Wednesday, 22 June 2011

When in Rome....

One of the differences between an Italian and a Norwegian is the use of hands to emphasize the words when talking - even if the one they're talking to can't see them (i.e. if they're talking on the phone). And if you're a foreigner it's not easy to understand what an Italian is trying to say to you when he's screaming and waving his hands like crazy. So to help you out a bit, I've collected some of the most common "hand-signs" you will encounter when you travel to Italy.

CHE VUOI? (WHAT DO YOU WANT/MEAN/WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?)
Keep all the fingertips on one hand collected tightly together just like in the picture. You can either hold it still or shake it (impatiently) up and down. (The best thing is to move it slightly up and down). The more impatient you are, the more shaking is going on.... You use this if you are fed up about what another person is telling you. Or if you are far away from a person and he's trying to say something you don't understand or hear. If you make this sign, shaking your hand up and down it's like saying "I don't understand, what are you trying to say to me?




CONTRASTO (CONTRAST) 
If you hold your hands like this you are indicating that the persons you are talking about don't agree




PIENO DI GENTE ("PACKED" WITH PEOPLE)
When you hold your fingers like this you indicate that a place is "packed" with people. But remember to hold your hands still, because if not, you're indicating that you are impatient about something. (Look at picture number one...)




SE L'INTENDONO ("SECRETS")
The two index fingers are held toghether like this to indicate that two people have reached a (secret) understanding or that they meet in secret....




FAME (HUNGER)
Hold your hand like seen on the picture, the palm facing down and move it left and right. This indicates that you are hungry.




RUBARE (THEFT)
The hand is first held with all the fingers upright. Then you close it by bending the fingers one by one (starting with the little finger), just like you were going to play the harp. With that movement of the hand you indicate that someone is a thief.. (Or that you yourself are going to steal something).




CHE PESO ("HOW BORING....")
Hold the hand like indicated in the picture and than tap it lightly against your chest. This means that you are fed up with someone or something. (You have problems "digesting" someone or something....)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice post! Looking forward to my trip to Italy to see if I understand something more of the sign language after reading this.

demie said...

vi har mye lignende i Hellas og . men dette vet du sikkert ; )

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Joda, er klar over noen av de greske håndtegnene, men det fins sikker maaange jeg ikke kjenner til. En idé for et innlegg hos deg? ;-)

Trollmora said...

Åh... jeg bodde i spania i noen år og de er ca likedane selv om det var et par nye her... da jeg oppholdt meg i Italia en periode i 1992 lærte jeg nok mest sånne utrykk som ikke nødvendigvis er bloggbare :) hihi

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Det fins en del av de U-bloggbare ja, og de har jeg for skams skyld utelatt... ;-)

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