’Translation isn’t an easy art at the best of times, but Chris Clarke truly had his work cut out for him when he set out to create an English version of François Caradec’s Dictionary of Gestures.
First published in 2005, it’s a compendium of more than 850 movements involving everything from the lips to the eyelashes to the knees.
Not only are many of those gestures specific to a particular country or culture, they’re also tricky to define — particularly given the fact that they transcend written language to begin with.
As It Happens guest host Piya Chattopadhyay spoke with Chris Clarke about the project and about why knowing your gestures just might save your life. Here is part of their conversation.…’