Hand Signals 101

It’s Monday! This is THE WEEK! Just a few more days 🙂

I should have posted about this earlier, before we were actually leaving…because this is something quite interesting, and it is VERY common in Brazil! David sees it EVERYDAY! I don’t see it as much but then I am not in the work place or places that he is that it would be used so much.

We have noticed there are a lot of deaf people in Resende. And Michelin, employs a number of them. I think this is great!! It actually works VERY well and David says they are some of the nicest people. Sometimes it is a challenge to communicate but along with some Portuguese, he has learned some basic sign language this year. So cool!

There are also some basic sign language/hand signals that Brazilians use. Brazilians are very expressive and emotional people. They have a great sense of humor and love people. When you see a Brazilian talking you will probably see his hands moving and making different gestures. I thought it would be fun to get a Brazilian friend to demonstrate. Actually I asked David to ask one of his friends 🙂 I wanted to do a video BUT time is short…we ran out of time and this is such a cool thing with Brazil culture. I did what I could to find something from the internet.

So here is some basic hand signals you should be familiar with if coming to Brazil.

Hand Signals 101

Come here: Turn your palm up or down. Flex you fingers out and back a couple times. They also make this sound along with the gesture “psiu psiu”.

Telephone call: Put your fist up to the side of your face with your pinkie finger and thumb extended to show that someone is on the phone. This is also used for call me.

Warning or disbelief: Gently pull the bottom of your eye lid down with your index finger. This means “be careful” or “watch out”. It is used when someone doesn’t believe or trust a situation or person.

Disbelief: Tap your fingers under your chin. This means “papo-furado” which implies someone doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Let’s eat: Point your fingers to your mouth then bend them up and down a few times, which means that the food is ready or let’s eat!

Let’s have a Coffee: Hold your thumb and index finger together about 2 inches apart in front of your mouth. This indicates and invitation to have a “cafezinho” a small cup of dark coffee or espresso.

Let’s have a beer: Hold your hand in a fist with your thumb pointing towards your mouth. This is an invitation to go have a beer “cerveja” or a draft beer “chopinho”.

Delicious: Tug your earlobe when you think something is delicious! This gesture is not as common as it used to be.

Great or cool: A thumbs up sign means something is really good.

The good life: Put your thumbs under your armpits and move your fingers. This means that someone has it made or living well!

Jealousy: Rub your elbow with one hand to suggest jealousy. The slang for this is “dor de cotovelo” which literally means a pain in the elbow. There are many Brazilian songs that mention this phrase in them.

Crazy: Hold your index finger to your temple and move it in circles. This means a person is crazy “louco” in Portuguese.

Friendship: Rub your two index fingers together to signify closeness or friendship.

Bad driver: Rub the front of your fingers to your cheek to suggest someone is a bad driver.

Expensive: Rub your thumb and index finger together to show that something is expensive or that you need money.

No: Hold your index finger up and shake your hand from side to side to indicate no. This is very common.

Don’t care: Hold your hands in front of you palms up, hit your fingers on the top and bottom changing hands to express you don’t know or don’t care.

Full: Hold one hand in front of you palm up. Bring your fingers and thumb together to indicate a place if packed full of people. This is used a lot by taxi drivers when their car is already full.

Speed or fast: Hold your thumb and middle finger together. Shake your hand hard so that the finger and thumb make a snap. This means hurry or fast.

Obscene: The North American okay sign inverted is very vulgar in Brazil. It is the same as giving the middle finger. It is best to avoid the okay sign to be sure you don’t use it wrong and use the Brazilian okay sign which is the thumbs up.

That’s just a few of the ones he sees. There are a lot more. So if you are planning a trip to Brazil, it’s time to brush up on the hand gestures and you’ll fit right in 🙂

Did I mention this week we FLY?!!!


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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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