Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tattoo Boo-Boos


Yet another reason to think twice about getting a tattoo: A funny piece in Sunday's New York Times about folks who get tattoos with Chinese characters, only to find that they don't mean what they think they mean. These tattoo boo-boos are chronicled at the site of Chinese-born engineering student Tian Tang.

One elaborate tattoo posted shortly after his blog's inception in late 2004 means "power piglet," according to Mr. Tang's translation. Another, on a woman's lower back, says "motherly beast blessing."

Marquis Daniels, of the Dallas Mavericks, thought he was getting his initials in Chinese characters but what his arm actually says is "healthy woman roof," Mr. Tang said. Similarly, Shawn Marion of the Phoenix Suns was under the impression that his nickname, "the Matrix," was tattooed on his leg, but Mr. Tang says the inscription translates as something like "demon bird moth balls."


More at Tang's site, including the above tattoo, which he says might be translated as something like "ease of gas retention."

8 Comments:

Anonymous hairgod said...

do you happen to know the chinese characters for:

s-c-h-a-d-e-n-f-r-e-u-d-e

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Christian said...

I'm glad your blog's back, Martha. It seemed gone for some time.

That tattoo boo-boo thing reminds me of - well - disadvantageous choice of brand names. I think the most well known one is Mitsubishi's Pajero which sold very poorly in Spain due to its meaning in Spanish (it's supposedly the Spanish equivalent to jerk or wanker).

The same holds true for Swiss artist DJ Bobo whose name has a meaning in Chinese (I think) that is pejorative.

Don't these people think before they name their products or get their skin tattooed?

12:28 PM  
Blogger sunbelt said...

he he.....

Maybe the owner of the tatoo above intended on displaying his Dances with Wolves name ..."ease of gas retention"

that's funny!!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

I had a dream the other night that I absolutely had to comment on your blog because I hadn't frequented it in a while. I vividly remember typing you a message that night...but alas it was all a dream.

Anywho, thanks for the tattoo tip. I was thinking about getting a tatto the other day as a matter of fact, except it'd be of a furry animal of some sort like a lion or maybe a teddy bear....let's see someone misinterpret that! :)

1:26 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Heh, heh. I'm glad my newfangled brain-wave transmitter is working, Antonio! Don't worry -- this was only a test.

(YOU WILL RETURN TO THIS BLOG AND POST . . .YOU WILL RETURN TO THIS BLOG AND POST . . .)

5:52 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

LOL, Hairgod!

5:53 AM  
Blogger Martha said...

Thanks, Christian. Yeah, Blogger apparently had quite a few technical problems for a while there, but it seems to be working okay now.

I wasn't aware of the "Pajero" story -- interesting! I'd heard that the story about "Nova" not selling in South America because of "no va" isn't really true. Will have to look into Pajero - thanks!

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Ed Hunter said...

After reading some of the Chinese translation gaffes on your site and this site -http://www.hanzismatter.com/ - The whole of my office want their chinese lettering translated. Please take a look at Steve's tee shirt here - http://realnewoffice.blogspot.com/2007/11/chinese-translations-please.html -
and let me know what it says.

10:01 AM  

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