Friday, December 16, 2005

On Vacation

Dear Readers,

Starting on Dec. 17th, I will be traveling through Oregon and California for three weeks.

Thanks to the great folks at Gmail for hooking me up with Gmail Mobile, so if anyone has any tips about interesting places to visit, please feel free to email me.

In the meantime, please entertain yourselves with this Japanese etiquette guide about how to properly order and consume sushi.

Happy Holidays


-tian

"Ding Dong"



When I saw this photo, the first two questions popped into my mind are:

1. Is the witch dead?

2. Are the fries done?

The four-character phrase (circled in red) on this young man's left forearm is the literal translation that means "the sound of ding-dong".

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Arbor Snowboard - "Push"


http://www.arborsports.com/06/snowboards/html/push_06.html

In the promotional pamphlet for "Push" from Arbor Snowboards, the characters circled in red are mirrored. It could be an "artistic" thing.



http://www.arborsports.com/06/snowboards/html/push_06_lrg.html

If the phrase on the snowboard is translated back into English one character per word, would mean "female expression", but it is contextually incorrect and sounds terrible.

Since this snowboard caters to female riders, why not just call it "female expression" instead of "Push"? Or use jumbled "Americanese" that translates to "female expression"?


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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bewitch Hero Energy


http://flickr.com/photos/shadowbox/25270163/

Many tattoo shops prohibit any photographs to be taken in their shops. I never really asked why but have always assumed it has something to do with copyrights. It always makes me cringe whenever I see template displays in tattoo shops with incorrect translation and wrongly written characters.

Thanks to Flickr user “Shadowbox”, I found the photo shown above.

The character with caption “to bewitch” is not necessarily correct. The Japanese 化かす does have “to bewitch” as one of its meanings, but the character by itself only means “to change” or “to convert”, and “reaction” in Chemistry. 蠱惑 is often used to describe “bewitch”.

The last character in “hero” appeared to be mirrored. The three characters only mean “main character”. If you ever stepped foot in a DVD store, you will know “hero” is , there is even a movie with the same title was made starring Jet Li.

The “energy” character means “to survive” or “to exist”. Usually is used to represent “energy” in terms of “Chi” or “Qi”, and is used to represent physical energy.


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Thursday, December 8, 2005

Manzo's Tattoo


http://www.esreality.com/?a=post&id=789394

Reader Sam emailed me the photo shown above.

As one commenter has already mentioned in the original forum, these are random characters with two of them done incorrectly.


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Monday, December 5, 2005

"Friendless"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51202/high/bmepb175130.jpg

This young man probably did not have a Chinese-speaking friend to verify the tattoo for him.

(friend) is missing a horizontal stroke.


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"Hair Splitting"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51202/high/bmepb174881.jpg

The circled character is the name of district in Anhui, old captial of Yin.

In one of my previous postings, the owner with the same character tattoo claimed it meant "carpe diem", which is completely wrong.

Or the character should have been (fine hair; measure of length; 1/1000).


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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Shi"


http://www.shistudio.com (thanks to Jonathan for the photo)

Well designed business cards are necessary to attract potential clients’ attention. Shi Studio recently passed out these cards at a Toronto art show. According to their website, “Shi means poems in Chinese”.

That is absolutely correct.

Unfortunately, that is not what is printed on their cards.

The character on the card is (or ), which means “meditation”, and “shi” (or "poem") should be (or ).

Luckily, they did not make the mistake of printing , which is also pronounced as "shi" but with third tone, on their cards. (Hint: This "shi" does not mean "poem.")


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"Death Wish"


http://www.painlesswayne.com/SCREENSAVER/KANJI%20WRISTS.jpg

This young man wanted "death wish" (or "death" and "desire") to be tattooed on the insides of his wrists. (death) is missing one dot, and (desire) has been completely butchered.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Fraud Blessing"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51121/high/bmepb168208.jpg

I am not sure if this person wanted (fraud) or (blessing) on his arm.

is the simplified version of .

