April 1, 2006

Check With RiceDaddies Before Getting That Kanji Tattoo, OK?

love_hurts_tatt.jpgCrazy days. Apparently some people get Chinese characters tattooed on them which turn out to say something different than what they intended:SHAD MAGNESS wanted to celebrate the love he felt for his young son with a grand gesture.

At a Los Angeles tattoo parlor four years ago, he had two Chinese characters etched in a prominent spot on his left forearm. He assumed that the translation in the sample book the tattoo artist showed him "one love" was correct.

The first sign of trouble came six months later, when Mr. Magness was shopping at a Staples store and the checkout clerk informed him that the characters on his arm meant not "one love" but "love hurts."What's the problem here? So you get stuck with a bad tattoo [that, after 4 years of parenting, is probably even truer than his original idea]? If your name's Shad Magness, you've got cool to spare. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get a little work done, and I'm stuck with Bon Jovi screaming in my head.

Cool Tat, Too Bad It's Gibberish [nyt]
Related: mind the language gap at Hanzismatter.com and Engrish.com.
Previously: Tattoos on dads and tattoos on daddytypes

3 Comments

Hey, at least you don't have the Nazareth version of "Love Hurts" stuck in your head. Oh, wait, you do now.

[d'oh! -ed.]

Hey, part of Asian American culture is that we don't speak/write/read the languages of our parents/grandparents/great-grandparents, or at least not well enough not to get laughed at by foreign-born relatives or the random waiter. So don't ask us, or your tat probably will end up wrong. ;)

[good point. Of course, part of the white get-a-kanji-tattoo-on-spring-break culture is that asking someone who looks Asian is spellcheck enough. -ed.]

Haha, gotta love Chinese tattoo artist. Next time choose your design wisely.

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