Friday, January 7, 2011

from: Emma L.
date: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 12:23 PM
subject: Chinese Tattoo?

My friend's boyfriend had this tattoo done with another friend whilst on holiday in Turkey. It was supposed to be his grandmother's name, but not only did the tattooist get his and his friend's tattoos mixed up, the lettering seems to be reflected as well. Would you be able to tell me what this actually means? Thanks, Emma x

1. Tattoo is based on gibberish font
2. All characters are mirrored


  1. That's what you get for getting "Chinese" tattoos done in Turkey. Come on!

  2. Oh my, this one IS hard to read!
    But if we whip out our handy-dandy mirror, it must be:
    (Literally "hand woman extreme flow woman"; sort of funny right there.)
    And now, on to the gibberish font decoder card, we get (drum roll, please):

    Is Laura your friend's name or the grandmother's name?

  3. Why on earth would you get a Chinese tattoo in Turkey?!

  4. As a Turkish person, this is kinda like my turf :) I've seen many tattoo parlors and amateur fake tattoo artists on the sidewalks of holiday resorts advertising "Japanese tatoos" (Japan is more popular than China here, in this regard). Many of those are taken from pre-made sticker tattoos, and as they are all mirrored (because of the obvious method of applying those) the templates they are using are mirrored also. Most of them are stock words in this business like: "love", "brave", "loyal" etc. The gibberish font is mostly marketed as the "Japanese alphabet" or "Chinese alphabet". They are mostly not mirrored though, because being taken from the internet. We may further guess that a friend of the tattoo artist might have warned the artist, showing the mirrored stock hanzi as correct and the corresponding gibberish font hanzi as wrong.

    This guy would have got the Chinese tattoo in his own country if he did not go to Turkey, that's for sure. And thinking that Turkey is on the east of this person's home country, I assume that he probably thought "well, we're closer to China than home, so I guess it's OK"