After reading this infographic, the stadium full of University of Texas Longhorn fans holding up their hands in a symbol of team spirit has a whole new meaning. Apparently, the “longhorn” sign tells Mediterranean cultures that you have been cuckolded, or cheated upon. Texans traveling abroad, watch out where you show your Longhorn pride.
Hand gestures, like culturally specific slang, do not always translate well across countries. American travelers have enough to worry about without inadvertently insulting someone. Today’s infographic makes an example of several popular American gestures. The peace sign moonlights as an often censored expletive when thrown up in Australia or New Zealand, and gesturing to “come here” with the pointer finger is punishable with jail time in the Philippines.
I am sure this goes the other way around– does anyone know of any harmless hand gestures that translate into something derogatory in the United States? [Pimsleur Approach]17