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Learn Italian and Italian Hand Gestures: Navigate Your Way in Italy!

Aug 3, 2008
Without speaking a word of Italian, you can explore Italy. You are set to explore Il Bel Paese armed with only an outgoing personality, a warm smile, and Italian hand signals. Or, are you?

Still, you're better off studying Italian before you leave. But use these Italian hand gestures to help you.

Arguably, you can travel in Italy without speaking a word of Italian. You're set to explore Il Bel Paese armed with just a gregarious personality, a genuine smile, and Italian hand gestures. Or, are you?

You'll be better off relating to Italians and enjoying Italian culture if you learn Italian online. Nevertheless, here's a short guide to Italian hand signals that you can apply to supplement your Italian.

Un momento!

In English, this means "one moment, please." Just point your index finger upwards like the number 1. This can also say "may I speak, please?", but it'll be needed to learn Italian then.

Ho fame

This translates to " I'm hungry", a plea to your hosts to feed you. You should hit your stomach with the side of your flat hand, which ought to send a clear message. Still you will need some Italian food words to grasp Italian food; otherwise, you will find yourself gagging on pasta and pizza. Besides, when you study Italian, you will learn the difference between polipo and pollo. Who knows what allergies these dishes might bring to you?

Ehi tu, vieni qui

This translates to "come here." The same come hither signal used in America is used here. Because this could look rude or sexually inviting, it is advised to utilize this with caution. It is still better practice to learn to say "prego, potete aiutarli" to get someone to come over.

Silenzio

This is made by pressing your index finger to your lips, the universal gesture of "silence." However, successfully explaining why you want silence is another story. This proves that you still have to learn Italian!

Idea!

You would've successfully emphasized that you have an idea when you look happy with your hand on your head. However, learning Italian will be useful when you tell them all about this idea.

Perfetto

Made with your thumb and index fingers creating a circle, do this with both hands, and you've complimented somebody with a perfect score. This is very handy in your Italian travels as this doesn't demand that you speak Italian.

Scusi, devo andare al bagno

This is a very useful gesture that means "I must go to the rest room." You'll be pointed to the nearest rest room by wearing a pained expression and holding up your index and middle fingers. For the diarrhea-prone traveler, this is very useful indeed.

Indeed, Italian hand gestures are sheer poetry. To read Italian street signs and speak with the locals, though, studying Italian is still handy. Opt to have the best of both worlds, instead.

It's poetry in motion to see these Italian hand gestures. Still, it never hurts to understand and read Italian poetry in books, billboards, and street signs, which requires that you do have to learn Italian! Why not get the best of both worlds, then?
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