Sunday, October 9, 2005

French Tattoo Flash Mistakes

This lovely collage of mistakes is brought to you by a French website called

means "minister", not "Bouddha" (English "Buddha").

means "immortal" or "fairy", not "boxe" (English "boxing", the sport).

or means "cannabis", not the character shown.

means "charm" or "attraction", not "demon".

means "puppet", not "destruction".

means "soldier", not "divorce".

means "evening" or "dusk", not "enfant" (English "child").

means "offspring", not "esprit" (English "spirit").

is written incorrectly and it means "evil spirit". Not to be confused with , which means "worship" or "idolize".

means "emperor", not "football".

means "soul" or "spirit", not "grand pere" (English "grand father").

means "toad" or "clam", not "grenouille" (English "frog").

means "private", not "illegal".

is incorrectly written and it means "jealousy".

means "prick", not "meurtre" (English "murder").

means "ancestory", not "militaire" (English "military").

is incorrectly written and it means "death".

means "buddha", not "paradis" (English "paradise").

The ironic part is the French government is so concerned about their language, it actually dedicates an entire branch an academy on maintaining the purity of French language.

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  1. and why are so many of the characters sightly (and some more than slightly - femme, for instance) rotated? It makes me seasick skimming through them.

  2. Grandpere is French for grandfather, not father.

  3. Regarding 蛤, both "frog" and "toad" are pretty much the same thing. As I recall, researchers decided a while back that there's no good scientific basis for a distinction between the two.

  4. To the last person claimed "frog and toad are pretty much the same thing",

    There is a distinctive difference between the two. The very basic one is that frogs are amphibians which means they live both in water and on land, while toads are mostly live on land. Some toads would going to hibernation when there is a drought.

    The true frogs are the Ranidae and the true toads are the Bufonidae.

    The Chinese also understand the difference by referring frogs as 蛙, and toads as 蛤蟆 or 蟾蜍.

    I am surprised that people still do not know the difference. This was taught in middle school science class.

  5. i agree that 青蛙 is frog and 蛤蟆 is toad, but i don't think that the frog/toad distinction is a big one -- especially in the face of all the other mistakes in this thing. also, my chinese dictionary definition of 蛤蟆 is (1) frog (2) toad, so perhaps the definition of 蛤 is more broad than 蛙.

    toads are also amphibians, so i don't really see why that is a distinguishing point. (,,


  6. could also mean "warshipped by"

    the character does not necessary mean a bad thing.

  7. Lune,

    The character you are referring to is , which means "worship and idolize". But if you look closely in the picture, it shows , not 崇.

  8. The character for "amour" or love looks incorrect as well...

  9. FYI "boxe" means "boxing" (the sport) not "box" ("boîte").

    Also, it's not the government that's in charge of the "purity" of French, it's the French Academy. Totally off-topic either way...

  10. Anon,

    That is one of the simplified ways to write .

  11. What about the character/hanzi for "chien"? chien means dog, and i did study a different one.. is there another way to say so or the character is wrong??


  12. Is the one for "amour" (love) is correctly written? First line last column.
    I'm no expert but it looks like the "heart" partial is somewhat damaged.

  13. Blanca,

    The other word you learned is probably , which is used more commonly in Chinese. But like Clark said, 犬 does indeed mean "dog," as well, and is also in use in Chinese. 犬 is the common kanji for dog used in Japanese.

  14. Olive> That's the simplified version of "ai".

    Also "football" in French (more commonly just "le foot") refers to what we call soccer in the US.

  15. I know that technically both 友 and 朋 mean "friend", but I thought that in Chinese generally you were supposed to say 朋友 to mean friend, and not just 友 by itself. Can someone help me out here?

  16. The French word for toad is crapeau. hehe I love that word.

    J'adore mon crapeau.

  17. Cool!! i learned a new word for dog!!! thanks guys!


  18. Diane:

    朋友 does indeed mean friend, and in common speech you'd just say that. But, for example, girlfriend is 女友. "Female friend." In combinations, both mean "friend."

  19. 卒 is not only soldier. In Japanese context this kanji means "Graduadion"

  20. I decided to look through the list, and...

    How is (to like/fetish) exactly "alcoolique" (alcoholic)?

    And while is the "yang" in "yin and yang," and can therefore mean "male," it certainly isn't commonly used to mean "man" (homme). would have been much better, especially considering that when 陽 is used to mean "male," it doesn't have to be human.

    There are also many characters whose meanings match archaically, but are rarely (if ever) used today with those meanings.

    Anon, don't you usually have to combine it with 業 (i.e. ) for it to mean "graduation"?

  21. what i like is that an anti-establishment individual who tried to get a tattoo that said "destruction" wound up being labelled "puppet"

  22. Hey, you forgot the last one. It doesn´t mean "patience", it means "nin" ("To" + "Kokoro") that can be used to compose "Ninja".

  23. As for "démon", which they write 魅 (charm, bewitch), it was probably meant to be 鬼 (oni: demon)...

  24. I don't know about the Chinese meanings, but 忍 has the meanings in Japanese of stealth, hiding, and endurance. You'll find it in words like 忍ぶ (endurance) as well as 忍者 (ninja).
    That's pretty close to patience, so I'd guess that to be roughly correct.

  25. 私 can also be "I" (in Japanese, at least).

  26. isnt kokoro japanese for heart?

  27. Corret ben, kokoro means heart in japanese, and that part looks damaged on the love character, but I'm not very adept at kanji yet so I refrain from commenting

  28. "The French word for toad is crapeau. hehe I love that word.

    J'adore mon crapeau."

    I hope that you don't have "crapeau" tattooed on any part of your body because it actually spells crapaud.

    (enjoying the irony on this site devoted to calling morons and idiot westerners people who display a comparable lack of knowlege).

  29. '...魅 means "charm" or "attraction", not "demon".'

    Yes, 魅 means charm/bewitch/attract as a verb. As a noun it's definitely a "demon, evil spirit" (see Pocket Oxford Chinese, the sole for 魅 on its own) or look it up on Guoyu Cidian: