Hand numbers differ slightly between Taiwan and China.
1-6 are the same.
7 in Taiwan is 8 in China. One sketchy sounding reason has been suggested as to why this is.
7 in China is sort of a beak formed with your fingers. 8 doesn’t exist in Taiwan as far as I ever knew (yes?).
9 in Taiwan is the same as China, but in Taiwan no one uses it because it is similar to a gesture for death, they say. No such taboo in China, according to the people I’ve asked.
10 in Taiwan is crossed right and left index fingers. In China, it’s a sort of a flip-flopping of one widely opened hand, or I guess you could say a rapid twisting of the wrist back and forth.
Anyone know why these differences exist?
7 is thumb up, index finger out
8 is the same plus middle finger
9 does get used
10 can be crossed index and middle fingers, or crossed index fingers of two hands
And the “9” gesture is different here. I don’t remember the one here, but the alternate gesture (unused in Taiwan) does have some connection with implying someone should die, IIRC.
I learnt finger numbers from people from Beijing and ten was crossing your middle and index fingers on the same hand. Oh and numbers one through eight were exactly the same.
There could be some variations around different parts of China
Thanks for your input.
I never saw anyone use 9 in Taiwan.
I never saw anyone use anything other than two index fingers crossed for 10 in Taiwan. Your saying you’ve seen people use crossed middle and index fingers on the same hand as in “cross your fingers for good luck”?
Your saying there’s a 9 in Taiwan that’s not an index finger sticking up with the top bent down? By the way, thanks for getting rid of that annoying blinking cat thing as your avatar. I had to stop reading your posts :loco:
Anyone have any thoughts on the difference between 7, 8, and 10 in Taiwan and China?
[quote=“yonglan”]Thanks for your input.
I never saw anyone use 9 in Taiwan.
I never saw anyone use anything other than two index fingers crossed for 10 in Taiwan. Your saying you’ve seen people use crossed middle and index fingers on the same hand as in “cross your fingers for good luck”?[/quote]
That’s the one I’ve been told is not used. Don’t remember the other one, but I’ll find out for you.
AFAIK, 7 and 8 are the same, 10 varies wildly within China as well.
That’s the one I’ve been told is not used. Don’t remember the other one, but I’ll find out for you.[/quote]
It’s really easy, a logical extention of 8. thumb + index, middle and ring finger. All are up. that’s 9.
And the reason the bent index finger 9 is related to death is because when a person dies, and rigamortis sets in, the feet curl up. Curling and uncurling your index finger, in immitation of these feet, is used as a sign that someone is dead.
Tetsuo, what were the first two quotes of me for? The first quote had a question. Was kind of hoping you might have an answer :help:
Hope to hear what the other nine is.
Like to hear anyone else’s thoughts on 7 & 8, or 10.
In a related topic what do you make of the orientation of 7 in Taiwan? The other numbers I was able to do anyway I wanted, but some people seemed kind of picky about which way my 7 pointed. Have you found this, and if so what orientation have you found is considered correct?
Is that a seven in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
I’ve definitely seen the curled index finger for 9, but yes, because it’s the same as the ‘death’ gesture, it’s not common. I’ve never seen an alternative.
From what I’ve seen, crossed index and middle finger for 10 is more common than crossed index finger of both hands. These signs are supposed to be able to be done one-handed. This is the most common one I see too, because people do it (with me) to avoid si4/shi2 confusion.
Hope to hear what the other nine is.[/quote]
Seems you missed it, I explained what both 9s were in my last post, right before yours.
I think holding your right hand w/ seven in front of you, pointing to the left, and pointing downwards at about 20-30 degrees is what I remember.
Opposite of my observations.
If you’d actually read the post, you’d have worked that one out.
6 is “hang loose”
7 is “gun”
8 is “scissors” with the thumb sticking up
9 is pressing a bug-spray can
10 is “keep away, vampire”
Though I sincerely welcome your posts, I had specifically asked Tetsuo, since he had mentioned something. As you may have noticed on this thread, we’re getting some different answers. So, your post is welcome, but I am still looking for a specific answer from Tetsuo.
Tetsuo, I read your post carefully a number of times as it was typically unclear, since you enjoying being a smart arse more than being helpful, though you are helpful as well. I just reread it and it is totally unclear to me what you are saying. Are you saying 10 is like cross your fingers for good luck? Might you lower yourself to answering a simple yes or no? Thanks
Chris, wonderful, except I am in the habit of spraying bugs with my thumb.
Yonglan - your original post was completely accurate regarding the way it is done in China, or at least that’s what I learned in Shanghai. The other posters told you how it is done in Taiwan.
I think I saw Lonely Planet had it wrong; they copied the gestures from mainland China but they aren’t actually the same here. One of the other ways to do ‘10’ in Shanghai is to make a fist.
You want a specific answer from me? You see where you said I’m a smartass? Swap “smart” for “dumb”.
Actually I’ve done a lot of ‘research’ on this, amongst Taiwanese adults and children (in Taipei) since thispost came up, and having asked a few dozen people, here’s what I came up with.
6: Nearly everyone did the thumb and piny finger up - a few kids didn’t know
7: Most did the thumb and index finger up - some kids didn’t know it
8: Most did thumb, index and middle - a lot fo kids didn’t know it
9: Most people didn’t know anything, but a few kids and adults did the same as 8 plus the ring finger. Nobody did the curled index ‘death’ sign, and nobody knew it when I suggested it. I was wrong about that.
10: was most surprising to me. Of the minority who had a sign for it they all did the wiggling of the outstretched palm sign, which I’ve never noticed before. But, since then, I’ve still observed both the crossed index fingers of both hands, and crossed index and middle of one hand, but admit that the former is more common.
And, I made-up a little joke/trick, which invariably catches out Taiwanese. Hold up one finger and say “how many fingers am I holding up?” Repeat with 2-5. Then do the ‘six’ hand sign - thumb and pinky up - and repeat “how many fingers?” - they’ll always say “six”. “No, two”
Thanks many. Excellent research. You’re hired :bravo:
When I get back from vacation late next week I will start this up over on chinese-forums.com and see what the mainlanders and Hong Kongers have to say. I will then dutifully report back here whenever it seems to wrap up over there.