What You Should Know Before Getting a Chinese Character Tattoo

chinese character tattoo

One of the more popular tattoo designs being chosen is the Chinese character tattoo. This is true not only for the general public but many celebrities are now sporting these tats.

The fascination for Chinese character tattoos may be because they use intricate characters. For westerners, a Chinese symbol is seen as more intriguing than the letters used in the English language. If you have this tattoo, you can be more original and you can add an air of mystery to your design. It can also be considered a form of art. Moreover, it can be great for those who want an ink with a message since a great deal can be said with just a single character.

More celebrities have caught the Chinese character tattoo fever. Britney Spears has one on her hip that was supposed to say “mysterious” but unfortunately, the characters can also mean “strange”. Justin Timberlake of the American boy band N’sync has a Chinese character tattoo which is supposed to mean “song”. But in Chinese, this could also stand for “crooked” or “wrong”.

So if you decide on getting a Chinese character tattoo, make sure you got the meaning right. It might be a beautiful symbol but on the other hand, it may turn out to be quite the opposite meaning of what you intended. There are also instances in which the tattooed symbols end up bizarrely meaningless or can even be offensive.  In addition, watch out for double meanings. Consider not only what it but also the other meanings that the characters may have.

Prior to getting a Chinese character tattoo, make sure your tattoo artist is able to speak Chinese. English alphabets can mean the same thing despite the difference in fonts. This is completely different in Chinese. A single wrong stroke can result in a totally different meaning and you can have disastrous consequences.

The tattoo artist should also know calligraphy by heart. Chinese calligraphy is a part of their cultural heritage. Consider those who have trained and developed their skill in this art form. Do not use generated characters from computer fonts. If you want Chinese calligraphy, then go to the right artist to work with.

If you have a western name, it is best that you do not transliterate your name. A pure phonetic translation may not end up well. Some English phrases might also not translate well in Chinese. It is best to use a Chinese phrase to avoid inaccuracies.

Lastly, you should have no doubts if you want a Chinese character tattoo. You should be confident that it is something you really like because a tattoo is a permanent thing. Of course, there is always laser tattoo removal but it is expensive, time consuming, and more painful than getting a tat in the first place.

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