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Learn Chinese Gestures for Numbers [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-7-23 11:26:08 |Display all floors
This post was edited by suray at 2012-7-23 11:26

Nowadays, more and more learners choose to learn Chinese online. Once, a friend at an online forum told me a funny story about himself ordering in a Chinese restaurant. He just started Chinese learning then, and did not know how to say the numbers in Chinese.



He wanted to eat fish. And the waiter asked how many fish he needed (服务员问他要几条鱼 fú wù yuán wèn tā yào jǐ tiáo yú). So he held out two fingers – the thumb (拇指 mǔ zhǐ) and the forefinger (食指 shízhǐ) of his right hand (右手 yòu shǒu), signifying that he wanted two fish.


Guess what? When the waiter served up, there are eight fish in the dish.


How come that the waiter thought my friend means eight fish? The gesture is to be blamed.


, in China, we hold out the thumb and the forefinger of the same hand to express the number eight. Do you have any idea about the Chinese gestures for numbers?  

English Chinese translation: http://www.topchinesetranslator.com/

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Post time 2012-7-23 13:09:18 |Display all floors
Yes, I use gestures, the same time I (try to) use the Chinese words for numbers.
I learnt a little from this site

please find it quoted below:

One-handed Counting

You will find it extremely useful to learn to count up to 19 using just the digits of your right hand. Not only is this very practicable in noisy situation – like playing dice in a nightclub – but you will also find it very useful  in daily situations. For example: You walk into a restaurant and the waitress immediately says something to you. She is asking how many people will be at your table. She may not speak Cantonese, nor any recognisable form of Mandarin. Simply say s above, but also hold out your hand indicating the number. Easy!

Here’s how we count:
Take your right hand and hold in front of you with palm inwards

1.         Closed fist, thumb hidden,  index finger extended horizontally
2.         As above, index and middle finger extended
3.         As above, index, middle and third finger extended
4.         As above, all fingers extended
5.         All fingers and thumb extended vertically
6.         Vertical closed fist with thumb and pinky extended horizontally ( --nnn-- )
7.         Closed fist, index finger pointing down, thumb pointing to your left – then rotate this to read 9.30 hours
8.         Two versions:
a)         Thumb and index finger either side of your nose, and pull away in a sweeping gesture
b)         As 7 above, but index finger at 9.30 and thumb at 12.30
9.         Closed fist sideways (Thumb to you). Raise the middle joint of your index finger
10.      Simply a closed fist

For numbers between 10 and 19, simply make two very quick number signs as one movement, so ten (Closed fist) first, followed by integer sign

You can actually use this method to count up to 99 – but this is quite rare. In this case there are three movements as if one: tens value, followed by closed fist (ten), followed by number less than ten

Usage for dice:
Having learnt to count as above, here is a brief introduction to usage:

a.       Six fours is stated as two separate hand movements
b.       Repeating numbers as in ‘six sixes’ are usually indicated by emphasising the hand sign and waggling the whole fist repeatedly
c.        Twelve sixes would be stated as a ten sign flowing into a two sign as one movement, followed by a separate six sign
d.       To raise one time, lets say to thirteen sixes, simply tap your fist on your dice pot with thumb up
e.        To call ‘No Ones’ say ‘zhaI-ah’ (Upper case i) and indicate this using your fist with thumb extended in front of you, and move your arm to indicate this is behind your head – again one movement

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