“I Almost Spit Take”: Drama Ensues When A Man Translates A Friend’s Tattoo

Unless you truly treat your body like a sketchbook, most of us want our tattoos to mean something. An important symbol, a reference to a loved one, or perhaps a mantra to keep in mind. For some reason, many non-Asian folks have decided that Chinese or Japanese symbols somehow have enough significance for them to be inked onto their skin.

A man wondered if he perhaps shouldn’t have told a friend what her “Chinese” tattoo actually meant. To put it plainly, it didn’t mean “Strength and Beauty.” Readers weighed in on OP’s actions and debated if these sorts of tattoos were a good idea in the first place.

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Getting a tattoo in a language you can’t understand, much less read is a questionable choice

Image credits: BuddyL / flickr (not the actual photo)

A man ended up in hot water when he told his friend what her tattoo really meant

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Image credits: MART PRODUCTION / pexels (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Pavel Danilyuk / pexels (not the actual photo)

Image credits: throwaway-multilingo

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Many people who get these kinds of tattoos tend to not actually know what they mean

While at this point in time, most people know better than to get random symbols tattooed on, there are still many misconceptions about how non-alphabetic writing systems work. First and foremost, the symbols used in China, Japan, and Korea (among other places) are not letters, they have their own specific meanings.

So if you happen to know someone who “wrote” a sentence or a name and “translated” it into Chinese letters, chances are they simply got a whole lot of nonsense tattooed on their bodies. It doesn’t help the issue when a person desires a “meaningful” tattoo in a writing system they can hardly recognize. Case in point, OP’s friend did not even know that her tattoo was not Chinese.

Even if the writing was correct, something OP’s friend couldn’t exactly verify, there is still a solid possibility that she would end up disliking her ‘tat’ in the future. Psychologists call this tattoo regret, a pretty straightforward condition. One survey found that almost three-fourths of people with at least one tattoo ended up regretting it. While OP hasn’t updated us, it’s not hard to imagine that his friend will end up feeling the same way.

Image credits: Muhamad Lutfi / pexels (not the actual photo)

Impulsive tattoos tend to be the ones people regret most

Interestingly, the same survey found that the most commonly regretted tattoo was “planned” just a few hours before the artist got to work. This, perhaps, should not really surprise anyone, since the average impulsive tattoo is generally done while under the influence. It’s also pretty easy to see just how annoyed and uninspired the tattoo artist might be when they have to work, without planning, on an inebriated person.

It also doesn’t help that most things tend to look better in our heads than in reality. Plus, the execution of a tattoo can end up differing from the design, which is why it’s vital to always do your research before picking an artist, which isn’t really possible if your whole idea to execution process was just a few hours. There is also the issue that some things simply won’t look as good on skin as on paper, although at least OP’s friend didn’t need to worry about this one.

The number one reason stated for regretting a tattoo (35% of respondents) was “it was impulsive.” Now, there is nothing wrong with some impulsive actions, sometimes it can be nice to let loose, but a tattoo is generally a little more lasting than trying out a new restaurant you just spotted. While it can be lasered off, it’s hardly a quick and easy process.

Image credits: Wellington Cunha / pexels (not the actual photo)

OP ultimately chose the right course of action, even if it made people uncomfortable

The real crux of this story is whether OP should have spoken or stayed quiet. In the long run, there is no doubt that he needed to tell her what the tattoo meant, the writing and words weren’t obscure enough that she could risk keeping it. However, there is some argument to be made that perhaps he could have approached it differently or brought it up later, in private.

This revelation, while necessary, definitely could ruin the mood for the night, unless “Julie” had a very easygoing sense of humor. Ultimately, despite the mood of the evening being considerably lower after he revealed what the tattoo meant, he is still not to blame. This is definitely the sort of case where “live and let live” is simply not enough. If it’s any consolation for OP, in the long run, it’s pretty likely that his friends will thank him.

Image credits: cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

Some people were curious about the word

Most thought OP was right for telling her

Others shared similar stories of mistranslated tattoos

The post “I Almost Spit Take”: Drama Ensues When A Man Translates A Friend’s Tattoo first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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