Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beware of Chinese Symbol Tattoos!

Chinese Symbol Tattoos have become very popular. My eldest daughter of 29 has one and now my other daughter of 21 wants to get one as well. When I asked my eldest what her Chinese symbol tattoo meant, she told me that it represented "love". However, the question was asked in front of the owner of our convenience store who's Chinese and he looked at her and nodded "No". My daughter surprised... asked him what it meant. He replied "nothing" because it simply made no sense!

This is when we started searching online, as to avoid my other daughter from making the same mistake. I was shocked to see how so many people had been ripped off with their so called "Chinese tattoos." More research led my daughters and I, to understand that chinese script tattoos are often full of mistakes because a) they weren't given enough research, and b) tattoo artists who are not Chinese usually have no idea what they are inking. Simply put... they purchased what they thought were authentic Chinese translations without checking the origins.

As a translator for legal documents from English to French, I can tell you that translating a text from one language into another takes more than just the skill of translating words, one by one. Even translating a complete sentence is often in error. The reason is the following: Often the intention of the word and/or the sentence is totally changed. It is therefore crucial, when it comes to tattooing into another language, that the artist be fluent in both languages. Obviously, if you choose to have a Chinese Symbol Tattoo, you want Chinese people to be able to read it... don't you?

The other problem was... there aren't many Chinese tattoo artists in North America. So Our search kept on... and we finally came across someone we could count on to give us the real authentic Chinese translations for Chinese tattoos, a Chinese girl tattoo artist from ShangHai, China. Through her, we were finally able to find my youngest daughter's choice of Chinese symbol tattoo without a flaw. The added bonus was she was able to correct the error in my eldest daughter's Chinese symbol tattoo by adding a stroke in a specific way.

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