Sunday, June 14, 2009

from: David L.
date: Sun, Jun 14, 2009 at 12:11 PM
subject: tattoo meaning

Hi, I'm called David Lopez.

I'm from Barcelona and I would like to know that it means a tattoo that I did to myself years ago.
I believe that it is Chinese and though I did it for aesthetics, now I am afraid of taking a meaning that I don't want.

My girlfriend and I would have a lot of interest to know the real meaning of my tattoo.

Thank you very much in advance. You will be of great help!


tattoo meaning

means "buy/trade", means "road, path", means "card".

賈路卡 sounds like a type of prepaid card that allows its owner to access public transportation. Typically it is called 乗車券 定期券 (short for 定期乗車券) in Japan and 月票 in China.

Some readers suggested this could be translation of "Jeanluc", but that is not correct. Jeanluc is 吉魯克.


  1. He will be ready to take the tube in the afterlife. Better than pennies on your eyes.

  2. So... It means "commuter pass" or some such? Weird.

    If it's any consolation to the bearer, the calligraphy is a far step above the usual visual horror of "Chinese" tattoos. (At least the first two characters; the third looks like it had an accident.)

  3. Maybe the guy kept losing his card, so he decided to tattoo it on his leg.

    It might be a bitch to stuff into that little slot, though...


  4. why oh why would you just pick random cool looking characters without checking what they meant first, especially for such a large obvious tattoo?

  5. It's kind of profound, since in a way our legs are truly prepaid travel.

  6. "It's kind of profound, since in a way our legs are truly prepaid travel."

    LOL, wise words.

  7. Why hasn't David written back to express his gratitude for the translation?

  8. @Tian,

    In Japan, 乗車券 is an ordinary train or streetcar ticket. A prepaid commuter pass is called a 定期券, which is short for 定期乗車券.


  9. In the mainland, Jean-Luc should be rendered as 讓呂克/让吕克 (cf. the Xinhua transliteration guidelines). 吉鲁克 is used for "Giluk," a Malay name.

    Taiwan, though, doesn't use the mainland standard -- in fact Taiwan doesn't seem to have a consistent transliteration standard and works on a name-by-name basis instead. 賈, 路 and 卡 are all commonly used for transliteration in Taiwan, but I'm not sure what 賈路卡 is meant to correspond to -- 賈 is used for [ʒa], 路 for [lu] and 卡 for [ka], which is a reasonable facsimile of "Jean-Luc". But Taiwan already has a common transliteration for "Jean-Luc" and it's 尚盧, not 賈路卡. It's possible that 賈路卡 represents the Taiwanese transliteration of some uncommon (or possibly non-French/non-English?) name, but I think a mistaken (at the very least non-standard) transliteration of "Jean-Luc" is the best guess.

  10. I find this happening all the time in my business (I specialize in women's tattoos.) It is quite important to get the correct meaning from a native speaker and/or a VERY reputable translator to understand the meaning BEFORE inking.

  11. The person is from Barcelona, located in Catalan region in Spain, therefore his and/or the tattoo artist's mother tongue is either Catalan or Spanish-both really close languages I might say-but why on Earth a guy named David have a tattoo with the name Jean-Luc or a similar sounding name?

  12. Well, I was into the phonetic meaning in Catalan with the first hanzi sounding either like jia or gu or even the Cantonese ga - then went on to an online Catalan/English dictionary with a few phonetic variations and apparently it has no meaning.

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