Life as a Language Learning Challenge, Step 2
As we've established, learning a new language involves the creation of a virtual alter-ego--or as I prefer to say, the discovery of a long-lost identical twin who was raised as a native speaker of your L2. And should you and this other actually meet, you will soon discover that language (as in words) is only one of the things separating the two of you. Another big difference is the way both of you use your hands.
Let's start with a country famous for its native speakers' use of their hands. Notice the way Veronica is counting with her fingers in this video:
Il contando comincia @5:24
Many years ago, a girl who had been raised in another country was tickled by the way I was using my fingers to count. On each hand, I start with my pinkies and work my way to the thumbs. That was how I learned in nursery school and how most Filipinos my age and older seem to do it. The other girl had learned a different method: she started with her pointer finger, went all the way to the pinkie, and then did the thumb last. And she said everyone from her country did the same.
Then there is the way people seem to count in Germany . . .
That's certainly the most orderly method yet--which surprises no one, I'm sure! Curiously, while it's not the way I count, it is the way I pray the rosary when I'm using my fingers as beads (except that I still start with a pinkie).
Something else to note is the way Veronica and Ralph hold up their hands: both keep their palms facing inward. Is this a European thing? I've seen the member of Il Volo who most resembles my future husband do the same to indicate a unit of one, so perhaps all Italians do. In contrast, both I and the girl I met are Asian and when we count for others, our palms face outward. Unfortunately, I can't remember which Asian country she was from, but if you've ever seen anyone using her manner of counting, you could probably remind me!
(Later in the second video, when they show you how to use your fingers for "binary" counting, they use what I now want to call "Asian palms." [What?] And @2:14 is all the justification they need. LOL! But then Ralph reverts to form anyway, and I ROFL.)
So now I know how my long-lost, separated-at-birth triplet sisters use their fingers to count!
How about you?