Tuesday, December 17, 2013

from: Lindsey
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 6:25 PM
subject: Tattoo for translation

Are you still able to translate tattoos? I thought this meant life, strength, and happiness. Thank you!


Middle character is mirrored.

from: Sabine T.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 3:34 AM
subject: What is the meaning of my Tattoo


i would like your help please .... my tattoo should be "peace" but i guess it does not

THANKS for your reply.
all the best and greetings from Austria

   bottle / vase / pitcher

Saturday, August 10, 2013

from: Kaci H.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

My mom has this tattooed on her back. The guy that did it said that it meant Mom in Chinese. I have googled and googled and cannot find a meaning for this ... Can you help? Please.

Friday, August 9, 2013

from: Bobbie B.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 7:08 AM
subject: Lost in translation

Here are two "Chinese" characters I have tattooed on my body. I got them when I was very young and wasn't legally allowed to even be tattooed. I was told they meant happiness and sadness. I am very embarrassed by getting these and now being older I'm very curious what they might mean if anything.



of 痛苦 is upside down.

from: Kim C.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM
subject: Translation

Hello there. I just read your article- very entertaining :) I was wondering if you might find the time to translate a tattoo for me? My brother got one and I'm curious to know what it really means.

Thanks so much!!!


is revered referencing with other two characters, and .

from: Sherry B.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM
subject: Tattoo translation

I've had this tattoo for almost 20 years, and I've had several friends get it as well. And I've met people who have had it as well before I ever knew them. We were all told it meant something akin to the Seize the Day sentiment. Were we right?

Alan and I have already blogged about 生現 be complete gibberish back in 2007 and 2010, yet we continue to see people getting fooled to thinking it means "live for the day", "seize the day", "carpe diem", or "YOLO, you only live once".

from: Tamara M.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 12:19 PM
subject: Tattoo Translation

Hi there

My girlfriend got this tattoo specially made. She even paid for a translator to get her daughters name. It’s supposed to say “ALEXA”. Can you tell me if it does or not?


荒草 weeds / brush (vegetation) / wild grassland

from: b. kane
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM
subject: kanji translation

had a friend help out with the translation.  he said afterwards it meant "property of mitsubishi" am i am car now? or does it say some variation on 'love conquers all' someone else who told me that the translation was incorrect.

It is complete grammatical gibberish.

"love / change [location] / ten thousand [many] things / overcome"

Obviously stupidity is one thing love can't conquer.

from: bernadette c.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM
subject: tattoo translation

While I am fully aware most of this is menu items,
I'm wondering what the left hand characters are?
I was told it was 'new life' .
(For the record I had the part about chicken and rice added #1 to prove that any characters tattooed would do fine and #2 because tattoos are so often miss translated I knew that at least one I would know for sure!!! and #3 it's just the funniest thing ever)


Alan and I have already blogged about 生現 be complete gibberish back in 2007 and 2010, yet we continue to see people getting fooled to thinking it means "live for the day", "seize the day", "carpe diem", or "YOLO, you only live once".

Bernadette's attempt of humoring "chicken fried rice" has incorrect , rice.

from: Hauke P.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 10:58 AM
subject: Re: Tatoo translation

Found your Blog a few hours ago and it is just so much fun :)

This Tatoo is from my Roommate. He got it 1 or 2 weeks after he went 18. Would you please Translate it? It should be the gemini zodiac sign ("Sternzeichen Zwilling" in german), i translated that with google, i hope you know what i mean with that.

Thanks in advance and greetings from Germany :)

Astrology's Gemini is 雙子座雙胞胎 is biological twins.

from: Al
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:53 AM
subject: Tattoo Meaning


I was wondering if you could tell me what this means.


from: James S.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:52 AM
subject: Does this mean hakaifuka?

I was told that hakaifuka means unbreakable. Do these symbols mean that?

Thank you!
James S.

The characters are correct, however grammatically is reversed and contextually different than English's concept of "unbreakable".

It is read as "damage / can not".

from: penny a.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:15 AM
subject: Lost in translation

hi, saw your blog...I got these back in 99... It was supposed to mean Faith, Passion, Discipline.... it came to my surprise that my chinese friend was unable to read the second one back the day... Now I joke around and say it means 'impossible to read'



record, annal, historical account

rash; addiction, craving, habit

"Chronic hepatitis?"

Friday, August 2, 2013

from: Matthew
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 5:23 PM
subject: Tattoo translation

Hello, just curious to know what the symbols used here actually mean. The impression I was left with is that the middle symbol is supposed to be honour and the three symbols around it courage, loyalty, and respect. I'm wondering if that is anywhere close to correct. Thanks!

The center character, , means "expensive, costly, valuable."

from: Ben D.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM
subject: Tattoo translation

Hi there,

I got this tattoo about 15 years ago, I was told it meant wise/to excel, i'm kinda guessing that I wasn't too wise getting it as it probably means nothing of the sort!!!

