Like Ariana Grande has shown, nobody is safe when it comes to inking yourself with foreign languages. Not even high-profile celebrities. Using Japanese Kanji symbols, the performer intended for the design to read "7 Rings" but it ended up saying "small charcoal grill" or "BBQ".
Turns out, these mistakes are relatively common. Whether it's because the client can't be bothered with actual research or a slip of the tattoo artist's hand, there are pictures of people "wearing" designs in honor of toilet demons and sexual fantasies. And Bored Panda has collected the funniest ones. So scroll down, enjoy the images, and upvote your faves.
Tattoo artist Lauren Harper said although she can't speak for everyone in the industry, judging from what she sees online, these designs seem pretty popular.
"I would have to say that, unfortunately, the client is probably responsible if these tattoos go wrong," Harper told Bored Panda. "They sign a waiver agreeing to the spelling of the tattoo and if the artist doesn't speak the language they're requesting, it's definitely on them to make sure it's correct."
Why Human Translation Is Valuable
This one has been making the rounds. Apparently, this young lady wanted to surprise her boyfriend with a tattoo that reads “I love you”. Instead, it reads “Babylon is one of the world’s leading dictionary and translation programs”
As with any tattoo, Harper suggests people do their research before sitting down to get a foreign language one. "Hopefully, they might know someone who speaks or writes the language they'd like tattooed so they can confirm, if not, there's always the Internet to turn to! Forums, Google translate. Although these avenues definitely come with their own set of risks that clients are hopefully aware of," she said, smiling.
Kevin Blankinship, a professor of Arabic at Brigham Young University, regularly gets requests to verify tattoos or to admire the ones people already have. He doesn't think proper grammar is the most important thing when it comes to inking yourself. "Laughing at tattoo 'fails' has become a favorite pastime of academic linguists and internet trolls," Blankinship said after recalling one mishap. "For them, blunders of spelling and meaning betray a vapid, commodified globalism that forever marks the victims. But for thousands of people—including my yoga teacher—getting a foreign script etched onto the skin is part of a universal search for significance and sentimental attachment. People risk embarrassment because foreign-language tattoos give them a permanent invitation to contemplate cultures and ideas beyond their own."
According to the professor, that effort can still succeed even if the tattoos have errors.
This is a particularly cruel prank. What this actually says is “ana mu’affan”, “I am rotten”.
They Certainly Were “Taken Advantage Of”
Shout Out To This Mexican Tattoo Artist
Today I Learned That My Friends Chinese Tattoo Literally Means "Turkey Sandwich"
This one reads “husband head empty”.
This Person Will Never Need To Struggle Ordering In A Chinese Restaurant Again
It Like Literally Says This Is Tattoo Hahaha
Boastful Rice Village (He Thought It Was His Daughter's Name)
Carbs Are Important
So, supposedly this was supposed to be Qi, a primal force of life in eastern philosophy. What it says is “rice”. How did that happen? If we were to guess, it’s because in traditional Chinese, the lower component of the Qi character 氣 is similar (but not identical) to rice 米