Saturday, August 10, 2013

from: Kaci H.
to: ""
date: Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

My mom has this tattooed on her back. The guy that did it said that it meant Mom in Chinese. I have googled and googled and cannot find a meaning for this ... Can you help? Please.

Friday, August 9, 2013

from: Bobbie B.
date: Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 7:08 AM
subject: Lost in translation

Here are two "Chinese" characters I have tattooed on my body. I got them when I was very young and wasn't legally allowed to even be tattooed. I was told they meant happiness and sadness. I am very embarrassed by getting these and now being older I'm very curious what they might mean if anything.



of 痛苦 is upside down.

from: Kim C.
to: ""
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM
subject: Translation

Hello there. I just read your article- very entertaining :) I was wondering if you might find the time to translate a tattoo for me? My brother got one and I'm curious to know what it really means.

Thanks so much!!!


is revered referencing with other two characters, and .

from: Sherry B.
to: ""
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM
subject: Tattoo translation

I've had this tattoo for almost 20 years, and I've had several friends get it as well. And I've met people who have had it as well before I ever knew them. We were all told it meant something akin to the Seize the Day sentiment. Were we right?

Alan and I have already blogged about 生現 be complete gibberish back in 2007 and 2010, yet we continue to see people getting fooled to thinking it means "live for the day", "seize the day", "carpe diem", or "YOLO, you only live once".

from: Tamara M.
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 12:19 PM
subject: Tattoo Translation

Hi there

My girlfriend got this tattoo specially made. She even paid for a translator to get her daughters name. It’s supposed to say “ALEXA”. Can you tell me if it does or not?


荒草 weeds / brush (vegetation) / wild grassland

from: b. kane
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM
subject: kanji translation

had a friend help out with the translation.  he said afterwards it meant "property of mitsubishi" am i am car now? or does it say some variation on 'love conquers all' someone else who told me that the translation was incorrect.

It is complete grammatical gibberish.

"love / change [location] / ten thousand [many] things / overcome"

Obviously stupidity is one thing love can't conquer.

from: bernadette c.
to: ""
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM
subject: tattoo translation

While I am fully aware most of this is menu items,
I'm wondering what the left hand characters are?
I was told it was 'new life' .
(For the record I had the part about chicken and rice added #1 to prove that any characters tattooed would do fine and #2 because tattoos are so often miss translated I knew that at least one I would know for sure!!! and #3 it's just the funniest thing ever)


Alan and I have already blogged about 生現 be complete gibberish back in 2007 and 2010, yet we continue to see people getting fooled to thinking it means "live for the day", "seize the day", "carpe diem", or "YOLO, you only live once".

Bernadette's attempt of humoring "chicken fried rice" has incorrect , rice.

from: Hauke P.
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 10:58 AM
subject: Re: Tatoo translation

Found your Blog a few hours ago and it is just so much fun :)

This Tatoo is from my Roommate. He got it 1 or 2 weeks after he went 18. Would you please Translate it? It should be the gemini zodiac sign ("Sternzeichen Zwilling" in german), i translated that with google, i hope you know what i mean with that.

Thanks in advance and greetings from Germany :)

Astrology's Gemini is 雙子座雙胞胎 is biological twins.

from: Al
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:53 AM
subject: Tattoo Meaning


I was wondering if you could tell me what this means.


from: James S.
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:52 AM
subject: Does this mean hakaifuka?

I was told that hakaifuka means unbreakable. Do these symbols mean that?

Thank you!
James S.

The characters are correct, however grammatically is reversed and contextually different than English's concept of "unbreakable".

It is read as "damage / can not".

from: penny a.
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:15 AM
subject: Lost in translation

hi, saw your blog...I got these back in 99... It was supposed to mean Faith, Passion, Discipline.... it came to my surprise that my chinese friend was unable to read the second one back the day... Now I joke around and say it means 'impossible to read'



record, annal, historical account

rash; addiction, craving, habit

"Chronic hepatitis?"

Friday, August 2, 2013

from: Matthew
date: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 5:23 PM
subject: Tattoo translation

Hello, just curious to know what the symbols used here actually mean. The impression I was left with is that the middle symbol is supposed to be honour and the three symbols around it courage, loyalty, and respect. I'm wondering if that is anywhere close to correct. Thanks!

The center character, , means "expensive, costly, valuable."

from: Ben D.
to: ""
date: Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM
subject: Tattoo translation

Hi there,

I got this tattoo about 15 years ago, I was told it meant wise/to excel, i'm kinda guessing that I wasn't too wise getting it as it probably means nothing of the sort!!!

Thanks in advance,

from: Amy H.
to: ""
date: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 8:28 PM
subject: Tattoo Translation

My friend just got this tattoo but he won't tell any of us what it means. I'm beginning to think it's just gibberish after seeing all of the older posts. Any help is appreciated!

The tattoo is grammatically incorrect translation based on word-per-word machine translation tool (e.g. Google Translate)

"Destroy / Them / Total"

"Let / Deity / Organize / Them"