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Tian, an Arizona-based amateur linguist, runs the Hanzi Smatter blogA -- a site dedicated to Asian language tattoos gone wrong. Tian says more than 90 percent of the email inquiries he receives about tattoos have incorrectly written characters. Most emails are from people who never bothered to verify meanings or get second opinions before they inked their bodies, Tian says. Chris Anderson is the former associate editor of CNNGo based in Hong Kong and is now senior editor at Huffington Post Media Group. The Asian character tattoos in the list we created below all have one thing in common: their real meaning dramatically differs from what the people who were inked initially believed or wanted, and in some cases, the actual meanings of the characters are hilarious.
These examples of Asian character tattoos gone horribly wrong were originally published on the blog, Hanzi Smatter and the images and translations were republished here with permission.
What these characters actually mean: The first character does not exist in written Chinese. What these characters actually mean: The character is actually the Japanese katakana ?(ho) not ? (ki, tree). This shows that it’s always a good idea to find someone you can trust, who can fluently read and write whichever language you’d like to tattoo on your body, to double check the characters before you commit!


Tian's art -- he has no tattoos himself -- is to bluntly inform them of the damage that has already been done. But what happens if you get inked with characters that read differently from what you wanted?Chinese, Japanese, and even Korean characters should be understood and written carefully as the meaning of the word can change with just a small mistake of a single stroke. The mistaken use of ‘ho’ is quite unfortunate considering the woman as both subject and canvas. Or it can be rendered entirely meaningless.When you do decide to go get a tattoo, be sure to check if the tattoo artist is credible. My friend asked me to find out what she’s had tattooed on her shoulder since her teens. 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.. It is supposed to be Outlaw, though someone I used to game online with from China told me it actually directly translates to Out of the Law. It is associated with someone has betrayed his duty and honor to exchange for freedom but in a life of hiding. And yes, the hip-hop slang meaning of ‘ho’ (whore) is known in Japan and written with the same character.


The top part even looks like a series of triangle brackets, not like any Chinese character. Though now that it is time to get my tattoos touched up due to fading, I want to double check before I get a new coat of ink put on it.
In addition to that, Genevieve especially loves to go on Mission Trips and serving different kinds of people. Reply Veronica Renee Chow December 28, 2012 at 10:23 amMake sure if you are getting one of these your tatoo artist knows what they are doing! Reply Ivan Soriano Dela Cruz January 7, 2013 at 12:54 amhahahaha ReplyLeave a comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.



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