South Korea: It’s a similar gesture, but without the rubbing, to make a small heart. ring gesture. Here are a few examples of gestures and what they mean in different countries around the globe that might even surprise you. Traveling to an Arab country can definitely be colorful because of the enormous amount of gesticulation that Arabs do while talking. A hand gesture that is commonly used among all Filipino is thumbs up. The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. There, it's used to mock cuckolds — husbands whose wives are unfaithful. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. In Greece, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere, it means "Up yours!" America: Okay.Japan: Money. as well as other partner offers and accept our, David Anderson, Matthew Stuart, Mark Abadi, Shayanne Gal, insulting and scatological connotations,". 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. It's just not nice. It almost makes one want to stay at home... – Phil Perry May 13 '14 at 20:19 Can anyone tell me what the below mean in Japan? The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. Starting in 2007, the thumbs-up also appeared on India's one-rupee coin. Avoid Using In: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.. Thumbs-Up. In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. Forearm jerk. ", "Yes", or "I approve." The Importance of Cultural Awareness The Meaning of Hand Gestures in different Countries Thumbs up. 1 decade ago. 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. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? It’s akin to one child sticking a … Subscriber But not in Vietnam. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. Newsletter Sign Up. The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. Thumbs up. Common hand gestures used in the United States carry very different meanings in other cultures. 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). V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! But as it turns out, not all hand signals are created equal. 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. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. Luckily body language can help us communicate when words fail to do so. V in Australia and England. … We mean to say one thing, but the locals understood it to be something else. The gesture “thumb-up” is also commonly misinterpreted. What does “thumb-up” or “thumbs-up” mean to different cultures? The thumbs up gesture is used on the logo of Thums Up, a popular brand of cola from India. People will likely be more bemused than hurt if you slip up. In general, we tend to think it's best not to insult your host country when traveling abroad. 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. The meaning of the thumbs up signal depends on context in these countries, but it is usually positive since it can mean anything from “You’re number one” to “Good luck.” In Brazil, it means “Thanks.” However, in Iran, Greece and Sardinia, the thumbs up sign is comparable to giving the middle finger in the US. The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in … No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. All those gestures have offensive connotations away from American soil. Favorite Answer In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. The thumbs-up gesture is commonly used in many cultures to signify a job well done. Other studies suggest they come from WWII pilots signalling each other in the air. The ‘thumbs up’ sign is used in many cultures to mean ‘OK’, in France it can mean number 1. Anonymous. America: Used to imitate an Italian gesture.Italy: Used when something is unclear. Luckily body language can help us communicate when words fail to do so. 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. It is also used when hitchhiking.Iraq, Iran: An insult equivalent to, “Up yours, pal!”ASL: Thumbs up wiggled left and right is the sign for the number 10. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. Things can get lost in translation, though, when a typical gesture from your country means something completely different in other parts of the world. Twist your wrist clockwise and anticlockwise about three times, without changing the position of your And we look at some of the faux pas you should avoid when working around the world. Thumbs up 3. 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 … Thumbs up 3. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. Try to avoid it in Thailand, though, where it’s a sign of condemnation. This positive gesture has a totally different meaning in Latin America, West Africa, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Anti-war activists later adopted it as a symbol of peace, and today the gesture is known as "the peace sign.". Read on, or watch the video, to see the hand gestures you definitely don't want to make overseas. They know what we mean by it and they have accepted the … Be aware though – not all hand gestures have the same meaning in all countries! What it really means: Thumbs up is sign of approval in the US and even eventually to Zangief, but it actually translates to “up yours” in other places around the world. Tricky thing is, that some gestures have completely different meaning in other countries from what you may be used to. Thumbs up & thumbs up emoji. The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. Americans should be aware that the gesture has multiple meanings at home, too — in recent years, the OK symbol has been linked with white supremacy groups. 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. Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. OK sign. Source(s): Been deployed to Iraq … V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. 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." In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. Thumbs up 3. Learn all about body language and discover 10 ways that people from around the world express themselves... without ever opening their mouths! The same hand gestures could mean different things in other countries. