I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. America: It’s not commonly used, but it means an animal ears or horns. Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. Suggest a correction. Thumbs Down to Thumbs Up. Thumbs up is a gesture that means good, alright or ok. The "thumbs up" sign popular in the United States is used widely in most of Europe to say "OK" (it also represents the number one when counting). It is worth looking into different hand gestures when you ... Thumbs up. More: Europe Travel International Destinations Video Destinations travel. This is the action of punching your fist into your elbow joint while raising the other fist … V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! The same hand gestures could mean different things in other countries. Italy: The chin flick. The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. In America, this usually means, "Great job!" Thumbs up 3. And we look at some of the faux pas you should avoid when working around the world. Which of these hand gestures do you use a lot and what do they mean when you use them? They know what we mean by it and they have accepted the fact that Americans are going to do it regardless, so it's no use of getting mad. Similar to “What are you saying?”, Malaysia: They call it “chup” and it used to mean “wait a minute.” But when the gesture is motioned toward the mouth, it means “eat.”ASL: When both hands with this sign are put together with the tips touching, it means “kiss.”. Thumbs up. 1. 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." The "V for victory" sign is used in most of Europe as in the United States, but may get you a punch in the nose in parts of Britain, where it's an obscene gesture (if you make the "V" with your palm toward you.) The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. Thumbs up & thumbs up emoji. ", "Yes", or "I approve." Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger is how to signal "OK" in the US. This positive gesture has a totally different meaning in Latin America, West Africa, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. OK sign. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. Here are a few examples of gestures and what they mean in different countries around the globe that might even surprise you. Other studies suggest they come from WWII pilots signalling each other in the air. In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. While the thumbs-up symbol may be a sign of approval in Western culture, traditionally in Greece and the Middle East it has been interpreted as vulgar and even offensive. 1 decade ago. America: Used to imitate an Italian gesture.Italy: Used when something is unclear. The thumbs up, the "OK" sign, and crossing your fingers are all examples of gestures that are vulgar in certain places outside the US. The fingers all together sign, which means a lot of things in India In most cultures, crossing your fingers means you're hoping for good luck. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. America: A gesture showing a slit to the neck means “you’re done for.”Japan: It means “you’re fired.” This is because the word kubi, which means fired from a job, sounds the same as kubi that means the neck or throat. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. Unfortunately, in some parts of the country, a nod can mean you disagree with him! America: It either indicates "fancy" when drinking tea or it's a sign that you're making a promise that should not be broken, also called a pinky swear. It’s akin to one child sticking a … In this article, we'll discuss why it's important to be aware of the different meanings body language has in different countries and cultures. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. When we go overseas, sometimes language can be a barrier. Thumbs-up in Thailand. Heavy metal fans are familiar with the so-called "sign of the horns" or "devil horns," made by extending the index finger and pinky. In many countries in the West and in some parts of Asia, giving the ”thumbs up” sign is an indication that you agree or approve something. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! V-sign … I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. In general, we tend to think it's best not to insult your host country when traveling abroad. 1. © 2015 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC Thumbs down on the thumbs-up sign when you're traveling. 1. 3. No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. Things can get lost in translation, though, when a typical gesture from your country means something completely different in other parts of the world. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? Luckily body language can help us communicate when words fail to do so. Favorite Answer In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. America: Waving the hand left and right, with the palm facing the side in front of your face, indicates that something smells bad.Japan: It means “no.” “No can do,” “Impossible,” or even “No, thank you” are also expressed with this gesture. English-speaking Caucasians use it to signal ‘OK’, which is same meaning as O.K. America: The thumb between the index and middle fingers represents the nose stolen from a kid’s face in the “I’ve Got Your Nose” game.Turkey: An obscene gesture similar to the middle finger, and is also used to show disagreement or to deny a request.Brazil: A good luck charm to ward off the evil eye and jealousy.Indonesia: An offensive gesture.American Sign Language (ASL): The sign for the letter T. America: Peace. Forearm jerk. Try to avoid it in Thailand, though, where it’s a sign of condemnation. The Vietnamese people have a different meaning to the popular gesture. V in Australia and England. An essential daily guide to achieving the good life. Knowing how to sign numbers is especially useful when bargaining in China. 