parents doesn’t speak English, I have to speak to them in Indonesian, and I can’t just talk to them as I normally do. It’s the same as if I was talking to an adult in english; I have to speak to them with proper manners because they are my parents and I have to show them respect. Just like the story I read class where the kid also spoke differently with different people.

Whenever I talk, I talk differently depending on who I’m with. Like when I’m with my friends from school, I would talk to them with slang or with more abbreviated words.

“Yo, where ya goin?”

“I got class in like 5 minutes, I gotta get upstairs. How ‘bout you?

“Same, but my next one is on this floor, so I gotta stay here.”

“Ard, see you later b”

“Ard, later”

As the younger or teenage student of this generation, we usually use more abbreviated words. I think that the language that I use can say a little about me. I know that when people hear me talk to my friends, they might be a little shocked, because of my race but since I grew up in South Philly, I talk like how others talked to me while I was growing up. When I talk to people my age, they’ll say that I’m kind of ghetto, or if you can ask any of my friends, the say that I’m not even Asian, I’m black; because of the way I talk to them. They believe that I am a mean person, but to me, when I talk most of the time, I try to tell my friends the truth and it might be mean to them, but I think that it’s better than to tell them a lie and sugar coating something that’s wrong.

If you ask an adult about me, they might say a different thing about me. If someone asks the teachers at school, they might say that I might be a little loud, or that I’m shy because I don’t participate in class. If someone asks the people that I grew up with which is my church community, they’ll say that I a nice kid, but also I can be a little wild. I might from time to time be a little crazy with the things I say, but I’m a funny person and caring most of the time and that I talk to them with respect and honor.

I think that there are many different ways language identifies a person and how I talk says a lot about myself. Since different people talk differently, they might have only one way of talking to everyone, but there are also people like me, who talks differently depending on my environment. There are a many ways a person can communicate in their daily lives, so it's okay if you differently or the same when you communicate.

Comments (9)

Deja Harrison (Student 2018)
Deja Harrison

I learned that you change the way you speak depending on who you are with. You used anecdote mainly to show the differences in language. I like how you started talking more about yourself and how sometimes what you say comes off as mean or rude. I'll remember that your black lol and that there are different ways to communicate.

Sarith Chuon (Student 2018)
Sarith Chuon

I learned that you act very different outside and inside of school. I like the anecdote you used with your dialogue and setting of it too, I was able to see it flow with the reflection with ease. I'll remember that not all asian parents are the same, some are Strict, and I mean STRICT, and some are chill.

Addison Zheng (Student 2018)
Addison Zheng
  1. What did you learn about this person? What I learned was she acts different when it comes to school.

  2. How did they use anecdotes + reflection? How she used anecdote is she had dialogue and a setting. What I learned is not everyone is the same.

  3. What will you remember from this essay? What I'll remember from this essay is some ASIAN PARENTS aren't strict.

Sopheary Sok (Student 2018)
Sopheary Sok

I learned that you talk differently depending on who you are talking to. She used several anecdotes of conversations she had with people to compare how her way of speaking changes. She reflected on how language tells people a lot about themselves and it is okay if you speak the same or different. I will remember that Athalia is black haha.

Imani Williams (Student 2018)
Imani Williams

What I learned from this essay is that you shouldn't be judged by the way you speak ghetto, or with an accent and that we all tend to switch up the way we speak depending on who we are with. Your anecdotes were really good and they backed up your main points, I really love how you started it. I will remember the last paragraph and what you were saying , it was really powerful.

Arielle Moore (Student 2018)
Arielle Moore
  1. I learned that you have different tongues, as does everyone. I liked that you told about how you mainly speak two standard languages, along with different variations of each one.
  2. You show how people often assume that your a certain way because of your background, but you also reflect on how that's incorrect and that making an assumption on a first glance of someone is detrimental to their learning about someone or something
  3. I will remember that you can speak many different tongues fluently, like Philadelphian, "Ghetto", teen, and many others that you wouldn't necessarily consider languages. I like how you included the quote as well.
Mackenzie Harrington (Student 2018)
Mackenzie Harrington

Ghetto from south philly? Haha never heard that before, I live in south philly too and that's the first time I ever heard someone being called ghetto from there. Yeah the three faces from the Japanese saying is cool right? That fit really got in your essay, it grabbed my attention. It also gave me a good idea on what your essay is going to be about. Your anecdotes could be a little more descriptive instead of just talking. Like give a setting or how the other person was acting. Did they look awkward or worried when they first saw you. Something along those lines. But very good story!

Ethan Halprin (Student 2018)
Ethan Halprin
  1. I didn't know you were bilingual. I wish I were too.
  2. You anecdotes were really good examples to back up your main points. The reflection was well placed throughout the essay, and analyzed dialogue very well, without being redundant and repeating the quote, but showing what the quote meant. 3.I thought the part about the three faces was very interesting and relatable, and I will take this with me.
Fatoumata Camara (Student 2018)
Fatoumata Camara

What I learn from the essay was that wherever your from and you have that accent you shouldn't care because we all going to sound different to somebody eventually. She had a lot of backstory could have add a little bit of dialogue more but the essay was good. What I will remember is the last line it was powerful to me.