The lower partial in (simplified ) should be , not .


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"Gratitude"


http://kingpinstudio.com/albums/Chris/kanji.jpg

I hope this tattooist has posted a mirrored photo rather than a mirrored tattoo.

means "gratitude" and "kindness".


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Raven's Lazy Eye


http://www.raven-eye.com/kanji_disks_1.htm

or does not mean "balance", rather it means "authority" and "rights".

in modern Chinese is commonly used to represent "dry" or "dehydrated". There was a Chinese emperor named 乾隆. In the book of Yi Jing (易經), it is used to represent "heaven".

Although any celebration would be a joyous occasion, does not mean "joy", it means "to celebrate".


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Friday, November 18, 2005

"Think"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51116/high/bmepb165499.jpg

When written correctly, means "to think" or "speculate".


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"Sisters"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51116/high/bmepb166883.jpg

The top character is a Japanese specific character for "elder sister". Its equivalent in Chinese are and .

The bottom character means "younger sister". If the order of two horizontal stokes in partical are reversed and changed the character to , it would mean "wife of the last ruler of the Xia dynasty".

Both characters are somewhat recognizable, but I am astonished by the mangled left partial .


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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Peter"



If you ever needed a reason to prevent yourself from tattooing your own name onto your leg in a language you don't understand nor speak, i.e. Chinese, this would be a good one.

Peter wanted his name in Chinese to be tattooed on his leg. Too bad, Peter was too trusting or naïve, and did not get a second opinion on the translation. He has put all his trust in the hands of his tattooist and tattooist’s unconfirmed flash book.

The tattoo does not say “Peter”.

But, there is a Chinese electronics company called 貝德爾.


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Sunday, November 13, 2005

"Katherine"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51108/high/bmepb162106.jpg

凯瑟琳 is the Chinese phonetic translation of English name "Katherine". The owner has submitted a mirrored photo to Shannon Larratt and BMEzine.com, plus the last character is incorrectly done.


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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Shawn Marion - The Matrix


(thanks to Brandon for the photo)

According to a news report on NBA’s website:

Sept. 24, 2003: Shawn Marion will be sporting a new look beyond the added pounds he piled on in the weight room this summer. A tattoo down his right leg in Chinese lettering which translates to ‘The Matrix’ was added to his body art early in the off-season.”

The three “Chinese lettering” Mr. Marion sporting does not really translate as “The Matrix” in Chinese.

= demon, evil spirits; magic power
= bird
= camphor (a plant where its chemical exact is used for making moth balls)

The movie “The Matrix” is translated as 黑客帝国 (“Hackers’ Empire”). “Matrix”, as in mathematical and logical condition, is translated as 矩陣.

Although, this tattoo could be a Japanese phonetic translation of “The Matrix” (マトリックス), many Chinese-speaking fans would probably snicker at Shawn “Demon Bird Moth Balls” Marion.

PS. Even his action figure has this tattoo on it.


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Saturday, November 5, 2005

Asian Font Gibberish



According to reader “Quaz”:

“It is a picture of a tattoo taken by some racist, who apparently just downloaded an ‘Asian’ font from the Internet, wrote ‘SAY NO TO NIGGERS’ with that font and let somebody to tattoo it in his back. Of course, since languages don't work that way - which apparently is too much to comprehend for our little white supremacist here - the message is completely incomprehensible, as it actually is just finish with a strange font.”

The tattoo is complete gibberish.

Update: The tattoo shown here is suppose to be Finnish of “SANO EI LAKUPEKOILLE”, which is the English equivalent for “say no to niggers”. The owner of the tattoo used an “Asian” font to mimic the alphabets. What the fool did not realize is that the Chinese do not use alphabets. Way to show your racial superiority by using another culture's language.

Racists are idiots.

