One thing I didn’t expect about living in a foreign country and learning to speak a second language was how much I would think about English. About how WEIRD English is. About how HARD English must be to learn. Have you ever thought about that? Maybe you had a hard time with the whole language arts thing in school, so you already know the challenges. We can all relate to the confusion of “red, read, reed, read.”
Do not despair. This will not be a series of grammar lessons but more so a prompting to step INSIDE your native language and culture once in a while. Believe me, it’s quite eye-opening. And entertaining.
Let’s start with these everyday English gems:
“Did you make it home yet?”
“How did you make out?”
“Ya wanna make out?”
“Girrrrl, you really need a makeover.”
We know that “make” means to “create/build” or similar but can you see how much it comes up in English in ways that have nothing to do with making or creating? When you learn (most) second languages, to make is one of the first verbs you learn, along with to be and to go, to name a few.
Allow me to translate the above phrases for you.
“Did you make it home yet?” = “Did you arrive at home/your house yet?”
“How did you make out?” = “What happened?” / “Were you successful or not [in your endeavor]?”
“Ya wanna make out?” = “Do you want to engage in kissing . . . etc.?”
“Girrrrl, you really need a makeover.” = “You look like shit.”
OK, that last translation was a little harsh, but you get it.
English is hard.