Along the same lines as the Middle Eastern thumbs-up is the English backwards peace sign (your index and middle finger held up with your palm facing toward you). Furthermore, before travelling to a foreign country, a person will learn the key main phrases and some cultural etiquette, forgetting that gestures can be just as important. Unlike Argentina, raising a closed fist into the air in Lebanon means a rude gesture – not victory! However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. You might extend your pointer and little fingers to celebrate your favorite metal band. It’s an expression of negativity. The gesture means something worst in … While you research some information related to travel tips, be sure you also learn something about the body language gestures too. In some Mediterranean and Arab countries, holding the index finger instead of the middle finger, implies the same obscene gesture. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Many times people cross their fingers before telling a lie, as it is believed to countervail the evil that comes of the lie. It’s typically a child’s gesture, the Thai equivalent of sticking out your tongue. In Singapore or Malaysia, it means that one is trying to ‘hail’ someone’s attention like a waiter or asking permission. I like it! So, if you are a frequent flier to different countries, improve your communication skills by learning the meaning of certain gestures. Try to avoid it in Thailand, though, where it’s a sign of condemnation. In Saudi Arabia, taking someone’s elbow or holding hands signifies respect and friendship. Understanding Cultural Gestures can turn a “Thumbs Down” into a “Thumbs Up” May 2nd 2013 We have all heard the paradigm that more than half (55 per cent to be precise) of our communication is shaped by body language. They are definitely not high-fiving you! In Latin, the "thumbs up" gesture is called pollice recto, "thumbs down" is pollice verso. Thumbs-up in Thailand. Our words are constantly supported or contradicted by facial expressions, hand movements, and body postures. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Pollex infestus: The "hostile thumb." The Lebanon say “No” by pointing the head sharply upward and raising the eyebrows. This is considered as a rude gesture in a professional environment and termed as a domineering behavior. This is a rude and an arrogant way to indicate failure. Please visit our new website, Understanding Cultural Gestures can turn a “Thumbs Down” into a “Thumbs Up”. Devil Horns. The literal meaning here is: "I'll kick you so hard your buttocks will end up this far apart." Today Translations is a professional translation and interpreting company based in the heart of London. It’s not a defensive gesture and is a gesture to take control over the person it is intended for. Bulgarians shake their heads to say “Yes”, which could be confusing for directions to begin with. In Western cultures, this hand gesture simply means that everything is peachy keen. If a Frenchman pretends to play a flute using his hands, it means that someone is being loud and annoying. In Latin America, snapping fingers means asking one to hurry up. Conscious Body Language - Hand Gesture Meaning in Different Cultures & Languages Thumbs Up. The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. It means you don’t like something. When you don’t know the local language, body language can be a helpful way to understand what is going on.Traveling to an Arab country can definitely be colorful because of the enormous amount of gesticulation that Arabs do while talking. Lifting the thumb and little finger. So next time you're trying to hitchhike in, say, Tuscany, you should reconsider before sticking out your thumb. Therefore, it is very important to understand the meanings of gestures before you travel to different countries. This is despite the fact that they may or may not be wearing a watch on the wrist. Copyright © Social Mettle & Buzzle.com, Inc. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Why emoji mean different things in different cultures. The thumbs down sign obviously means the opposite of a thumbs up sign. We have a new name and a story to better reflect our heritage and our plans for the future. In certain parts of the Middle East, thumbs-up is definitely a highly-offensive thumbs-down. These cookies do not store any personal information. The “V for Victory” or Peace sign. You do not want to inadvertently insult your guests or hosts or trigger an unwarranted violence in a new land. However, in the Middle East, it’s believed that once a conversation starts, it should be allowed to take its time to complete. Also, it is usually used by divers to indicate all is well or OK. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! In Mexico, hands on hips are a sign of hostility. It is an indication of something that is bad or something that you do not approve of. This hand gesture is an indication of a dominant – to – subordinate behavior in the professional world. The dog call is a gesture where you curl your finger and summon someone towards you. In Saudi Arabia, people tip their head backward and click the tongue to say “no”. Make it subtle — tourists look silly when they overemphasize this subtle action. In New Zealand, it’s taken as a cheap way of saying OK. It also indicates that something or someone has failed. From one culture to another, hand gestures adopt a unique meaning and symbolism. In the Mediterranean, it an old symbol that means ‘cuckold’, that is, your wife is cheating on you. This aggressive signal is not liked by many, as no one likes to be singled out. It is used to warn a single individual. America: Peace. Thumbs-Up The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece, it means "up yours." This suggests that you are asking the person to ‘eat shit’ and leave you alone. It is also considered a rude action in Japan. The cross may have originated from the Pagan symbols that means to ward off evil. We've created informative articles that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! Not to be mixed up with rage or imminence of conflict. This piece of information can turn the situation around, from assuming it is a “Maybe” to knowing it is a “Certainly!”. The same gesture can mean something quite nasty and disrespectful to a person from a different cultural background. It is a way to silent an individual and ask them to pay attention. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Prior to … Order Beer With Words in England. