“I speak two languages, Body and English.” – Mae West.

Body language

Body language


“I speak two languages, Body and English.”  – Mae West.


It’s no secret that at busuu we love to speak languages – but what is really being communicated by what we don’t say?

Practising your grammar and vocabulary is without doubt very important, but being aware of what your body is saying can really make a difference! 

What is body language?

Words are wonderful, but they are only half the story: eye contact, gestures, facial expression and posture are some of the things that make up our body language. In other words, body language is the way we all communicate nonverbally.

 Our bodies don’t lie

About 55% of communication is nonverbal, so in fact, our bodies are actually saying more than our words!

Your posture, the way you hold your body, can send many different messages. Standing upright with your shoulders back will make you seem confident, open and receptive, for example. Find out more about the different messages our posture can send here!

Mixed messages – body language around the globe:

Good impressions

Whereas in the UK and the Unites States, smiling would seem like a harmless gesture – friendly in fact – if you smile at a stranger in Russia, you can be seen as strange and suspicious. In Southeast Asia, on the other hand, a smile can be used to hide negative emotions.

You may want to think twice when travelling to other countries. You never quite know what you’re body might be saying.

Mixed Messages

A smile, a ‘thumbs-up’, a handshake; its easy to assume that a lot of our body language is universal. But, we’ve uncovered some surprising facts about body language around the world.

Did you know that the seemingly inoffensive ‘thumbs-up’ gesture is an insult in some countries? Or that pointing will get you into trouble in others? Maybe even more confusing – While for us (and many other countries) nodding is a sign of agreement, it means a very definite ‘no’ in places like Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Albania.

So it’s easy to see why body language matters, especially for you language learners. Learn more and make sure that you and your friends around the world always see eye to eye!

 Continue learning!

Leave a Comment:


  1. Ahmed

    really it is good way of learning thanks aolt

  2. Winaye

    so good!Thank you busuu!

  3. wioletas

    yo soy persona mayor 72 años me cuesta mucho aprender pero tengo que hacerlo porque tengo que vivir en canada, ustedes me escriben en ingles yo no entiendo nada, gracias por escribirme y sobretodo por tenerme en cuenta. DIOS YAVE los bendiga

    • Laura Santos

      ¡Muchas gracias por tus palabras!
      ¡Sigue aprendiendo con busuu!

  4. Mohamed

    A body language is the most common language all over the world


  5. Sikandar Ali

    Thank you busuu!

  6. malek

    Hi dear busuu
    Body language is different in different countries .but when we go abroad ,maybe we can’t speak but we can show our emotion by gesture .it’s not enough for us but it canneseserry.any way I’m so happy from busuu

    • Lik Ting

      Just like other animals, to show our emotion

  7. mataan

    Body language is very usefull, for example; smiling, bluckfaced, and handshaking.

  8. Gio

    I’m learning French and English I live in Mexico where I’m studying psychology, I can mix both of them and realize that the body language is very important in the human, because is the way that we express how we are, our personality.

    • Laura Santos

      Hi Gio,
      Thank you for your comment!
      Continue learning with busuu French and English! Well done! 🙂

  9. Teegan

    Really excited to learn! Thank you busuu!

    • Laura Santos

      That is great!
      Thank you and continue learning with busuu! 🙂

  10. Khawaja Aabid Hasan Butt

    Wao,great learning,thx a lot busuu

    • Laura Santos

      Thank you for your kind words!! 🙂

  11. mohamed abdi elmi

    is a good way to understand

  12. Maha

    Very interesting, but it is very short..

    • Laura Santos

      Thank you Maha,
      We are working on new posts!

  13. Maria veliz

    Gracias, soy venezolana
    o good!Thank you busuu!

    • Laura Santos

      Gracias Maria!
      Continua aprendiendo con busuu! 🙂

  14. Araceli Vega Ramirez

    Is really great to keep learning … well !!!

  15. faisal

    i do agree with you that the body language is very sensitive in for example so countries thumbs-up is like very bad action like uganda if you thumb-up to a lady it means let us go to bed so she may slap you, so we have to take care when ever we are planning to a country in which we have never been before.

  16. cara

    Very….very interesting…….mmmm

  17. Rasha Adam

    Really very good
    Thanks a lot

  18. palwasha

    thankyou bassu for giving us information.

  19. Aimée Natacha

    it is very wonderful!!! and very good, thank you very much busuu

  20. Arti

    Thank you busuu … it makes me more careful in expressing myself when not at home in my own country…besides the German language is being taught in such a fun way…the phrases and sentences really help in understanding how to express the word learnt….


    wooo”””””””” special messages.

  22. Prosper


  23. saintalus

    I am very happy to be a member of that website, it is very good so i want to learn more english!

  24. dua

    Its great to know about body language.

    • Laura Santos

      Thanks Dua,
      We are planning more posts!
      Continue learning with busuu

  25. ali raaj

    .busuu is really good for us .saintaus if u want to talk with me i m ready .because we ought to learn more.i hope u want learn more.tankx

  26. gordien

    busuu.thanks for your job many people will improve freely their fluent language .i’m going to pursue you

  27. jawed

    HI There,
    your e-mail shows continue learning about our body language but explaine a short part of it.Please mail me complete material
    with Regards,

  28. ribqa

    danke schon fur busuu

  29. Genet Tilahun

    Thanks a lot. Really interesting

  30. Jacinelia

    Gosto do Inglês, a pesar das dificuldades nas pronuncias,estou tentando aos poucos .

  31. maawia

    that is very good knowledge , thanks alot

  32. spider

    i am very happy to know that

  33. roohi manzoor

    great ! thank you busuu.

  34. vicerino

    thanks bussu, there are things that Idid not know. The human being learns every day.

  35. Leonhard Klaar

    The origin of accent

    When a child begins to speak, he/she sets its articulatory base on that of the people surrounding him/her. Different languages have different normal movements of the parts of articulatory base in the time of talking. For that reason the speech effect in the vocal tract is different. When the tissues there are still young and yield to speech actions, permanent changes take place on the pharynx wall. Behind the lower part of the tongue there is an activated surface created. A mechanical speech apparatus is formed in the vocal tract, which is serviceable until the death of the owner. After a certain critical period
    all new acquired languages are spoken with that instrument. As the native language has a limited number of sounds and their characteristics are only for that language, all the others are pronounced incorrectly.

    A person can have more than one talking instrument in his/her vocal tract – for instance, when a child is born in a bilingual family.

    For comparison: a person has a melody in his/her head and he/she can make it audible with the help of musical instruments, whereas each of them has its own “accent”. But the melody can be right with all instruments.

    Why phoneticians do not want to admit that they have no idea about the origin of accent?

    Leonhard Klaar

  36. eshajee

    thanks alot,bussu

  37. LanguageBox.co

    If Italians stop speaking their body language will be enough to get understood 🙂 Nothing personal with the Italians but they are so temperament that you have the impression that you will find your way without knowing a word of the language 🙂