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Tattoo Translation: Making the Right Choice

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At some point in your life, you will have an idea of getting a tattoo. Because, well, everybody does. Some make the decision of decorating their skin with tattoos, others are against it. There are a lot of pros and cons and you have to be 100% sure you need a tattoo. The tip we can give you is to avoid the “spur of the moment” decisions and think carefully. There are thousands of stories when people made tattoos of the names of their beloved ones or even inked the portraits on their bodies hoping to live happily ever after. But nothing lasts forever and making a tattoo disappear is not as easy as you might think – it’s a painful procedure. Besides, tattoo translation mistakes happen all the time.

It’s better and safer to go for something that will stay relevant for you in 10, 20, and more years from now. That is why many people choose popular sayings or famous philosophic quotes. Very often they are made in a foreign language. The most important point is to make sure the tattoo translation is accurate and you are not writing a Chinese recipe instead of words of wisdom on your arm. Sometimes Chinese tattoo symbols translation can be tricky and it’s easy to alter the original meaning of a phrase. Just one wrong stroke can make a huge difference. If you plan to make a tattoo, ask a professional translator to help you. It’s once and for life, after all.

Page Content:

  1. Chinese Tattoo
  2. Japanese Tattoo
  3. Hebrew Tattoo
  4. Arabic Tattoo
  5. Henna Tattoo
  6. Tibetan Tattoo

Chinese Tattoo Translation

It seems that Chinese tattoos will always be popular. You can often meet people having a Chinese symbol on their wrist or back. Those symbols don’t take much space and look cool. Besides, no one will know what they mean unless they speak the language or you tell them yourself. Unfortunately, there are numerous cases when the final result has a completely different Chinese tattoo translation. Here are some of the trendy tattoo Chinese translation you can find appealing:

chinese love tattoo symbolchinese happiness tattoo symbol

chinese friendship tattoo symbolchinese strength tattoo symbol

Popular Chinese Tattoos

If you want to translate one word to Chinese, you can use dictionaries and online translation tools. It gets more complicated when it comes to the translation of an expression or sentence. Check in with a native speaker if you have an opportunity to do so. This will minimize the risks. The most popular choices of Chinese tattoos are dragons for guys and traditional flowers for ladies:

chinese flower tattoochinese dragon tattoo

If you are not into Chinese characters’ tattoos and dragons/flowers seem too boring for you, you can go for a tattoo with a hidden meaning. Choose an image and learn what meaning it has according to the Chinese cultural heritage. Alternatively, you can add your personal meaning to the chosen image to make it more personal. Here are some of the examples of such tattoos:

Chinese Koi Fish

chinese koi tattookoi tattoo woman

This is a symbol of strength and perseverance. According to the ancient Chinese legend, Koi fish did not give up when they reached a waterfall at the end of the Yellow River in China. They were trying to reach the top of the waterfall for 100 years and finally did it. If you want to have a nice reminder to never give up and keep trying no matter what, a Koi fish tattoo might be just what you need.

Chinese Phoenix

chinese phoenix tattoo phoenix tattoo

It is a non-trivial alternative to the well-known yin and yang tattoos. the Chinese phoenix has nothing to do with the Phoenix we know that rises from the ashes. Its name – Feng Huang – combines the notions of a male and female bird. Therefore, it is fair to say that it symbolizes the union in general and the union between masculinity and femininity in particular.

Japanese Tattoo Translation

If you like Japan, there are numerous options of tattoos you can go for. Keep in mind that Japanese tattoo translation is not less tricky than the Chinese one. One wrong stroke of your tattoo master and the symbol you’ve been choosing so carefully turns into a random (inappropriate) word.

These are some of the symbols you might be interested in:

japanese happiness tattoojapanese courage tattoo

japanese trust tattoojapanese dream tattoo

Popular Japanese Tattoos

Whatever you do, just don’t choose a Pokemon tattoo. There are high chances that you’ll regret it in the future. Everybody is crazy about those cute creatures but their popularity will come to an end someday. And your tattoo will be an undeniable proof of you being a part of that madness. Modern tattoos also include some additional details, like traditional Japanese elements. Sakura blossoms remain to be on the top of the popularity list:

Japanese origami bird tattoojapanese wave tattoo

Japanese origami crane tattooJapanese sacura tattoo

Here are some more Japanese tattoo suggestions with meanings:

Japanese Kokeshi Doll

Japanese kokeshi dolljapanese kokeshi doll tattoo

Kokeshi dolls originated from Northern Japan. These cute dolls are handmade from wood and have been gaining huge popularity during the last decade. There are traditional dolls and their creative modern interpretations. If you decide to make this kind of a tattoo, it may symbolize the warm-hearted nature of your character, all the good and positive traits you have.

Japanese Oni Mask

Japanese Oni mask tattoo handJapanese Oni mask tattoo

In traditional Japanese folklore, the word “Oni” refers to trolls and ogres that use to terrorize people. If you hear someone naming them demons, you will know that they are wrong. A tattoo of an Oni mask symbolizes the protection of evil creatures and spirits. Not all Onis are malevolent, some of them want to protect people.

Hebrew Tattoo Translation

The obsession with Hebrew tattoos still exists. You may have noticed that even non-Jewish celebrities have them inked on their perfect bodies. And there’s nothing surprising about this fact as the lettering has aesthetically- pleasant nature and the famous expressions communicate the wisdom of the past centuries. You can choose a quote in Hebrew or ask for a Hebrew tattoo translation of your own words.

hebrew peace tattoohebrew grace tattoo

hebrew love tattoohebrew truth tattoo

As you might have guessed, a lot of people find the words in Hebrew that harmonize with their inner world and have a strong connection with religion. Everyone can find something that applies to his/her way of life. Just make sure your tattoo means exactly what you think it means.

Songs of Solomon 6:3- “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” The fans of Victoria Beckham might have recognized it:

hebrew solomon song tattoo

The word “Yahweh” is a sacred name of god in the Old Testament:
hebrew yahweh tattoo

The Hamsa

hebrew hamsa tattoohamsa hand tattoo

It is a popular symbol of the Islamic and Jewish faiths. The Hamsa is a Middle Eastern amulet portraying the hand of God. The symbol is thought to bring you happiness, health, and good fortune. You can make the hamsa tattoo to wear it facing up or down as it does not have specific importance. Apart from all the above-mentioned positive influences this tattoo might have, it is also believed to protect its owner from the Ayin Ha’ra – the evil eye.

Star of David

hebrew David star tattoo handhebrew David star leg tattoo

The six-pointed star has become a symbol of heroism after the times of Nazi-occupied Europe. It is a Jewish symbol – also called the “Shield of David” – that consists of two triangles that form a star. It symbolizes the duality of human nature – one triangle is Heaven, the other one is Hell. You can choose a personal meaning of this tattoo, something that appeals to how you feel and act.

Arabic Tattoo Translation

Arabic has an undoubtedly hypnotizing flow of letters that attracts everyone’s attention. It is elegant and mysterious. No wonder that more and more people prefer this kind of tattoos. You need to know that the Arabic language has three variants: Classical, Modern Standard and dialectal. There are some major differences between them and you should keep that in mind when choosing a tattoo idea. Use Arabic tattoo translation services to make your dream come true. This is what some concepts look like written in Arabic:

fear nothing Arabic tattoothis storm will pass Arabic tattoo

And here are some of the examples of tattoos in Arabic:

Arabic tattoo handArabic tattoo leg

You can also consider making Arabic calligraphy tattoos that are simply mesmerizing. The idea is to write something in a way that it creates a specific image. Check out these examples:

Arabic calligraphy bird tattooArabic calligraphy bird tattoo

Henna Tattoo

Henna tattoo handHenna tattoo leg.jpg

You’ve probably seen girls with beautiful henna tattoos. the advantage of these tattoos is that you can make a temporary one and see how you feel about it. If it fits you, you can then make a real one. Usually, you can see brides with henna tattoos as they symbolize joy and beauty. The way your tattoo looks depends on its origin. Arabic henna designs are large and have less specific details.

Tibetan Tattoo Translation

Buddhism had a great influence on the development of the Tibetan culture. If you are familiar with its main concepts and find them appealing, you might start thinking of getting a Tibetan style tattoo. If you want an inscription on your body, you can use either the Standard Tibetan language or Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a sacred language of Buddhism. Look for a translator agency to make an accurate translation of your future tattoo. There is a small number of experienced professional translators so be careful. Your tattoo may look somewhat like this:


Tibetian breath tattoo

“Everything happens for a reason”:

Tibetian breath tattoo

You can also add some images that align with the concepts of Buddhism:

Tibetian Bouddha tattoo

Om Mani Padme Hum

om mani padme humom mani padme hum tattoo

It is one of the most popular Buddhist mantras that has no accurate direct translation. People use it to call upon Chenrezig – the deity representing the ultimate compassion – and his blessings. To have a clearer understanding of what this mantra means, we can look at each syllable separately. Om is generosity, Ma – ethics, Ni – patience, Pad – diligence, Me – renunciation, Hum – wisdom.

Eternal Knot

Tibetan eternal knot handTibetan eternal knot tattoo

If you are looking for a symbol of a spiritual awakening, this can be the one you need. The eternal knot (also known as an endless knot) has no beginning and no end. It may symbolize the circle of life and an infinite wisdom of Buddha. You can also apply your individual meaning to these popular ones.

Make the Right Choice

There are millions of tattoo ideas you can explore to find something that is right for you. The most important thing to be aware of is that the translation of tattoos into foreign languages may be very complex. If you search the web for the cases of people making tattoos that have a completely different meaning from the one they intend to, you’ll find thousands of them. Erasing your tattoo with a laser or making a new one to cover it up is not the best options. It’s better to pay attention to all the details at the beginning. Have fun and make the right choice!