As I opened the section on “French Gestures” in the book The Everything Learning French Book, I had a flashback of my own French gestures. I cannot begin to count the number of times that I have been teased how my hands move as I speak. In my high school years, some friends found it amusing to even grab hold of my hands to interrupt my speaking. Therefore, as I read this section, I mainly related to gestures that might have needed explaining to others. However, I did chuckle imagining a person tapping her nose to indicate that she knows or understands something.
And I really like the gesture of a person covering her mouth with both hands to indicate an apology for something the speaker has said. After all, it is a perfect visual acknowledgement of what destruction can come from our tongues.
At any rate, I believe that just common sense will help me uncode the various “French” physical gestures that are described in this book.
However, I did appreciate learning that if the French are going to count using their fingers, they begin with the thumb as number one when most of us begin with the index finger. This could be important information if you use your fingers to indicate how many items you would look. As the authors in the book warn its readers, “If you want one drink and hold up your index finger to indicate that, you may just end up with two.” What a surprise if both Greg and I received two drinks each! Perhaps I won’t tell Greg this helpful tip – just for the fun of it!!