Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Strong Willed Woman"

from: Jaime S.
date: Sat, Apr 24, 2010 at 2:21 PM
subject: So I got a tattoo...

Hey guys, my name's Mari. I've always been a fan of the blog, and I was wondering if you could verify my tattoo's meaning.

I'm a foreign language major, and I've studied both Mandarin and Japanese in the past. I decided to translate the meaning of "strong willed woman" into 英気女 (eiki onna). So... is this correct? I sure hope so!

I sent you a pic, too. Thanks a lot.

eiki onna

At the very least the characters are written correctly as if it was supposed to be Japanese.

Unfortunately, 英気女 does not mean "strong-willed woman" in Japanese.

It is more like "brilliant woman" or "woman of excellent ability" if they were to translate it literally. But even this is not a proper translation because 英気女 is not grammatically correct in Japanese.

It lacks the proper grammatical bits and such, so it sounds very brusque and looks sort of "faux Chinese" to a Japanese person. To be proper, they would need to be written 英気に富んだ女性 [eiki ni tonda josei] if "brilliant woman" was intended.

But it cannot be proper Chinese because the simplified character form is used only in Japanese. In Chinese, only the character forms (traditional) or (simplified) are used.

Another problem is that it seems quite inappropriately boastful and prideful for someone to tattoo themselves with "brilliant woman" in a Japanese context. One would only say this sort of thing about someone else, or as a goal to strive for, and not as a label on your own body. The most common usage of 英気 in Japanese is in the phrase 英気を養う [eiki wo yashinau] which means roughly to "rest up to be able to demonstrate one's full ability."

Certainly there are other, much better, ways of saying "strong-willed woman" in Japanese. One might be 意志の強い女性 [ishi no tsuyoi josei].

Better luck next time,

Alan & Tian

Eiffel Tower's Official Site

For a country which has its own government agency to ensure linguistic purity & accuracy, one would think France would have same standard for other languages as well.

Apparently not so, as seen here at the official website for Eiffel Tower.

The button for Japanese [日本語] is missing first character.

(Thanks Ulas for the tip)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Plagued by Blogger bX-tb9qow Error

Alan, myself and several readers have noticed this error when trying to access comment function of older postings.

As of right now, there is no fix from Blogger.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

from: Brendan B.
date: Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 8:22 PM
subject: Lady Gaga's Japanese Arm???


I love the site and I came across this picture of Lady Gaga in Japan and I was hoping that you could figure out what she had written all over her arm. Knowing Lady Gaga, I can only imagine. Thanks a lot!

Brendan B.

Alan, who is a long time Lady Gaga fan (just kidding), has this to say:

Lady Gaga? Hah! But I think she is terrific and it is just so typical of her to have someone write random things in Japanese on her handbag and arm.

Anyway, the text on the handbag, which looks a lot like the text on her arm (which is partially obscured) reads:

アイ ラブ スモール モンスター [I love small monster]
東京 ラブ [Tokyo love]

The text on her arm is actually different from that on her bag:

アイ ラブ リトル モンスター
[I love little monster]

Hot on the trail of the "little monster," I see that Gaga seems to call her fans the "little monsters" and she even has a tattoo that says "Little Monsters."

So no doubt she meant リトル モンスター [ritoru monsuta-] to mean her Japanese fans. Now she just has to fire the person that wrote "small monster" on her handbag. :)

By the way, that is a Hermes Birkin bag priced worth about £3,000.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

from: Ben
date: Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 12:16 PM
subject: NY Daily News: Photos: Tiger Woods' alleged mistresses Joslyn James, Loredana Joli, Cori Rist, Rachel Uchitel

Hi Long time fan! I was looking up stuff on Tiger Woods and came across this gem. The caption says her (Joslyn James) tattoo says "betrayal" in Chinese.
First line: "coming" in Japanese?
Second: In my dreams
Third line is something like karmic retribution written incorrectly (yin guo bao ying) and below that "highest satisfaction" Last line not sure. Any ideas?

楽しみ [enjoyment/pleasure]
夢中 [in dream/dreaming]
因果応報 [cause & retribution]
最高潮 [climax]
裏切 [betrayal]

Sunday, April 11, 2010

from: iona c.
date: Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 10:03 AM
subject: what does it mean yall?

Yo! A friend just got this tattoo... what does it mean yall?

from: Chuck R.
date: Sun, Apr 11, 2010 at 8:17 AM
subject: Hanzi Smatter submission

Just stumbled onto your site and have been laughing my ass off for the last hour! I have a friend with a lame Chinese/Japanese/something-or-other character tattoo that I'm dying to know what it actually means.

He tells us that it means "Mighty Whitey" (and while i could explain to you its non-racial origins i would probably just be wasting your time), but i can only imagine that it actually says something along the lines of "anglo-saxon douchbag dick-licker"

Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated!!!


Red Barn on NYE 048

強勢的色 is a word-to-character translation of "brave's color".
from: Heath R.
date: Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 3:54 AM
subject: Chinese Tattoo

Hi, I got this tattoo done when I was very young and very drunk a long time ago and have since forgotten the meaning.

Can you help me out please?

Thank you.