Imprinted on your skin forever

Not a tattoo, but it illustrates a point. This boy mistakenly believes that his t-shirt reads "Samurai", a word associated with fearlessness. In fact, the text on his t-shirt is the translation of hemorrhoids (in child's handwriting).

We typically charge a minimum fee of 37 EUR for a tattoo translation, excluding VAT. To some people, that is expensive. They conveniently forget that a tattoo artist often charges far more for creating a tattoo (or removing an incorrectly translated tattoo!). Furthermore, the translation has to be checked not twice, but ten times. After all, the translation needs to last a lifetime. That means that we often need to brainstorm for over an hour to find the most suitable characters that truly reflect your name, or your motto in life. Some customers might argue that “it is only one character”. But sorry, that argument doesn't wash with us.

If you buy cheaply you pay dearly. Google Translate is notoriously unreliable, and the fact that your friend happens to be Japanese says little about his credentials as a translator. If you look at the "Letters to the Editor" section of your newspaper, you will soon realize that not all English people are masters of the English language. Similarly, not all Japanese people are able to write fluent Japanese. In other words: let your friend concentrate on what he is good at, and let us concentrate on what we are good at. Get your tattoos translated by professionals who have the relevant expertise.

The translation can be submitted in JPG with a beautiful calligraphy font (vertical or horizontal). Please bear in mind that Western names in Japanese are usually written in katakana and not in kanji (Chinese characters commonly seen on the front signage of Chinese restaurants). Each katakana character usually consists of only two or three strokes. The illustration contains an example of the differences. This applies only to Western names, not to mottos and suchlike.

If you insist on really, really want to have your name written in kanji, it is probably best to opt for a tattoo in Traditional Chinese, which is the standard written form in Hong Kong and Taiwan (China itself uses a simplified alphabet, which is less pleasing to the eye). In that case, our translator will look for characters that sound like your name and also have a suitable meaning. This practice is not common in Japan, because Japanese have a special alphabet for Western words (the aforementioned katakana).

Lastly, a word of warning: in Japan and China, tattoos are still considered a taboo subject, because of their strong historical connection with organized crime. If you ever intend to do business in Japan or China, we would advise you to keep your tattoos hidden from view.