Imagine giving someone the finger when you thought you were saying hello. Sounds like an absolute nightmare, right? Anyone who’s tried to learn a foreign language knows how difficult it can be: from pronouns, to verb tenses, to declensions, it’s not a simple skill to pick up. Well, turns out you need to worry about more than what’s coming out of your mouth: hand gestures can vary hugely across the globe, and could be the root of an unexpected faux pas at any moment.
The good news is that with the help of today’s infographic you can master hand gestures from across many different cultures. And while they make take some getting used to, hand gestures can actually be a great form of shorthand (no pun intended.) For example, in Ghana, a simple palm movement can be used in place of the phrase “come here”, and in France, simply touching your face below the eye will be immediately understood as “I don’t believe you.” Ultimately, taking the time to learn hand gestures can go a long way towards making you blend in with the locals- and, most importantly, it can mean the difference between saying hello and deeply offending someone.