Chinese symbols

March 18, 2009

Before you can get your Chinese symbol tattoo, you need to have a stencil of it. And before you can get a stencil made you need to find an accurate translation of the word you wish to use.

I discovered a wonderful web site where you can see the Chinese symbol for many, many words. If you go to Chinese Tattoos and look up in the top nav bar you’ll see common Chinese tattoos pages 1-4. If you look through those pages you can see the actual symbol for many of the popular words.

You’ll be in very safe hands at Chinese Tattoos. You might want to go with one of those words or you can consult with them to get a more personalized word. I figure if you’re going to live with this inking for the rest of your life, get the best, most individualized word you can.

You’ll find the Chinese symbols for: Adventure, Angel, Badass, Beautiful, Beauty, Beauty

Whoa! Was that a misprint? Did I just type beauty twice?

No I didn’t. THAT is why you need an expert. If you want the characters for beauty, do you want the characters for beauty in general or beauty as it pertains to a beautiful woman? It does make a difference.

So you’ll find different symbols for words such as calm, clarity and complete.

Complete is a good example. The word can mean that something is done,OR it can mean something is perfect. Which do you want?

There are two different symbols for words such as truth, understanding, wisdom, wish, and THREE differing symbols for world.

And of course you’ll find everything in between – two different symbols for life, four for live and four for love.

Honestly, you can’t just hope that some automatic translation device will choose the right symbol, can you!

If you choose to consult with Chinese Tattoos you will get

  1. A pdf file of the character with your desired dimensions that you can print. It will include notations for “Left”, “Right”, “Top”, and “Bottom”, so that there is no confusion at the tattoo parlor.
  2. A sound file of the character(s) pronunciation in Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese, so that you know exactly how to say the words appearing in your tattoo.
  3. A graphic file of your tattoo being drawn with proper stroke order, just in case you want to become familiar with drawing the character(s) yourself.

I can’t stress how important that first one is. There are THOUSANDS of people walking about with upside down Chinese symbol tattoos! If you’re not an expert is is a very easy mistake to make.

And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pronounce your symbol? Mmmm?

The dangers of translating English to Chinese symbol and the other way round are legendary. This funny video shows just what can go wrong when people who are not fluent in both languages try to translate Chinese characters into English. What a disaster!

But amusing though it is, you don’t want something like this happening on your body. That tattoo is there for life. So have a chuckle at the video but do remember to spend plenty of time getting an accurate translation before you go ahead with that tattoo.

There is another amusing video at English to Chinese symbol.