Wednesday, August 4, 2010

from: Jeff L.
date: Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 4:44 AM
subject: My silly-ass tattoo

Hi Tian!

Very nice blog you have here. I was wondering if you could help me re-translate (hopefully correctly this time) my first ever tattoo!! (surprise!) The top should read "to excel", the inside should read "strength", the outside "to persevere", and the bottom "to find happiness".



In Japanese, 我慢 means "to persevere" or "patience, endurance, perseverance." However, it means "I am slow" in Chinese.
芽出度い, which can mean "happy" but can also colloquially mean "pregnant" or "crazy."


  1. I'd be more concerned with the top one (凌ぐ (shinogu) is "to endure"), and with the fact that the tattoo consists of a verb, two nouns, and an adjective.

  2. 我慢in Japanese isn't very flattering either. It means to endure, or hold it in. Like if you really have to go to the bathroom but you're holding it in, that's 我慢. The word he was looking for is 忍耐, which means persevere in a more positive sense.

    芽出度いis more often spelled 目出度い, but it doesn't mean to find happiness... and there are better words to use.