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Speak Italian: The Fine Art of the Gesture Paperback – March 3, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruno Munari (1907 1998), internationally acclaimed painter, sculptor, photographer, graphic designer, and creator of books, was a member of the Milanese Futurist group and taught at universities in Europe and America. Munari also designed advertisements, objects, toys, and games. His artwork has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and in museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Bilingual edition (March 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811847748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811847742
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jessica Lux on December 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This beautiful paperback is just over a hundred pages, but it packs a punch with the gorgeous black and white photo illustrations. Each is accompanied by text in both Italian and English explaining the technical aspects and the nuances of each gesture. This timeless guide was first published in 1958, and the 2005 re-release is a must-have for anyone studying Italian language and culture. (No vulgar gestures included.)
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I bought this book because I thought I'd learn something new . The pictures are nice enough, & it being in both Italian & English (although not always precisely translated) is neat.

But most of the gestures are universal, not unique to Italy (the international signal for "check please" or "to read") which was a little dissapointing. The more Italian gestures are not well explained in terms of context, but are entertaining enough.

If I were to do it over again, I might buy the book but only for under $9
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I'm an italian teacher and this was just the perfect gift for friends and students! It's basic, easy and enjoyable! Gives a great idea of an important part of the italian language tradition! Plus all of these signs are very easy to remember so that if u've some italian friends u can surprise them with using some of it and believe me if I tell you they will appreciate it! Thumbs up!
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To start, the book isn't as long as I thought it would be. The gestures that it covers are mainly obvious ones like how to say stop. In any country if you used the sign for stop someone would understand. I was hoping for more Italian specific gestures and not generic ones that may be used in Italy but are also used all over the world. I do like the fact the book explains everything in Italian as well as in English. Overall I was disappointed in the book. It had a lot more potential.
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Format: Paperback
Take a black and white photo of an Italian gesture and provide a facing page in Italian and English which explains that hand gesture and you may just have the rudiments of learning 'street Italian' - and some of the sign language essential to speaking it. Some surprising subtleties exist here - as in the sign for 'agreement' - as well as some obvious new gestures - such as that for 'ok', an import. The result's funny and informative all in one package.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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If you are insulted by gestures of others and do not understand the Italian language , this book will help you understand better what they mean and how they are saying it. It is a beautiful language and this book is small enough to fit in the purse or back pocket to carry along. Very helpful.
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This proved to be a good gift after a lecture on hand gestures Italian use, and looking back I saw my mother-in-law use some of them leaving me to guess the meaning. This though did make me curious about how many regional differences exist in hand gestures.
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I had bought this book for a friend who was going to Italy. And at this writing he's in Italy. He did love the book, and he took it with him. I bought it for him as a going away gift. It was the perfect gift for him. I'm sure he's getting a lot of use out of it.
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