It’s generally accepted that language is not just words. And this is true especially when it comes to Spanish - we speak with our hands, with our face, we make gestures and movements that have a message of their own. So, in order to resemble a native speaker, speaking Spanish with gestures and body language is very important. Likewise, if you want to understand natives, understanding these gestures will help tremendously. Let’s look at some gestures and body language, then!
Our favorite Spanish Guru, Maider, explains some of the most common gestures we use.
- Caradura - to have a lot of nerve, shameless
- Estar harto - to be tired from, fed up, bored with
- Mucha gente - a lot of people, crowded
- “Estoy a dos velas” - to be broke, without money
- “Lo pillas?” - do you get it?
- Así así - more or less, so-so.
- “Te voy a dar” - “I’m going to hit you”
- Muy delgada - very skinny
- No tener dos dedos de frente - not very smart, doesn’t think things through, reckless
But there’s more! You’ll notice our discourse is accompanied by body language that can’t be ignored. We tend to move our hands (and sometimes the arms too) quite a lot, for example, as if to empathize our words.
Sometimes, this may lead you to think that we’re intruding into the other person’s personal space, but we aren’t. In our culture, nonverbal communication is natural and not a sign of disrespect. There isn’t, usually, a big physical distance between two speakers.
Therefore, one of the best ways to sound more like a native is to show how comfortable you are with these codes, be it the gestures Maider explains in her views or a more open and more expressive way of communication.
Would you like to know more about this? Let us know in the comments below!