Translation help to stop tattoo mess-ups - from Veritas Language Solutions in Swansea
YOU wanted to have a tattoo and you planned on making a statement.
Having the word 'Peace' inked onto your arm in Chinese seemed like a good idea — only later you discover it was lost in translation and what your new tattoo actually says is 'Peas'.
It has happened.
Now Swansea company Veritas Language Solutions has launched the Think Before You Ink campaign, which encourages people to get a proper translation before getting the work done.
Managing director Sharon Stephens said: "There are some hilarious examples of translation errors which have resulted in the person having 'sweet and sour chicken' inked on their back rather than 'Live and let live'.
"As there are some awful tattoo translations, there are also English spelling blunders which do make you wonder, such as 'Life go's on' , 'It's get better' and 'streangth'.
"Tattoo translations are in demand and Veritas regularly gets requests for Chinese, Arabic and Hebrew and, now and again, Gaelic."
Examples of translations carried out by Sharon and the team include 'Sisters Forever' into Scottish Gaelic and 'Love' into traditional Chinese characters, as well as 'Forever in my Heart' into Hindi.
"As expected, many of the requests tend to be philosophical or simply personal to the person on the receiving end of the needle," said Sharon, a Swansea University graduate in Translation. "The translator's task would be to translate the text into the equivalent in the other language. However, equivalent does not mean literal translation, which is what happens a lot of the time and could be catastrophic for the person having the tattoo.
"Obviously our process involves working with professional linguists who know what the equivalents are in the other language, and who only translate into their native language, ensuring that the tattoo reads exactly what it means.
"We encourage people thinking about getting inked to get their tattoo translation checked before proceeding any further."