My Uncle has a joke that goes something like this: “I know Arabic.”
“What are you talking about, Uncle Jim? Of course you don’t.” We would think to ourselves, waiting for the punchline.
Then he proceeds to write the Arabic numerals from one to ten on a sheet of paper.
Well, Uncle Jim, I know Chinese. Here I go:
OK. Now the easy part is over. Here’s 6 thrugh 10.
7 – The fingertips are all touching and usually pointing upwards (not like I’m doing it).
8 – The thumb and index finger make an “L”, other fingers closed.
9 – The index finger makes a hook and the other fingers closed.
10 – The arms are raised and the index fingers of both hands are crossed in a “十”
The method probably came about to bridge the different dialects of Chinese (not to mention the completely different languages of the dozens of other minority languages included in Chinese territory.
Regardless, it is helpful for us travelers who don’t speak Chinese.