Being one of Taiwanese host Dee Hsu’s three daughters and niece to Barbie Hsu, Lily Hsu (許韶恩) is no stranger to the spotlight. At 15, she’s earned praise for her looks and seems to be doing her fair share of modelling just like her eldest sister Elle who’s even breaking into showbiz. However, it looks like being under the spotlight also means increased scrutiny.
The 15-year-old Lily recently posted a Q and A with her followers on her Instagram story. When she was asked why she often speaks in English, the youngster replied that it’s because her English is better than her Chinese. Lily Hsu added that English is her mother tongue and she uses it to communicate at school, at home, and with her friends. She also said that she wants to learn how to speak Chinese better.
As the topic trended on Chinese social media, a lot of C-netizens felt that it was inappropriate for her to say that English is her native language when they feel it should be Mandarin. There are, of course, those who defended Lily and even posted a video of her speaking in English to show that she is in fact fluent. However, some reasoned that it doesn’t matter how good she is, it won’t change her native tongue.
HL- Hoh Liu
She clearly does not understand what Mother tongue means…
Clearly you think you’re smarter than you actually are, I’d would guess your mother tongue is stupidity?
Lol, being stupid is better than a rude, bitter and nasty person which fits you. I can see you are a troll who just wants attention…
Oh auntie you are what is known in your mother’s tongue as an “auntie eight”, the rare combo of stupid, rude, obnoxious, nosy beyond annoyance, and a thirty attention know-it-all.
Wow…I wish I am a aunty too… Troll is a troll…you leach on to your victims and drain them… Whatever…troll as you want since I am not your first or only victim. Troll like you needs victims all the time. it is your nature…
Auntie a victim now? A victim of your own stupidity? 😂
I thought mother tongue just means what language you grew up speaking in childhood? It’s generally the language of the country you grew up in, but technically it could be anything. I think netizens are once again being dramatic.
Technically speaking, mother tongue is the language one is familiar with, even from the womb. In most cases, this would be the language of the mother who would also be the primary care-giver in the early months and years of life. Hence, it is called “Mother tongue”. This differs from the concept of a first language, which can be acquired later, through school, social interactions etc, and which might become the primary language for social interactions.
From this definition, this kid’s mother tongue would be Mandarin as that’s what her mother spoke and what she would have learnt from her earliest years. She probably started to lose that fluency of Mandarin when she started her formal education at 6 or 7 years old, especially if she was sent to international schools, and her parents did not emphasize the use or learning of the mother tongue at home. Her acquired first language became English.
Her correct response should be “My mother tongue is Mandarin, but I am not very good at it because ………… I am putting in more effort to speak and write it better.”
From the photo above, her Mandarin is adequate too. It’s just that she was trying to explain why her English is better than her Mandarin, and use the concept of “mother tongue” wrongly.
I don’t know if I agree. Technically speaking, the oxford definition is “the language which a person has grown up speaking from early childhood.” The etymology of the term is related to the fact that moms were generally the primary caregiver back in the day, and the language you first pick up is from your mom. Nowadays, with both men and women working, that’s not always true. My parents were both busy, and my nanny took care of me and spent the entire day with me. Spanish was my first language as a child and I spoke it even to my parents despite them being Chinese. Even after I went to school, I had spoken English with an accent for a long time. My parents also always put a stronger emphasis on learning English because they felt it was important, so spoke to me primarily in English. Maybe the Chinese definition of “mu yu” is different, and I’m definitely no expert in etymology of Chinese words. Regardless, I won’t argue further about technicalities. Even if she had used the term incorrectly, these netizens don’t need to get her trending for something so trivial. We’re all human and make mistakes on the daily. To trend for something so stupid is beyond me.