During the month or so of my senior year of high school when I was thinking that I'd maybe like to go to UCSB instead of Westmont, which I'd been set on since I was a sophomore, one of the main reasons I wavered was that UCSB offered a degree in linguistics. Words, meanings, the root of words, how different cultures use language... all of that has always been fascinating to me.
I think it's so interesting when you're talking to someone from another country and as certain idioms or terms come up the conversation must pause since they need to be explained. There are so many roads that language can take, different ways to arrive at the same thing, and idioms are fun since they sort of take a shortcut to get to meaning. I find it intriguing to pick the words to explain what such phrases mean, and doing so can make you more aware of what you're actually trying to communicate.
See the world through rose-colored glasses.
They wear the pants in that relationship.
Wear your heart on your sleeve.
I smiled to myself as I broke down those phrases yesterday. Language is so fun.
And then there's also the times when your foreign friend knows why a certain word or phrase is used and what it's cultural meaning is, and finds it hilarious because of it's literal meaning.
And then there are the times when language is used similarly no matter what the cultural difference, and the meaning is direct and obvious.
Like, "so do I get to see you again?"
Those times are fun as well.