Sunday, July 19, 2009

from: Kama
date: Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 12:51 AM
subject: tattoo request

HanziSmatter site is amazing, great idea :) I love reading it. Chinese and Japanese characters looks great, but I still don't understand why people are tattooing their names in those languages, when they come from German, England or Poland, like me.

I guess they want to look cool, like my friend, who is 100% sure that he has "Julia" tattoo on his left hand.

Is he? Please, help me to translate it right (if it's not ok) because he is playing so smart, that would be a pleasure to prove him wrong ;)

Greetings from Poland,



is an acceptable phonetic Chinese translation for Julia, however all characters were done mirrored.
from: Johan
date: Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 9:41 PM
subject: Look at this Arrivals sign from Sweden

This is from Arlanda, Stockholm's international airport. They have a lot of these signs.

In Sweden, we pride ourselves on being way better than everybody else, by the way.

Johan, Sweden


It appears manufacturer of the sign did not have correct language and fonts pack installed. Instead of displaying (arrivals), the second character showed up as a rectangular box.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Help with translation - Faith, Hope and Love!

from: Erik F.
date: Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 9:32 AM
subject: Help with translation - Faith, Hope and Love!

Hey there!

My friend went to Turkey and got himself a tattoo in chinese or japanese. According to him it says "Faith, hope and love", but being the sceptical person I am, I thought I should send a picture to you to verify.

Does it really say that, or is this another case of "Prepaid Public Transportation Card"? (A part of me is hoping it is!)

Thanks for your time!




To one that is only familiar with Chinese or Japanese, this tattoo would be gibberish.

A quick look via Google Translator, I soon realized this is Chinese phonetic translation of Turkish, where Faith is "inanc" (伊南), Hope is "umut" (乌穆特), and Love is "ask" (阿士克).

The irony is with current situation in Xinjiang, China, were most ethnic Turks reside, Chinese and Turks are not on the best of terms.

Why would anyone stupid enough to get a Turkish phrase to be phonetically translated & tattooed in Chinese? It's like begging to be the Lucky Pierre in middle of an ethnic conflict.