Is it possible to understand what someone is saying when you don’t understand their language?
Let’s imagine you don’t understand this question: “Sut wyt ti?”
Well, neither do I. It is Welsh for “How are you?”
Of course, you would use your Google Translator to help you through this troublesome tongue-twister. You would reply, “Dwi’n iawn. Diolch.”
But, what about understanding people when you can neither hear what they are saying nor read their lips?
You can certainly tell when they are providing information. Typically, they gesture with their hands and arms with single chopping or pointing movements, suggesting each point they want to make.
When they draw conclusions, their hands often come together to suggest the facts have combined to form a final, overarching meaning. It’s like a silent clap.
Their beliefs or attitudes, usually the silent, unstated mode, are more obvious when you observe their body language. The arms may be folded and/or the hands held together in prayer. Conclusions (silent claps) have become beliefs (prayers).
The emotional mode is clear when you see their face, hands, or arms. They may hold their head with their hands (aching with sadness or pain) or cross their arms (in irritation or anger) or arch their back and look up to the skies (because they are so very happy).
When they want you to stop, they will adopt the movements of a traffic cop. When they want you to go, they will point then push you forward with a sweeping gesture. When they want to move, they will jiggle and juggle until they get the chance to change the situation through their own actions
So, body language may be better understood from the perspective of Infra Language. Each mode has its characteristics and each is expressed using recognizable gestures and expressions.
Maybe, it is time to rethink body language?