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The Chinese 3

CHINA | Wednesday, 6 July 2011 | Views [1697]

After two weeks in China, I have reformed the way I demonstrate the number 3 using my hands.  In America, if we want to show 3, we hold up our first, middle, and ring finger in a W shape.  In China, they make a circle with their thumb and first finger, holding up the middle, ring, and pinky in a slanted W.  This change was involuntary and I had no idea until I saw myself do it in the mirror while I was thinking to myself.

The one cool thing about the Chinese way of expressing numbers by hand is that they have a way to show all numbers up to 10 on one hand.  Those of us in the Western world can't claim the same.  See diagram below.

Tags: china, communication, hand gestures, xian

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