Saturday, February 27, 2010

from: Camilo E.
date: Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 2:28 PM
subject: my tattoo


My name is camilo and i write from Venezuela, i just want to know if you can help me to translate my tattoo because i think that is not what i want for my skin jajaja. I went to a tattoo store and i look the chinese and japanese letters that they offer. I ask to the guy if i can tattoo my name initials and he say YES!!!!.

Well, i send a photo of my tattoo to see if you can translate for my.

I appreciate your help.

Best regards.



Gibberish font strikes again.


  1. Pathetic.

    But the interesting thing here is the third "character" here.

    It might give us a little insight into the mysterious character for "Y" which I could not decipher from the gibberish font before. I now see that it might in fact be two characters: 林拳.

    Or even squashed and rearranged parts of three characters 林寺拳.

    I can only guess that, considering the "martial arts" theme of the rest of the font, it may have came from the name 少林寺拳法.


  2. More about that character, for 林拳, 林 is written smaller, why should it be?

  3. @Ulas,

    Good question! I have no idea...


  4. Maybe they think the 林 is a component of the overall character, so it was tattooed smaller.

  5. If the name in question had this "Mc" starter, which is predominant on Scottish and Irish surnames, this might be rational...but this time...they even have the wrong character smaller :)

  6. @Solari,

    Maybe it was something like that.

    Perhaps something like this was written in vertical script:

    But the person copying it for the font didn't know which parts went together as characters or which were parts of the same character.

    Or maybe it was only:

    And again they just left off the 少 and thought 林拳 was one character, so they tried to make it all fit into a square by making the 林 bit smaller.

    But there's just no telling what someone with no knowledge of Chinese will do while trying to copy hanzi.

  7. If one insists on getting something tattooed in Japanese one should use Katakana as it is designed for transliterating western words into something readable for the Japanese. In Katakana my first name transliterates into "FiRiPu" (Philip - L and R being interchangeable). It is by no means an exact transliteration, but it is accurate enough not to be embarrassing should a Japanese speaker ever read it.


  8. Plus in gibberish font it would be "CEYC" which is weird.

  9. 安功林拳安? Is there a significance as to why the second character = 功? but written as 工 + ㄌ[L / l in Zhuyin Fuhao?]