Don’t Be Forever Known as The Chicken Noodle Guy: Get Your Tattoo Translations Right

Tattoos have existed for thousands of years, decorating millions of bodies with beautiful designs and art. While tattooing is a unique and respectable art form in its own right, that doesn’t mean it is without its own fair share of blunders and bombs. Some people regret that shamrock that didn’t bring the good luck they’d hoped for, or that logo from a band you loved in high school but just can’t stand now. And of course, that girlfriend may be long gone, but there’s her name, tattooed on your arm forever. Seems like it couldn’t get worse than that, huh? Think again! Besides bad designs or spelling mistakes, by far the worst tattoo disasters are when the customer and the artist make the mutual bad decision to get a tattoo in a language neither person can speak nor read.

It’s rarely a brilliant idea to get a tattoo written in a language you can’t speak or understand. Awhile back in the early 90s, Chinese tattoos became all the rage, leaving a lot of misguided chumps with all sorts of things written on their bodies forever. Plenty of tattoo flash includes “Chinese writing” that isn’t Chinese at all, just an assortment of artsy lines that translate to absolute gibberish—if you’re lucky.  Maybe those willing to get that awesome Asian Tattoo could start using it as a tool for learning a new language, just like music or movies. In the least, with the proper and ideal research, you could be learning, albeit correctly, the meaning of a sentence in a different language which could come in handy at some point.

However, without properly researching that proposed Asian Tattoo, people end up with gibberish far worse than nonsense; some folks end up with some real gems such as:

Gold Pig

Well uh, okay. I don’t even know what this is supposed to be. To add insult to injury, the word Pig is backward AND upside-down!

Gold-pig-tattoo

Pull-Dude Power Bastard

This one’s a real winner.

Pull-dude-power-bastard-tattoo

Little Animal Big Mistake

Let your imagination guess what this is referring to.

Little animal big mistake tattoo

Noodle

Okay, actually, this could be worse. At least maybe he really likes noodles.

Chicken Noodle Soup tattoo

Chicken Noodle Soup

At least, this one goes further in describing what type of noodle, lol…

Chicken Noodle Soup tattoo fail

Swift-Dumb

Well…It’s better than being slow and dumb, right?

Swift dumb tattoo fail

I Don’t Eat Meat But Me Bite

Maybe this one has an actual meaning, but just didn’t translate well.

I don't eat meat but me bite tattoo

Husband Hands

This just doesn’t make ANY sense.

Husband hands tattoo

Speak Dragon Love

Is there really anyone left in the world who doesn’t speak Dragon love?

Speak-dragon-love-tattoo

Drowning In Weed

Totally legit tattoo here, except that the words are BACKWARDS!!

Drowning in weed tattoo

Mad Diarrhea, Meanie Crime Poet, and Slippery?

Whoa that one on the top left corner has gotta be the WORST.

“Meanie crime poet”, on the other hand, is only reserved for super tough guys.

mad diarrhea tattoo fail

And my personal favorite…

Cheap Shit

Your tattooist played a trick on you, my unlucky friend!

Cheap shit tattoo fail

I guess some people feel it looks nice and exotic to have a tattoo written in a foreign language. They get to feel cool and special whenever someone asks them about the tattoo’s meaning or translation. But as you may have realized by now, blunders do happen. That’s why those who actually understand the meaning of that permanent artwork will snicker whenever they see the gibberish you’ve managed to get tattooed on your body.

Hopefully the examples above will have convinced you to make sure, before your next visit to the tattooist, that the word translates correctly to what you would expect it to in English. You could also wait until you’re in Asia of course; there, you could decide to get some tattooing education that would go hand in hand with your correctly-spelled tattoo. Or, of course, you could just forget about the whole idea.

So, out of those cringeworthy examples we’ve shown you above, what’s your favorite one? Let us know in the comments section below. Hopefully you’re not the one who’s now permanently known as the Chicken Noodle Soup guy.

This article was brought to you courtesy of Alice Morell here, straight from the Big Apple. Feel free to check out my blog at My Music Box for hot news straight from the world of music.

  • www.lingholic.com is all about the art of learning languages. Learn how to learn and dramatically improve your foreign language acquisition ability.

  • Show Comments (3)

  • It’s difficult to feel much sympathy…

  • Oh my! It’s hard to pick a favorite one… “Pull-Dude Power Bastard” is epic, even though the other ones are hilarious as well!

  • Frank

    Pull-Dude Power Bastard — You have to pronounce it in Mandarin Chinese….. It just sounds like:”Ruff is a bitch”
    Little Animal & Big mistake — they are from Yi-Gin (pretty much like Tarot in Europe)

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