Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I Forever You

This tattoo posted in BMEzine's gallery did not have a translation caption.

The characters 我永你, "I forever you" reminded me of those "I heart NY" t-shirts and "I heart Huckbees" posters.

= our, us, i, me, my, we
= long, perpetual, eternal, forever
= you, second person pronoun

This is not even pidgin Chinese, at least pidgin is functional. (thanks Brendan)


  1. I wonder if this person got the idea from the phrase 我永远爱你 or something like that, and, thinking of the English word order ("I'll love you forever," rather than "I'll forever love you"), mistook 永 for "love."

  2. Interesting, Brendan. So you think it might be a half baked effort to shorten it to "I'll love forever".

    Or, could it be an over baked simplification of "I'll forever be yours"?

  3. it just doesn't make any sense to me

  4. Hmm, maybe he meant to say 我遠你 - roughly "I'll keep you at a distance."

  5. except, like 永, 遠 is not and cannot be used as a verb. it would be the english equivalent of "i far you."

    i wish the owners of these tattoos could surface and tell us what they really meant to put on their bodies. this one completely baffles me.

  6. My guess is, someone chose "me" and "you" and put "forever" in the middle. This is logical (a) if you think Chinese characters are kind of just symbols like the heart sign or the peace sign, so you can play around with them graphically ... or (b) if you are (incorrectly, or course) generalising about the rules of another language according to what you can do with your own.

  7. It's possible the person was trying to convey the idea of "you and me forever" graphically by putting the "forever" in the middle- in the way people write John + Jane 4EVA. Which kind of looks strange in either language, but hey, at least it's interchangeable through relationships unlike if the person had actually used names.