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different 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. The fingers all together sign, which means a lot of things in India Knowing how to sign numbers is especially useful when bargaining in China. Legend has it that the signal dates back to Roman gladiatorial contests. In the United States, American Sign Language users use a single thumb up tilted slightly and rapidly left and right to … The “V” gesture. 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. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. From a 'thumbs up' to looking at your watch – here's what 6 hand gestures mean in different cultures and countries. An essential daily guide to achieving the good life. It is pretty much used as the same way as done in other countries. 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. 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. Thumbs up is perhaps the most common of hand gestures and one that has been used for thousands of years. We mean to say one thing, but the locals understood it to be something else. Bright Side looked at the meaning of the same hand gestures in different parts of the world and thinks it would be good for us to know them when traveling. 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. In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. America: It’s not commonly used, but it means an animal ears or horns. The thumbs-up gesture is a sign of approval in most countries. The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. … Or someone who's crossed their fingers in Vietnam or signaled "OK" in Brazil. Best bet is to carefully read up on the subject before leaving your country. 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. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger is how to signal "OK" in the US. Thumbs Up. Sign up for a daily selection of our best stories — based on your reading preferences. 3. Thumbs-up in Thailand. 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 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. 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. … I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. And sometimes, making what you think is an innocent gesture in one country can land you in hot water somewhere else. The thumbs-up sign consists of a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward. In America, this usually means, "Great job!" Some hand gestures that are innocent in the United States are offensive in other countries. 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 is a great way to indicate acknowledgement or approval. Saying goodbye the way Americans do it can be interpreted in some parts of Europe and Latin America as the sign for saying ‘no’. 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!" In certain Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, an outward-facing V sign is an obscene gesture equivalent to giving someone the middle finger. 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. And you could get arrested for using it. This symbol's original meaning was a … V-sign … For them it is like giving them the finger. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. What is considered a cool sign may be a grave insult in another country. 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. Thumbs Down to Thumbs Up. So next time you're trying to hitchhike in, say, Tuscany, you should reconsider before sticking out your thumb. The 'V' sign, made by holding up the index and middle fingers, initially was used to signal victory by Allied nations during World War II. This gesture of agreement or approval is an easy reflex when language barriers are at play. or "Sit on this!" However, in several countries in West Africa and the Middle East, including Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the gesture has the connotation of "up yours!" This gesture is often seen in Filipino culture when people try to let others know they did well. Pointing Finger: Often a Rude Gesture in Any Country or Culture. America, Germany: The thumb rubs repeatedly over the tip of the index finger and middle finger to indicate money. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. © 2015 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC Thumbs down on the thumbs-up sign when you're traveling. 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. Thumbs Up. 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. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? It means “love.”. 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. 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." The same hand gestures could mean different things in other countries. what does a thumbs up mean in other countries? Unfortunately, in some parts of the country, a nod can mean you disagree with him! In fact, some innocent hand signals might come off as offensive! I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. Account active V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! America: Peace. 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. The thumbs up, the "OK" sign, and crossing your fingers are all examples of gestures that are vulgar in certain places outside the US. Thumbs-up definition is - an instance or gesture of approval or encouragement. But in many European and South American countries, including Italy, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, the gesture has a more obscene meaning. The connection is obvious to people from those countries: the word for "cuckold" in Italian, Spanish, and Greek is the same word for "horned.". Some gestures simply have different meaning in one part of the world than … 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.” V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. 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.”. Although, it has a very rude sexual connotation in Islamic countries, Cerdeña and Greece. since. 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. Suggest a correction. Putting your thumb and index finger of one hand together. Hand gestures mean different things in different countries. 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.) But it is not the case in Bangladesh. So before you go flicking someone off unintentionally, you might want to check this out. Favorite Answer . This article takes a look at one of the most common signs: the thumbs-up sign. 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