The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece, it means “up yours.” ... And in Singapore and Japan… It’s hard to explain why crossing your fingers means hoping for good luck, it’s just something that’s so ingrained in our brains. It would be a proper response to, say, if someone asked you if you wanted to beat Pokémon Sun/Moon only using Magikarp. That’s because in Japan, giving the thumbs-down is very similar to giving the middle finger in the U.S. – it means something like “go to hell.” Very odd considering they use the thumbs-up sign no problem, but hey, it’s hardly the first time Japan has confused the crap out of us. ... And in Singapore and Japan, that motion signifies death, so unless you are the icy hand of death yourself, don't employ it. Many parts of the world interpret a circle made with the index finger and thumb, with the three remaining fingers up as “OK.” But some places see it a little differently. People also tend to stand up and sit very straight and to avoid putting their hands in their pockets. So when a Japanese person runs their finger across their neck, it’s your job (and not necessarily your life) that is in danger. "Thumbs Up has been a most effective partner on both our subscription sales and fundraising. That’s why today we’re counting down the top five hand gestures that Japanese people don’t understand. In the meantime, give me a follow on Twitter and let me know if there’s any topics you’d like to see covered. 3. Raising the index and middle fingers of a hand into a V This gesture was commonly used in World War II by the Allies to symbolize victory. It’s a bit of an odd gesture, for sure, but I guess the circle that the fingers form kind of looks like the “O” in “OK.”, In Japan however, the same gesture (or often turned upside down with the fingers extending to the side or to the ground) means something completely different: “money.”. !”, Top image: PAKUTASO (edited by RocketNews24). Cultural understanding can come in handy, my friends! And the #1 confusing Japanese hand gesture is…. Just one tap(click) to copy and paste on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and more.It works on many browsers and platforms, You can even use them in your iPhone or android phones :D Now, years later, I’ve gone too far in the opposite direction: I point to my nose around my family in the U.S. and they have no idea what I’m doing. It’s made especially difficult by the fact that sarcasm in Japan isn’t quite the same as the English-speaking world, so even if you do the best job ever of explaining it, you might just get a polite nod that’s covering up a brain full of confusion. And the #1 hand gesture that Japanese people don’t understand is…, Is there a private company option that doesn't require air quotes? It shows that something is driving you crazy and that you’d rather die than do it anymore. If you give someone a business card, or hand them your camera to take a photo, be sure to pass on the item with both hands. 1 = thumb finger closed 2 = thumb + index fingers closed 3 = thumb + index + middle fingers closed 4 = thumb + index + middle + ring fingers closed 5 = all fingers closed, clenched fist Of course after the meal when the bill came and everyone paid up, I realized that he wasn’t asking “if this place was okay for me” as in was it up to my imaginary high standards, he was asking if it “was okay for me” price-wise. See you next week! â¼ I’ll never forget one woman who I had to explain to that no, it’s not called We often signal goodbye by extending our right arm straight to the front and waving the fingers up and down, but the Japanese have a similar gesture which is used when they want to call someone to their side. It is also considered a rude action in Japan. Other studies suggest they come from WWII pilots signalling each other in the air. A one-handed presentation might be taken as dismissive. â¼ When everyone in the office has been talking about you with demon horns Get ready to explain yourself after using one of these, because either you won’t be understood, or you might unintentionally imply something very different than you intended. The funniest cross-cultural hand gestures have to be the ones that almost make sense in another language, but not quite. The thumbs up gesture can also create some real problems for those who count on their fingers. Though not identical, this gesture is similar to the Japanese way of showing that someone is crazy: having your hand “explode” next to your head. Every single time I accidentally use them around Japanese people, I get the same looks of confusion and have to go through an explanation of what the air quotes mean. In Arab countries this is also an offensive gesture and can be quite offensive. Mean, it ’ s why today we ’ d rather die than it... 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