Why Do Italians Talk with Their Hands?

Italians talk with their hands meme. "If your hands aren't moving, then I can't hear you!"
Italians talk with their hands. "If your hands aren't moving,
then I can't hear you!"
Buongiorno miei amata amici!

Italians talk with their hands as persistently as the Old Faithful geyser erupts, except more often! My papà informed me that he could not help but move his hands on my mamma, because he had "Roman hands." Fortunately, he never did lay claim to having "Russian fingers!"

On the other hand (pun intended), most Italians in certain regions have common hand gestures which speak the same language. In a 1973 published articled in Time Magazine, the publication had the nerve to infer that talking with hands is a sign of poor breeding. I'd like the author of that article to stand in the middle of the Roman Coliseum and share that belief!

Recently, I was quite amused with the latest episode of  The Italian Experience, where a french man visits Italy to understand the need to talk with hands. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



22 comments:

  1. Buongiorno and thank you for visiting my blog. Funnily enough I have an Italian surname (courtesy of my father in law)! Really enjoyed looking about here and especially some of your recipes. Some I may even give a try!

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  2. Buongiorno Ruby! Thank you for visiting my little Italian blog. We are having fun learning and sharing about all our Italian traditions. Blessings to you! :)

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  3. Happy Valentine's Day! This is such an interesting blog -- the culture, the recipes and so many other things! I will be back often

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  4. Thank you Carolsue, this is truly an enjoyment to learn and share so much about our Italian heritage! :)

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  5. LOL! Too funny! I am Italian and my husband is always making fun of me for talking with my hands. I can't help it! It's in my blood!

    gina.m.maddox AT gmail DOT com

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  6. Interesting! It might be strange, but I took an Italian class a few years ago and noticed that I started using my hands a lot more when I was speaking Italian. Hmmm...

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  7. I always wondered why they used their hands alot. A great article!

    hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

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  8. Hilarious! It is true and very expressive (which I like). Great post!
    Bo

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  9. Hi Gina! I guess you should have him watch this show...maybe he could learn to appreciate it more! Hee hee! My mouth and hands are often moving at the same time...and way too much! :)

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  10. Hi Meg! That is too funny! I have been trying to learn more Italian, but I am definitely NOT fluent. My relatives in Italy seem to think I am much better than I am. :)

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  11. How funny! I know some non-Italian people that do the same thing...I guess it's second nature if you will.

    lauren

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  12. hahaha that is so true! I know a lot of Italians who talk with their hands also :) jmmccarr@gmail.com

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  13. Hi Shooting Stars Mag!

    I agree. I think it just depends on your upbringing in part. My dad uses his hands often, whereas my mom rarely does. :)

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  14. I thought it was a cute clip, really enjoyed the show. Hope they make more cool ones like it soon! :)

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  15. FUNNY,I am italian,and my wife is always making fun of me for talking with my hands!

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  16. italians talk with their hands- i never met one who didnt!

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  17. Yes we do talk with our hands especially those of us from Jersey! Great blog:)

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  18. That's a really interesting article and the video is very cute. I would love to know more about the regional hand gestures for certain things. I talk a lot with my hands, and I also do some acting, which makes me want to learn more about body language for all kinds of people.

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  19. Buongiorno! That was very cute! I must have some Italian in me - I use my hands a lot when I talk! I took Italian in college and loved it, now I want to take a refresher course and hope to travel to Italy some day!
    Grazie!

    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  20. This was interesting! I love learning about different cultures. I actually use my hands all the time when I talk...but I'm not Italian. I'm actually French & Irish. Thanks for sharing this!

    sarabeth1117(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. I grew up with my mom talkig with her hands constantly. This was due to the fact that my mom worked with the deaf. I inherited this need to express myself through words while moving my hands, although not at all related to anything sensical in sign language. This has made many people ask me if I happen to be Italian, which I am not, but see this as a compliment.

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  22. I'm the only one that doesn't! Even my husband who's not Italian talks with his hands LOL.

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