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Italians: People who talk with hands

Week 1, Episode 1

My first step on a thousand-li journey happened to be in Italian "land" of language. And as you can imagine, the first taps into it brought me all the stereotyped perceptions about Italians: how loud and passionate they are, how much they gesticulate and how deeply they're fond of pasta and espresso. I like this about culture—the differences that make them special.

Gestures in Italy are a part of their language—consider it when learning Italian. Rules and words are all good to know, but Italian also has this pretty much unique part —gestures. My attempts to find out why Italians use so many hand gestures, led me to a historically rooted answer. Of course, the whole thing had to form in order for people to understand each other. It turned out that Italian has a gazillion of dialects, some of which are so distinguished that one Italian cannot undertand another. Literally, like a completely different language.

In addition, Italy was a huge commercial point for many merchants from various countries. And how are you going to sell anything to these foreigners, who don't know even one Italian dialect, without being able to convince them to buy or negotiate on price? Of course, you use the universal gesture language. And this language, certainly, integrates into the culture, evolves over centures, and becomes a part of people, their identity and their communication.

I found a great video of Marco who can show us first hand the most common gestures in Italy (5 minutes). It is entertaining and really gives a taste of culture. Check it out!

And why can't we learn something from handsome model-guys? ))) Put 2 minutes more of your time into Italian language and enjoy this video.

And another great thing to know is some of Italian beliefs and unspoken rules. Find out what you'll get in Italy if you ask for latte, and how to kiss people properly when you meet them.

Let's continue and discover what the spoken Italian is about. I see you in the next post!

A dopo! (See you!)

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