Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Fun &Easy Chinese by ChineseClass101.com!
嗨大家好,我是李殷如. Hài dà jiā hǎo, Wǒ shì Lǐ Yīnrú.
Hi everyone, Yinru Li here.
Do you know any Chinese body gestures?
Body language can make communicating way more efficient and fun.
In this lesson, you’ll learn some interesting and typical Chinese body gestures.
The first body gesture we’re going to talk about is ...{bow}
In Chinese this gesture is called 鞠躬 jū gōng, "to bow". [slow] 鞠躬.
Some people might have the false impression that Chinese people bow on a daily basis. The truth is nowadays bowing only happens on very few occasions, such as:
1) In high-end stores, restaurants, or hotels, where you may have greeters by the door to greet and bow to customers. In this case, they often bow with the greeting: 欢迎光临 huān yíng guāng lín, meaning "Welcome to our store." [slow] 欢迎光临。
2) Performers may bow at the end of their show to thank the audience.
3) It is courtesy to bow at funerals and when visiting the deceased ones at cemeteries.
So what body language do Chinese use to greet?
Chinese greeting gestures are pretty much the same as the rest of the world:
When people meet for the first time, a handshake is very common and expected, especially on formal and business occasions.
Handshake is called 握手 wò shǒu [slow] 握手. A handshake sometimes goes with a slight bow, which is lowering your upper body a little, like this {handshake with bow}.
When there’s no time or it’s hard to talk, you can use a hand wave or a nod with a smile to greet. Hand wave is called 招手 zhāo shǒu [slow] 招手,
and nod is called 点头 diǎn tóu [slow] 点头.
If you use social media such as 微信 wēi xìn "Wechat", you may have seen this emoji quite often: {emoji: :pray}. People in China like to use this to represent praying, or to express gratitude.
In real life, putting two hands together is originally used to pray. In Buddhism, which is the dominant religion in China, people put two palms together and close their eyes when praying. This gesture is described as: 双手合十 shuāng shǒu hé shí. It literally means "double hands put together to make ten." [slow] 双手合十.
This praying gesture is also used in everyday life as a way to say "thank you" or "please".
When you’re asking someone for a big favor, you can say "thank you" like this: 谢谢谢谢 xiè xie xiè xie {pray gesture}. [slow] 谢谢谢谢
Girls like to say "please please pretty please" with this gesture too. 拜托拜托 bài tuō bài tuō{ pray gesture} [slow] 拜托拜托
The next body gesture is used a lot during Chinese New Year: {clasped hands}. This gesture in Chinese is called 作揖 zuō yī. [slow] 作揖.
It is used to congratulate. On Chinese New Year, you can do this and say 新年好 xīn nián hǎo "Wish you a good New Year," [slow] 新年好.
You can also use it at weddings. Congratulate the bride and broom, or their parents with this gesture while saying 恭喜恭喜 gōng xǐ gōng xǐ, which means "Congratulations." [slow] 恭喜恭喜
The next gesture takes two people to complete. Imagine this is my hand, and this is your hand, with our pinky fingers hooked together, we make promises. This "pinky promise" gesture in Chinese in called 拉钩 lā gōu [slow] 拉钩
There’s a rhyme to go with the pinky promise: 拉钩上吊,一百年不许变. Lā gōu shàng dià, yì bǎi nián bù xǔ biàn.
It means "Making a pinky promise, it’s a deal. No change is allowed within a hundred years."
[slow] 拉钩上吊,一百年不许变.
Note: This is mostly used by kids, so don’t try to make an agreement with your business partners by asking them to do the pinky promise with you!
Alright, here comes a question: What is the default photo-taking gesture in China? And the answer is ...{V sign}.
It is so popular that it is not only used by girls, but also by boys, even my grandma does this when taking pictures!
This pose has an interesting name: 剪刀手, which means "scissors hand." [slow] 剪刀手 jiǎn dāo shǒu.
It’s also called 比耶, meaning "to make the yay sign." Notice the Chinese way to say "yay" is 耶 yè。[slow] 比耶 bǐ yè.
Next time when you take a picture with your Chinese friends, remember to hold up your scissors hand and say 耶!
Have you noticed how Chinese people use their hands to talk about numbers? If not, watch closely.
{doing number hand gestures}
一,二, which is also in taking pictures "耶"
三 there are two ways to do number 3. One is like this and another one like this. The second one also means "ok".
四,五,六 this is a unique one. If you put it next to your ear, it also means "phone."
七 in two ways, one way and the other way.
I’ll do it again. You can count and do it with me. Ready? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Let’s do a quick review. What occasions will people use the following body gestures and phrases?
{handshake} 你好你好
Right, usually when we people meet for the first time.
Next one:
{clapsed hands} 恭喜恭喜
This is to say "congratulations" on happy life events, such as weddings and New Year’s.
{praying hands} 拜托拜托
This gestur is often used when asking someone for a big favor.
{pinky promise} 拉钩上吊一百年不许变
A playful way to make promises.
{number 6}
And what number is this?
Number 6 六.
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Thank you for watching. See you next time! 再见!Zài jiàn! 拜拜!