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.

#1

Well That’s Just Unfortunate…

Well That’s Just Unfortunate…

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

Found my new stage name.

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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."

#2

Why Human Translation Is Valuable

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”

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Ah, those precious 11 words... So romantic.

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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.

#3

I Meeeeeean…

I Meeeeeean…

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wandile dludlu
Community Member
2 months ago

At least this one translates so something cool

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#4

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

What a... lovely proposal(?)

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#5

Much Appreciated

Much Appreciated

This is a particularly cruel prank. What this actually says is “ana mu’affan”, “I am rotten”.

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nanashi
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

PLEASE do not tattoo languages you know nothing about, even if you consult a native speaker. some people are mean.

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#6

They Certainly Were “Taken Advantage Of”

They Certainly Were “Taken Advantage Of”

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ML
Community Member
2 months ago

That tattoo artist definitely knew the true meaning of the tattoo

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#7

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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ML
Community Member
2 months ago

What she was to her tattooist.

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#8

Her Tattoo Says "Fresh Spring Rolls" In Thai

Her Tattoo Says "Fresh Spring Rolls" In Thai

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

Food is love, food is life.

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#9

“A Queef Perhaps”, Indeed

“A Queef Perhaps”, Indeed

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Spankathon
Community Member
2 months ago

So it means F***y Fart.

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#10

Never Use A Hungry Tattoo Artist…

Never Use A Hungry Tattoo Artist…

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

To be fair, miso soup is really good

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#11

Chinese Tattoos Gone Wrong

Chinese Tattoos Gone Wrong

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

Meanie crime poet is my hero

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#12

Shout Out To This Mexican Tattoo Artist

Shout Out To This Mexican Tattoo Artist

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ML
Community Member
2 months ago

Well? Is he?

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#13

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 months ago

Well that's an image that might finally get the US election out of my mind. Thanks :P

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#14

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 months ago

I'd add wings, using the characters as the body, transform it into a butterfly

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#15

Today I Learned That My Friends Chinese Tattoo Literally Means "Turkey Sandwich"

Today I Learned That My Friends Chinese Tattoo Literally Means "Turkey Sandwich"

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ML
Community Member
2 months ago

And no one bothers to check before permanently inked.

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#16

Maybe She’s Into Grilling…

Maybe She’s Into Grilling…

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ML
Community Member
2 months ago

Looks like a doll's hand not a real hand. But then again the tattoo also is not what it appears.

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#17

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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nanashi
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Freedom/Liberty in Japanese is 自由 (jiyuu) btw

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#18

Heavily Smitten, I Guess?

Heavily Smitten, I Guess?

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Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Starting to think it's the norm for tattoo artists to put what they really think of you when you chose symbols you know nothing of

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#19

Supportive Spouse

Supportive Spouse

This one reads “husband head empty”.

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

Head empty no thoughts only wife

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#20

This Person Will Never Need To Struggle Ordering In A Chinese Restaurant Again

This Person Will Never Need To Struggle Ordering In A Chinese Restaurant Again

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Ani Archeron
Community Member
2 months ago

with a soda on the side?

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#21

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 months ago

He made the tattoo. Did he think he'd get lucky & it would be an actual word?

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#22

It Like Literally Says This Is Tattoo Hahaha

It Like Literally Says This Is Tattoo Hahaha

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ML
Community Member
2 months ago

So, pointing out the obvious.

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#23

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

Do you know the coffin man, the coffin man, the coffin man — ?

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#24

Boastful Rice Village (He Thought It Was His Daughter's Name)

Boastful Rice Village (He Thought It Was His Daughter's Name)

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Anna Qi
Community Member
2 months ago

This should be a phonetic translation of Jeremy.

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#25

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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nanashi
Community Member
2 months ago

this is one of my personal favorite kanji. it's when you combine dragon and water you get the image of falling dragon into the water, thus a waterfall!

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#26

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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S.
Community Member
2 months ago

Genuinely curious; if you don't know what a foreign phrase means, then why get it tattooed?

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#27

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Anna Qi
Community Member
2 months ago

所 is pronounced “suo”, and 狗 is pronounced “gou”. So it could be a very failed attempt at trying to translate phonetically. But these are not typical characters you would use in a name. Especially not 狗 which means dog.

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#28

Carbs Are Important

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

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Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
2 months ago

Most eastern asia eat rice as primary energy source anyway.

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#29

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Ani Archeron
Community Member
2 months ago

adipose! and now im thinking of Dr Who

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#30

Ooh, Yolanda Sounds Like A Freak

Ooh, Yolanda Sounds Like A Freak

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Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
2 months ago

You can read it as yolanda in Japanese

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#31

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 months ago

Characters aside, Love the cherry blossoms

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#32

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Eric Mac Fadden
Community Member
2 months ago

There's a lot of these in Brazil - same for t-shirts

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#33

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

Funny-Language-Tattoo-Fail

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Torchicachu
Community Member
2 months ago

i mean you're kinda on the right track

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#34

Protip: When Getting A Tattoo In Another Language, Make Sure It's Not Upside Down.

Protip: When Getting A Tattoo In Another Language, Make Sure It's Not Upside Down.

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JessG
Community Member
2 months ago

No translation???

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