The Body Speaks

Yesterday I was watching two images of the same man explaning the same thing, at the same time, in two different languages. Both images were talking about the different expressions used in different languages, but one was in German and the other in French. It was interesting, not just what he was saying (what I could understand) but also to see how his body language was different in each. I don’t know whether this was conscious or unconscious.

In French his head was more inclined, and he used hand gestures a lot, but in German his body was straighter and stiffer, with less hand gestures, though when he did use hand gestures they were more open handed and “chopping”, both hands doing the same action. This was something I found when I moved to Spain; there is a difference in body language and it’s worth paying attention to this, not just the words.

Language isn’t just the words, phrases and tones you use, it can be the gestures, and each language, it would seem, has its own body language in tow; there’s also differences within a language as body language comes with culture.

It’s just a shame there’s no dictionary for gestures lol!


4 thoughts on “The Body Speaks

  1. I wonder how I did when I was speaking to 2 very old german ladies last year, I somehow made them understand my very schoogirl german and waving of arms, they didn’t speak any english bt chatted for about 20 minutes

  2. By the same token, non-verbal language is more universal than we think: think of a mother nursing her baby, a smile from a small child, stance, postures, gestures – I think that they are a yet-to discover planetary way of communication.
    It even works with animals (and plants, they say!…:-)

  3. I think it has been discovered, or created, by lifeforms. It’s just we’re so used to “thinking” and “explaining” we’ve forgotten this basic non-verbal communication with the world. Cesár Millan calls it “energy”, how we talk to the environment and how it talks to us. You can’t walk through the countryside without it reacting to you, you’re always communicating to it and it will communicate to you (non-verbally) 🙂

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