This is a simple guide to help you navigate the world of Brazilian sign language.
1. The Swipe
Hold your right hand at waist level and without too much arm movement, "swipe" your hand as if wiping a table. This means "to steal."
Ex. Swipe your hand while saying, "We can't find the radio." Indicates that it was stolen.
2. Estou de olho - I'm Watching You.
Pull down one of your lower eye lids a few times in a row. Means that you don't neccessarily believe what someone is telling you, or that you're on the watch.
Ex. Pull down your lower lid while saying, "He says he has to go to the library." You know darn well he has no intention of checking out a book.
3. Lotado - Full
Hold up your right hand to shoulder level, bending elbow. Join all fingers and thumb pointing upwards. Open and close the fingers like a tulip would. This means that the place in question was full to capacity.
Ex. "The party last night was
Point to the left with your right hand and sweep across mouth, closing it to the thumb on the corner of your lip. This is a quick movement. Indicates that the food was fantabulous.
Ex. "Sister, this lunch was
5. Depois - "After"
Hold up pointer finger on right hand and twirl in a circle perpendicular to your body. This sign is ALWAYS used when wanting to delay something.
Ex. "When can we set that appointment?" Response:
6. Sumiu - "Disappeared"
Left hand faces up with right hand passing over it in a forward "clapping" motion.
Ex. "It's time to take out the garbage. Where did Gustavo go?"
BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL:
7. The Thwack.
A favorite among missionaries, this is hard to master. Hold your right hand with your middle finger and thumb forming an "OK" position. Then "thwack" it down quickly, letting your pointer finger make a slapping sound on the other fingers. It means "working hard" or "lots of effort."
Ex. Appropriate response to, "Whatcha been doing all day?"
I will expect you all to visit soon and converse freely with my neighbors.