Thanks in advance,

from: Amy H.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 8:28 PM
subject: Tattoo Translation

My friend just got this tattoo but he won't tell any of us what it means. I'm beginning to think it's just gibberish after seeing all of the older posts. Any help is appreciated!

The tattoo is grammatically incorrect translation based on word-per-word machine translation tool (e.g. Google Translate)

"Destroy / Them / Total"

"Let / Deity / Organize / Them"

Monday, July 15, 2013

from: Sabrina M.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 6:58 AM
subject: Tattoo translation

Hello! I'm looking for a tattoo translation. Any information you could provide would be appreciated!

It looks like "traby" according to the gibberish font and previous post.  
from: Ryan T.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:09 AM

Hi I had this tattoo when I was 16 which apparently was my name 'Ryan' picked from english/kanji alphabet. But as im older and wiser ive realised you can't translate the alphabet into kanji. Recently a friend of family found out in was stream..forest...fist..bitch path? Is this true as I may need a cover up tattoo.

From Dr. Victor Mair of U. Penn at Language Log:

The characters are 大麻沉溺 ("addicted to marijuana"), but mirrored.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

from: Daryn gMail
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 10:58 AM
subject: Sister's Tattoo

Above is my sister's new tattoo, it is supposed to be both of her daughters initials (ESO and EGO in English). But what are we really looking at?



, place
, dog

place dog, dog place?
from: Tomas D.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 2:56 PM
subject: Tattoo translation


I'm looking for a tattoo translation, i hope you could help me out with it!

Thank you!
Best Regards, Tomas

It appears intended to be 双鱼座 (Pisces), however used wrong .

and are homophones.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

from: Collin B.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com 
date: Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 8:55 AM 
subject: What does this mean?

My friend asked me to find out what she's had tattooed on her shoulder since her teens.

Can you translate it or identify it as junk?

大過 [たいか] serious error; gross mistake

Saturday, May 25, 2013

from: jessi j. 
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com" 
date: Sat, May 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM 

Hi Tian, I have always wondered what this tattoo really says. 

It's supposed to be the initials "S M S". 

Something tells me that it does not. Id love it if you could clear this up for me finally!

Another sucker of the gibberish font.
from: John M. 
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com 
date: Sun, May 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM 
subject: Tattoo translate 

No idea what I even had done 15 years ago. Honestly no clue any help? 

I think was meant to be my initials. 

J A M. 

Thanks again and I enjoy your blog. Thanks for all the translations.

Another sucker of the gibberish font.
from: Lan S.
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Sun, May 5, 2013 at 8:15 PM
subject: Awesome Tattoo

This guy told me his tattoo (老彼了我孩)means I'm always looking after my boys.

What is this hodgepodge of "old, that, me/my, child"?!

Monday, April 22, 2013

from: JP
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com"
date: Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM
subject: Chinese character tattoo translation

Hi Tian,
This is intended to say "passion". Can you tell me how it actually translates?


情绪 does not mean "passion", rather "mood, moodness".

Both and have been split into two separate radicals.

Monday, March 25, 2013

from: Mark C G. 
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com 
date: Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 9:50 PM 
subject: gibberish? 

I have a feeling that this is gibberish, but I'd like some confirmation that I truly DID make a huge mistake in judgement 16 years ago. 

My initials. "M" "C" "G" 


Mark G.

Yep, it is gibberish using this font.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

from: Austin F.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 9:26 AM
subject: Tattoo meaning

Tian can you tell me what this means. Feel free to blog it, my email omitted? thanks

Top character is upside down , followed with poor attempt at "free spirit" with 無料精, although 無料 means "free; no charge", with is completely different context.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

from: Lisa D. 
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com 
date: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 2:14 AM 
subject: Fw: Ankle tattoo 'chinese letters'

Hi Tian can u please tell me what the chinese lettering on my ankle means? I was told it meant my name Lisa in chinese lettering? Thanx Lisa 

It does not even look like "Lisa" from that gibberish font.

Monday, January 7, 2013

from: Philippa H. 
to: "tiangotlost@gmail.com" 
date: Sun, Jan 6, 2013 at 5:47 AM 
subject: Unsure of tattoo 

Hello, My boyfriend got this tattoo a while ago, he initially thought it meant "freedom". After a trip overseas we had a strange interaction with a tourist after he saw it- but he was unable to tell us what it meant.. Are unable to help us?! 


無料 [むりょう] free; no charge.
It does not have same meaning as "freedom".

Thursday, January 3, 2013

from: Marina G. 
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com 
date: Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM 
subject: gibberish font 

Hello! Happy New Year, btw! 
I'm writing to your from the Mother Russia itself! :) My friend made a tattoo half a year ago at one famous resort, called Sunny Beach. She was absolutely sure that the tattoo means the abbreviation of the names. 

But at once I began to doubt. And I'm really curious, does that really make no sense? 

Thank u, in advance! 


Yes, it is completely gibberish based on this font.
from: angel r. 
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com 
date: Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 9:11 PM 

how you doing. my girlfriend has this tattoo and she thinks it says friendship. can you confirm this thank you..  

: bad looking; shame; ugly; unclean;