French gestures

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Sev, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Sev

    Sev Senior Member

    Béziers, France
    France, french.
    Here is a website where you will find french gestures and their meanings.

    (It's in french, from the first page clik on "Salle 1, 2 or 3" or "Visitez l'exposition". You can then clik on the photos to see the meaning of each gesture, and the translation in english, german and spanish. To have more photos, clik on the big arrow at the bottom).

    Which one do you recognise ?
    Which one do you use ?
    Are there some with totally different meaning than the french ones ?

    I'm very curious about that... :)
  2. touaregsand Member

    Los Angeles
    Korea and America/ Korean and English
    I understand Korean and American gestures.

    2. I don't recognize it.
    3. Same
    4. "thumbs down" gesture means more like "no" or "negative" or "dislike"
    5. Shush
    6. "I'm thirsty", I associate it more with beer guzzling.
    7. "perfect" looks more like smoking marijuana
    8. Same thing
    9.Same thing.
    10. Samething. Although if place near the mouth with the tongue sticking out it means something else.
    11.Same thing, also I can't hear you.
    16. For good luck

    For the most part they are the same as American body language. I tend to not use specific gestures like that. My French born and raised husband does.
  3. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    I've come across the expression 'tailler une basane' and understand that it refers to a French gesture, but I've no idea what it consists of (and I can't remember the original context, which would have helped). Literally it means 'cut a piece of leather'. Is anyone aware of this, and if it is used these days?
  4. whatonearth Senior Member

    UK, English
    In BE:

    2. This is not used in England, to indicate you are bored you might mime yawning, but this is not a norm.
    3. Same
    4. This gesture means roughly the same, its generally negative gesture but is not that commonly used.
    5. Same
    6. This gesture depicted isn't used (with the thumb pointed towards to mouth) to my knowledge. In England we would used a slight variation where the hand is shaped as if holding a glass and 'tipped' towards the mouth. Generally only used in bars/pubs if you are asking someone if they want a drink when it is hard to hear what people are saying
    7. The gesture could be interpreted as smoking weed from the picture, but I know what gesture it represents and it is used to mean perfect but only if a person is being "dramatic" or "flamboyant".
    8. Same thing
    9. Same thing, but seems like a childish gesture.
    10. Same thing strictly speaking but has evolved to be used as a symbol for 'peace'
    11.Same/Can't hear you
    13. Same, but uncommon. The hand gesture (if it is repeated) is used more commonly to represent someone who talks alot
    14. Same
    15. Same
    16. Good luck
    17. This gesture means nothing. There isn't really a specific gesture that is used to represent someone being drunk.
    18. This gesture seems to be similar to an expressions 'Gone from right under your nose', meaning you almost had something but you just missed out, but the gesture itself means nothing.

    Most of the gestures mean roughly the same thing, but gesticulations aren't a major part of communication in England so they wouldn't be used and awful lot, only really when trying to communicate in places where it may be hard to hear or with people who do not understand English very well, but not day-to-day I don't think! Hope that helps! :thumbsup: :)
  5. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    Ta-da! :)
  6. touaregsand Member

    Los Angeles
    Korea and America/ Korean and English
    7. Yes, I do understand the gesture to mean perfect by a French person. I think most Americans would.

    I missed a couple.

    17. Doesn't mean anything as a gesture that a regular person might use. Maybe if a circus clown did, it could mean to "honk" one's nose.

    18. Doesn't mean anything. If the same movement of the hand were placed at the throat it could mean 'cut' as in 'stop action' or "to slit a throat" as in literally to slit a throat.

    I'll add that if I looked at them from a Korean perspective most of the gestures would not make any sense to me at all.
  7. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    And if there were an equivalent site for Italian gestures, just imagine how h-u-u-u-ge it would be!

    I heard somewhere that researchers have identified several hundred distinct hand or body gestures in use in Italy.

    W :):)
  8. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English

Share This Page