In a previous article, reference is made to Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Swahili, Hindi and Arabic being popular target languages for tattoos.
Why are translations into these languages such a popular tattoo choice?
Tattoos, like clothes, cars, music and celebrities, are subject to trends and culture. We have had fads for particular tattoos at particular times in our history. It doesn’t take a tattoo expert to tell us that the trend in the forties of having naked women tattooed onto men’s arms is now seriously out of fashion. And, although it is more of a cultural behaviour as opposed to one of trend, the prison tattoos (which advertise to those who see the tattoos that the wearer has been in prison, killed someone, is a member of a gang etc.) are becoming far more naff than they ever were in the past.
Instead people seem to be taking their time with tattoos. Home made tattoos are far less common now and, as such, individuals primarily visit professional body artists.
Translation of tattoos is certainly very popular. In particular, the translation of individual’s names seems to be extremely popular. The result, when translated into Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Swahili, Hindi and Arabic can look extremely stylish.
The trend for the translation of tattoos appeared to take off in the 1990’s. Individuals primarily opted for a translated tattoo as the art involved in reproducing the fonts is generally extremely elegant and the translations, once tattooed onto the body can look both artistic and attractive. Second to this, is also the fact that the translations chosen are less likely to ‘go out of fashion’ The translation of a name, once tattooed onto a body is time insensitive.
Issues are only likely to arise if an individual has the name of their current partner translated and tattooed onto their body … take for example the case of a recent man who approached the Kwintessential office for a tattoo translation. He had the names of all of his wives tattooed onto his arm. He was now on his third wife and had had to have the tattoos of his ex wives changed into a different tattoo. The result looked messy and lacking in style. In this particular case, the tattoos were not translations, but at least with such a tattoo it is less likely that the new partner would know what it referred to!!!