Einstein Wants to Know




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Friday, November 4, 2005

Ultimate Mandarin Chinese

book / ultimate mandarine chinese

Textbook is one of the basic tools for someone to learn a foreign language. When there are typos in a beginning-intermediate level Chinese textbook, usually students would assume they are “correct” and move on.

I wonder how the editors of “Ultimate Mandarin Chinese” would feel after reading this post, especially when the slogan on its cover says “The Most Complete and Up-to-Date Program Available”.

How about recheck your book with a dictionary?

= person
= enter

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

"Forever Cherish"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A20925/high/arm.jpg

I wonder what she is "forever cherishing" () about.

The poorly done tattoo, perhaps?


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Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Bitter"


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51012/high/bmepb147728.jpg

means "bitter", "hardship", or "suffering".

The three exact emotions this guy is going through right now.


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GQ magazine Nov. 2005 Issue

GQ Magazine Nov. 2005 issue 1130

In Nov. 2005 issue of GQ magazine, there is an article called "The Office Dick" by Cecil Donahue. It identifies "The Common Two-Face Slacker" with the characteristics of "odd facial piercings" and "Chinese character tattooed on back of neck".


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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Etch a Mac


http://www.etchamac.com/powerbook.php

I would like know why someone would voluntarily pay $35+ ($35 for 3x3, $70 for 4x4 and $100 for 5x5 inches with purchase of a Powerbook) to have “All Rights Reserved” () in Chinese etched on their Apple Powerbook.

Does having Chinese characters etched on the Powerbook would make it any more unique than the next Joe Schmoe’s Powerbook with the exact same Chinese phrase? Also, does the potential customer even know what the phrase really mean? It could easy be "pretentious douche bag", although that would be a much entertaining choice than "All Rights Reserved".

(Disclaimer: I don't think Apple computer users are douche bags)

Couldn’t they come up with some creative or inspiring phrases? I mean there are literally millions of Chinese literatures to choose from.

Here is one suggestion I have: how about just etch the owner’s contact info in case the laptop has been snatched from their local hot spot.

Ps. Thanks to the "cult of mac" for sending it in.


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Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Seven Sins




http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51022/high/bmepb151995.jpg

Anyone who has ever read Dante Alighieri’s La divina commedia or The Divine Comedy” (It was a required reading when I was in high school, and trust me, it was not an actual “comedy”) or watched the movie “SE7EN” would know about the Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the Cardinal Sins.

"Superbia" (, Pride), “Invidia” (, Envy), “Ira” ( or , Wrath), “Acedia” ( or , Sloth), “Avaritia” (, Greed), “Gula” ( or , Gluttony), and “Luxuria” (, , or , Lust) are Latin names for the Seven Deadly Sins.

is the simplification of .

After viewing the tattoo above, I would like to add “improvidus” and “ignarus” to the Cardinal Sins list.


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Friday, October 21, 2005

Whole-Hearted Devotion


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A51022/high/bmepb152472.jpg

is an old Chinese idiom that meant "in all sincerity", "with one's whole heart", or "whole-hearted devotion".

Ironically, neither the tattooist nor the client has devoted enough effort to make sure the tattoo was done correctly.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jujutsu


http://www.bmezine.com/tattoo/A50910/high/bmegl129515.jpg

One of the basic principles many martial arts share is not to flaunt. Unfortunately many students have completely disregarded this important teaching, rather brand themselves with superficial gibberish.

Does getting (Jujutsu or Jujitsu) tattooed on your body really enhance your martial art skill and help you to find your inner peace? Perhaps getting the correct characters tattooed would help.

Regardless, you are now the laughing stock at your dojo ().


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The Four Seasons






(thanks to Terry for the photos)

Just because you have purchased the latest books on Feng Shui 風水 and watched way too much home make-over shows, it does not mean you have to jump onto the bandwagon. At least please consult someone first.

Twisted “Four Seasons” , that is definitely bad Feng Shui.


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