Chinese tattoos are extremely fashionable lately and have become a first choice amongst the impressionable youth. If you are interested in Chinese culture and want to sport a tattoo that translates properly, you might want to consider trying to learn Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese both use the same characters)!

Example 1…

Vince Mattingley

Proud Vince Mattingley showed off his Chinese writing tattoo spelling his name for 26 years – until someone pointed out if actually spelt COCA-COLA.

Vince, 44, had the body art done after asking staff at his favourite Oriental restaurant to write his name in Chinese symbols. But a cheeky waiter drew the Coke words – and Vince had it etched on his chest.

Coca-Cola Can

(Canned Laughter!)

Vince – who now works as a tattoo artist – never had an INK-ling he was a walking advert for more than a quarter of a century. It was only when he travelled to Thailand this year that a barman asked him why he had Coca-Cola written on his chest.

Example 2…

Eighteen year old Lee Becks had a shock when his chinese tattoo read “At the end of the day…this is an ugly boy!” The hairdresser thought his tattoo said “Love, Honour and Obey, but he had been tricked and was made a laughing stock in a chinese takeaway.

Lee Becks Metro Newspaper Tattoo Article

Example 3…

Last but not least, this tattoo is simply hilarious. Reading “My abusive husband pimps me out”, this lovely…erm not…piece of bodyart is situated on some woman’s poor wrist!

My Husband Pimps Me Out Tattoo

(Translated to “My abusive husband pimps me out” )

A word of advice…

Without wishing to belabour the point, this story does illustrate why you should take due care when choosing a Chinese tattoo. At the very least do the following:

- Get a sketch or printout of the proposed design.
- Ask several Chinese people what they think.
- Compare it with other translations and see if they match.
- Explain fully what you want your tattoo to say incase there is a better translation
- Different dialects may use different translations for your name – check them out!

And finally…
Get it professionally translated! This tattoo will be on your skin for life…spend a little and save a lot of embarrassment in the future!