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." However, in Latin America, West Africa and Iran the thumbs up basically means an “up yours.” The ‘thumbs up’ sign is used in many cultures to mean ‘OK’, in France it can mean number 1. Best bet is to carefully read up on the subject before leaving your country. Sign up for a daily selection of our best stories — based on your reading preferences. However, in several countries in West Africa and the Middle East, including Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the gesture has the connotation of "up yours!" Traveling to an Arab country can definitely be colorful because of the enormous amount of gesticulation that Arabs do while talking. This article takes a look at one of the most common signs: the thumbs-up sign. In the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, giving someone the thumbs up is similar to the ‘okay’ gesture above, but more positive.It’s usually given as a sign of approval for a job well done or used when thanking someone. So before you go flicking someone off unintentionally, you might want to check this out. since. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. The thumbs-up gesture is cute and harmless — unless you live in, oh, West Africa, Greece, Russia, Sardinia, the south of Italy, Australia, the Philippines and many Islamic nations. But as it turns out, not all hand signals are created equal. The thumbs up sign in Middle Eastern countries, Iran, Iraq and Thailand, is an extremely obscene gesture, equivalent to flipping the finger in Europe. From a 'thumbs up' to looking at your watch – here's what 6 hand gestures mean in different cultures and countries. For example, in some countries, pointing a finger at a person is considered an insult, which is why in the U.S. we tell children “don’t point.” While in Italy pointing is used to indicate a direction. In India, the thumbs up, combined with a wagging of the fist means, “I doubt that will work.” A thumbs up is an important sign in scuba diving, where it means, “stop the dive and ascend.” It’s typically a child’s gesture, the Thai equivalent of sticking out your tongue. So next time you're trying to hitchhike in, say, Tuscany, you should reconsider before sticking out your thumb. America, Germany: The thumb rubs repeatedly over the tip of the index finger and middle finger to indicate money. Sometimes the gesture is made with the 3 fingers at the bottom.Brazil: A rude gesture. 1. In India, the thumbs up, combined with a wagging of the fist means, “I doubt that will work.” A thumbs up is an important sign in scuba diving, where it means, “stop the dive and ascend.” 1. When we go overseas, sometimes language can be a barrier. When held stationary and thrust toward another person the meaning is “yourself.”. Learn all about body language and discover 10 ways that people from around the world express themselves... without ever opening their mouths! There, the gesture is thought to resemble female genitals, and making it is similar to giving the middle finger. Conversely, the acceptance level of people in English speaking countries differs from other parts of the world where the English language is not that commonly spoken. And you could get arrested for using it. Don’t make the same mistake as Richard Nixon, who visited Brazil and flashed the “Ok sign” to a waiting crowd, but was responded to with boos. Relevance. As the American usage of a thumbs-up as “O.K.” expanded in the 20th Century, older negative meanings remained in some areas of the world. It means “love.”. However, if it is used in Australia, Greece, or the Middle East -- especially if it is thrust up as a typical hitchhiking gesture would be -- it means essentially "Up yours!" No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. 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. A symbol for scuba divers everywhere, this sign is actually super rude in some countries. This gesture of agreement or approval is an easy reflex when language barriers are at play. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? People will likely be more bemused than hurt if you slip up. Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. as well as other partner offers and accept our, David Anderson, Matthew Stuart, Mark Abadi, Shayanne Gal, insulting and scatological connotations,". In Thailand, however this gestures is a sign of mockery and condemnation. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. ring gesture. China: This is the same as giving the thumbs down sign. The thumbs up gesture is used on the logo of Thums Up, a popular brand of cola from India. The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. Putting your thumb and index finger of one hand together. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. With your elbow bent and held in front of your stomach, hold your right hand at the level of your neck with all of the fingers pointing towards it and your palm down. But as it turns out, not all hand signals are created equal. America: Means hoping for good luck.Vietnam: It is thought to resemble female genitals, and is similar to giving the middle finger.ASL: The sign for the letter R. America: Usually used by rockers, when the index and pinky are raised it is a sign of approval or “rock on!”Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Portugal: This sign is made at someone to tell them that their spouse is cheating on them. Common hand gestures used in the United States carry very different meanings in other cultures. Below are ten common North American gestures that can cause offense abroad. How the thumbs up became an upbeat gesture in the first place is something of a mystery. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. Be aware though – not all hand gestures have the same meaning in all countries! But not in Vietnam. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. The connection is obvious to people from those countries: the word for "cuckold" in Italian, Spanish, and Greek is the same word for "horned.". Thumbs up is perhaps the most common of hand gestures and one that has been used for thousands of years. All those gestures have offensive connotations away from American soil. Some gestures simply have different meaning in one part of the world than … Saying goodbye the way Americans do it can be interpreted in some parts of Europe and Latin America as the sign for saying ‘no’. By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Business Insider The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger … Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. The gesture is often performed by flicking the V up from the wrist or elbow. 6 Answers. The thumbs up is one of the most popular hand gestures, but it has greatly different meanings depending on where you use it. Or someone who's crossed their fingers in Vietnam or signaled "OK" in Brazil. Twist your wrist clockwise and anticlockwise about three times, without changing the position of your But it is not the case in Bangladesh. You often show agreement or approval by using the thumbs up emoji but in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, it means ”sit on it,” which is a very obscene gesture. This gesture is often seen in Filipino culture when people try to let others know they did well. Richard Nixon once raised some eyebrows in the 1950s when he made the gesture in Brazil as he stepped off a plane. Tricky thing is, that some gestures have completely different meaning in other countries from what you may be used to. Although, it has a very rude sexual connotation in Islamic countries, Cerdeña and Greece. You might think the gestures you grew up with are universal, but chances are, the innocent gesture you make at home means something very different in another country. America: Means “stop,” the number 5, or “talk to the hand.”Greece, Sindh (Pakistan): Called the “moutza” or “mountza” and is considered an insult.Mexico, Panama: Used to say “hi,” but when steady or moving it repeatedly toward the receiver it means, “You’ll see!” warning that the giver is going to tell an authority figure.Malaysia: Can be used to say hi to someone you know, to call a waiter, and to say thank you to another driver. Avoid Using In: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.. Thumbs-Up. Favorite Answer . V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! Japan: The symbol of a lover or significant other.ASL: The sign for the letter I. America, Ecuador: “Come here.” This gesture is also used when seducing someone.Philippines: It’s only used to call a dog. We mean to say one thing, but the locals understood it to be something else. Not only could your intended message get lost in translation, you could actually end up offending or otherwise causing an unintentional, but inappropriate and unfortunate circumstance for yourself. A natural response to someone saying or doing something cool is a thumbs-up. This is less a single gesture than a motion: flicking your hand outward, palm up, … America: Peace. A thumbs-up as a sign of approval is a gesture that many people instinctively use, especially if language barrier prevents you from expressing your approval verbally. In English, it is popularly known as 'thumbs up', despite the fact that the action is commonly performed with only one hand. It also used to mean “V for Victory.”China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand: Cute pose when being photographed.United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland: When the same gesture is done but with the back of the hand facing outward, it’s an insult.ASL: The sign for the number 2. What does “thumb-up” or “thumbs-up” mean to different cultures? The softer and more common one is done with your whole hand. While we may think we’re showing a sign of approval (or asking for a ride) when we flash a thumbs-up sign or emoji, it has the opposite effect in middle east countries like Iran and Iraq and even in some spots of Italy and Greece. Thumbs Up. It also used to mean “V for Victory.” China, Japan, South Korea, … The thumbs-up sign consists of a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward. If you really want to be offensive, you can thrust your thumb upwards to emphasize the offensive message, but odds are you really just want to avoid it. 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