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. You may thing you're telling someone they're A-OK , or being encouraging by giving a thumbs up, but in different countries around the world, hand gestures like … If a Colombian taps the underside of his/her elbow with the fingers of the other hand, it does not mean they are meditating, but that someone close by is being stingy. From a 'thumbs up' to looking at your watch – here's what 6 hand gestures mean in different cultures and countries. These gestures are most helpful when one is speaking to someone with no language in common. Even if you’re at a Slayer concert in Spain, Italy, or Portugal, though, you should avoid making this gesture. The middle finger-pointing upwards is considered as an obscene gesture. (Part 1). Are there any interesting or misleading gestures in your culture? However, in Japan, it is a sign for money. Has any gesture ever gotten you into trouble? Over the early 2000's, a pointing … It means that an authoritative figure is asking one to ‘Stop’. Placing your wallet or purse on the ground in … However, carefully considering the gesture codes is crucial, particularly in business meetings. At Today Translations, our interpreters are always focused to conveying the complete message – words, tonality and gestures – making sure that you are on the same page as your potential clients and business partners. While the thumbs-up symbol may be a sign of approval in Western culture, traditionally in … Hand of benediction and blessing. The biggest example is Facebook, which uses the gesture to indicate someone 'likes' a certain post: In modern popular culture, necessarily without a historical basis from Ancient Rome, it is presumed that "thumbs down" was the signal that a defeated gladiator should be condemned to death; "thumbs up", that he should be spared. This seemingly-innocuous gesture that means, "Great! Meaning; Signals from the Editor : Pollices premere or presso pollice: The "pressed thumb." The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. In Germany, clasping hands together and raising them above the head shows appreciation. Crossing of fingers is considered as a sign of wishing for good luck or fortune. While talking to a friend, you may open your palm and stretch out your fingers. The thumb and fingers are squeezed together, meaning "mercy" for a downed gladiator. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. 4 Thumbs Up And Thumbs Down. Share using Email. However, the fig is considered a gesture that mimics the female vulva in Italian. In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. People will likely be more bemused than hurt if you slip up. This looks like an 'OK' sign, but not in Brazil. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. There, it’s basically equivalent to a thumbs down. The following information will cover some of the common gestures with their meanings. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. A wink is a facial expression made by briefly closing of the eye. Slightly nodding the head upward or lifting eyebrows upward signals “No” in Greece. Thumbs Up The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. The belief that the ‘thumbs-up’ and ‘thumbs-down’ gestures gave approval or disapproval respectively entered the public consciousness with Jean-Léon Gérôme’s 1872 painting ‘Pollice Verso’. In Great Britain and America, one snaps fingers when one remembers something or gets an idea. In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. He tried to signal a peace sign by waving the two finger or V-sign at the crowd.You may think of this as a simple gesture, but he committed a major error. Stick out your tongue. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. In Australia, it means zero and in Germany it means a job well done. If … This hand gesture is another one which is fairly universal. But, if you were in Greece, the same gesture would be considered as a traditional manual insult. The meanings of hand gestures in different cultures may translate into different things. In some parts of India, people tilt their head from side to side to confirm something and demonstrate that they are actively listening. This is considered as the symbol of the devil in many cultures. To explain my point, I take a very common example of former President George W. Bush who had to face a major faux pas during a visit to Australia. Gesturing to end the conversation is considered a rude insult. One of the most offensive and rude gestures around the world is the finger. The thumb is seen poking out of the index and middle fingers. In the Unites States the thumbs up is used as a sign for approval and success, whereas the thumbs down... V Sign. Many times, we tend to use our hands to explain our needs and thoughts. This is also one of the good gestures in cultures like Buddhism and Hinduism. While visiting a new city or country, it is important to learn what certain gestures mean so that you don't offend anyone. It is one of the good hand gestures, as it indicates good luck and fertility and a way to ward off the evil eye. If you are greeted with applause in Nigeria, it means you are considered an important guest. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. If an Israeli person points down at the upturned palm of one hand with the forefinger of the other, it means that “grass will grow on my hand” before something that was mentioned will happen. It is known as mano fico or fig hand in Roman. (We have not even gotten into deciphering the Italian ones!) A negation in Iran is represented by the movement of the head up and then back sharply. This was some information related to the meanings of gestures in different cultures. From one culture to another, hand gestures adopt a unique meaning and symbolism. Usually, there is not a clear learning process of body movements, which is why people have the impression that gestures are universal. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. They were called pollice verso (“turned thumb”) at the time.. At the end of a bloody combat, the referee was sometimes asked whether a defeated and badly injured gladiator should be killed or spared. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger … Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. Similarly, in Greece, tilting your head to left, then right means “yes”. The thumbs-up gesture is commonly used in many cultures to signify a job well done. To get in touch with us regarding your project, email us at info@todaytranslations.com or call us on +44 (0) 207 397 2770 . (Or worse.) These are a way of communicating with others and conveying your feelings. The fig is a gesture that is indicated by a fist. In the Middle East, for example, it means up your butt, fella. The two pointing fingers indicate the horns of the Devil. If the origins of both gestures are linked, we can only assume this meant, "Do not kill the prisoner, he seems the perfect solution to the emperor's arthritic finger." Hand gestures are a very important part of the body language gestures. If the fingers are pushing down, it indicates that the person to sit down or settle. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. But if you are in the Philippines, do not make the mistake of doing this gesture, as you may end up with a broken finger or worse, be arrested. You do not want to offend anyone or anything in a new land that may put you in a soup. It can mean sexy, delicious, divine, or wonderful. The moutza in American terms is similar to the gesture that means ‘talk to the hand’. In Europe, this gesture signifies complex thinking or readiness to work, so be careful not to misunderstand! A single wink can mean a friendly gesture or intimacy. We have all heard the paradigm that more than half (55 per cent to be precise) of our communication is shaped by body language. And while we're still talking about miscommunicating in China, sticking your pinky out means that you are not happy with something (like a thumbs-down), though it's not that common. In Japan, if a person waves their hand, palm outward in front of their face, it means that they do not understand the message or they do not deserve what they are being offered. And in Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, and other South American countries, it is hugely offensive and refers either to a person being a “zero” or worse. The “V” gesture. This gesture of agreement or approval is an easy reflex when language barriers are at play. 4. 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