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The importance of gestures in Italy

This is an eye opening article that talks about the importance of knowing gestures if you visit Italy as well as the current politics of sign language there.


March 26, 2014



Thanks kristinemc! :D


Recently, I was at a bookstore and snapped this photo (caught my attention- wanted to remember to read and buy it later). This thread reminded me of it (thanks, Usagiboy7!)

Here's a review of 'Speak Italian' by Maria Popova: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/12/13/bruno-munari-speak-italian-gestures/

And a pic from the actual book :)


Here's the full programme on iPlayer. If you're not in the UK, you can use Media Hint to circumvent the geo-blocking.



I ran across this video on youtube a while back which explains a bunch of Italian gestures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHZwYObN264 Just in case you're looking for some more!


maybe duo should plan a course on Italian gestures .... ;-) In the meanwhile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVwGkSZE-CU


This is brilliant!


In Italy there are about twenty language and more than one hundred dialects (In AltoAdige people speak Deutsch, in Valle D'Aosta people speak French, in Alghero Catalan, in Trentino-AltoAdige and Veneto Ladin and Cimbrian... And there are also many other languages: venetian, neapolitan, sicilian etc...). Before the union, Italy was fragmented into a lot of small nations, dominated Spain, France, Austria etc... One of the firsts work written in a language similar to Italian is La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri (XIV century), wich is written in Florentine vulgar. Only in nineteenth century we can see the first example of Italian Language, with "I Promessi Sposi" by Alessandro Manzoni. Before union of Italy, only a few people was able to speak Italian. An italian from Veneto didn't understand the language of an italian from Lombardia and Italian from Sicilia didn't understand the language of an Italian from Campania, so gesture became needful to understand people from others regions of Italy and it became associated with language.


I have seen some gestures of Italians on the link below but when I asked my Italian friends they said not everything was true, so you better check with it before using http://uni-italia.vn/van-hoa-italia/cu-chi-nguoi-y/


I saw the See Hear feature last night and it was fascinating. They discussed how hand gestures are entirely independent of Italian Sign Language used by deaf people, but the English signing deaf presenter was able to shop and communicated perfectly well with sellers in the markets using gesture, in spite of not speaking or signing Italian.


Funny but useful


I wouldn't link if if I knew where the book with the online version was, but in "Hide This Italian Book" it tells us that even insults and racial slurs have nearly mandatory hand gestures.


Italian: it's like being Jewish, but with more hand-waving.


Bahahah great posts, will be looking through all these links/books in due time!


Cheers thanks. I speak with my hands and love the link .. I normally find interesting things for you , but this one is a gem... thanks


Thanks :3 That's really great.


It is very important to know the right gestures, because there are words with several meanings, and you my get the person you are speaking to confused, or offended


I never commented on this thread, even though I have been enjoying it very much since you posted it. :-)


I'm really glad that so many people have enjoyed it and added to it :D


Thank you for this great information! It is very important to learn Italian gestures! Mi piaciono molto!

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