Chinese Character Tattoos: Lost in Translation

A tattoo that's supposed to read 'bad boy' in Chinese, but the last two letters have been reversed. i i

A reader e-mailed Tang this photo of a friend's tattoo. It's supposed to read "bad boy" in Chinese, except the order of last two characters has been reversed. Courtesy Tian Tang hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Tian Tang
A tattoo that's supposed to read 'bad boy' in Chinese, but the last two letters have been reversed.

A reader e-mailed Tang this photo of a friend's tattoo. It's supposed to read "bad boy" in Chinese, except the order of last two characters has been reversed.

Courtesy Tian Tang

Robert Siegel talks with Tian Tang, author of a Web site dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture. Tang posts photos of Chinese character tattoos that either contain errors or carry no meaning.

Tang says as a Chinese American, he felt it was his "duty and honor to educate the public about the misusage of Chinese characters."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.