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Italian Hand Gestures


Italians use body language and hand gestures to punctuate an expression and give it a shading that the word or phrase itself lacks. The Italian hand gestures illustrated here are some of the more common gestures that are recognized in the country. Be aware that, like dialects, certain hand signals can mean different things within different regions—and can have completely different interpretations in other cultures. Practice these gestures on your Italian friends first to be sure you've got the right movement, otherwise a potentially embarrassing situation could develop.

Andiamo a dormire.

English translation: Let's go to sleep.

C'è da fare o no?...

English translation: Yes or no?

Mi dà un passaggio?

English translation: Can you give me a ride?


English translation: Gesturer wants to ward off bad luck.

Un momento!

English translation: One moment please! or May I speak?


English translation: Perplexed. Gesturer is undecided.

Ho fame.

English translation: I'm hungry.

Ehi tu, vieni qui! (Ascolta!)

English translation: Hey! Come here, you! (Listen!)


English translation: What?

Vieni fra le mie braccia!

English translation: Come to me!
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