Welcome to the Italian Blog from The Modern Language School, Meltham Mills Huddersfield. I hope you all had a nice break. This week I am going to talk about “not talking!” yes that is right the Italians are great at communicating without saying anything! What am I talking about? “I gesti” the famous way Italians talk with their hands. When I was little my family always used to comment about the way I moved my hands when I spoke, maybe even then I had a little Italian in me! Who knows?
Talking with your hands is great! I believe it helps make Italian people who they are, passionate and expressive people! For Italian students it is a great way of being just that little bit more Italian J So here is my guide to Italian hand gestures, well the cleans ones at least!
Rub your hand on your chin, as though caressing an imaginary beard indicates boredom. The phrase to go with this gesture is “Che barba!”
The Italian gesture for “Perfetto” perfect requires you to make an o with you thump and finger and add in a swiping movement. This is similar to our gesture for OK.
“Madonna!” is a word which is often heard spoken by Italians, hands together as though praying with a slight movement forwards and backwards means the person is exasperated, they simply don’t believe it!
“Non me n’importa niente!” this phrase together with a swipe with back of your hand from under your chin means “You don’t care”. There is a slightly ruder phrase to go with this (perhaps you know it?) but the gesture is not rude.
“Ma che vuoi!” “What do you want!” is used with a one hand gesture where your hand is closed with all finger tips touching each other at chest height you move you hand backwards and forwards.
One of my favourite gestures is your index fingers pointing and touching the middle of your cheek then twisting! This means you have just eaten something which is “Buonissimo!” or “Squisito!” A very useful way to pay compliments to the chef!
If you would like to see some of these hand gestures in practise then I will be happy to show you in your next Italian class, alternatively you can check out some videos on You Tube.