T Nation

Chinese/Japanese Tattoo


i'm looking for the chinese or japanese symbol for my son's name. it is nicholas
been looking on the web and all the sites i saw will not even let you view it without buying. anyone know where i can find info like this. /? thanks


My personal recommendation: unless you or your son happen to be chinese/japanese, it might be better just to find a nice style of writing in english to have it done in, or perhaps gaelic etc. if you're irish. Unless the characters have an important meaning to you that is.


Hi just a guestion.
What were you planning to write in chinese? your sons name?

You must understand that if you are going after something that sounds like your sons name, the meaning of the characters might be some thing you're not after...

For example: coca cola was translated to ko kou ko le which translates roughly to something like "to allow the mouth to be able to rejoice," or something that everyone can enjoy

In japanese you face some of the same problems. Unless you use the katakana alphabets.

In my opinion you're better of with writing in plain old english. Just use the kind of font/style you are comfortable with.



A friend of mine makes/sells shirts with customized kanji (http://www.buildingcharacters.com). He also has a blog where you can post questions just like the one you have in this thread at (http://www.definingcharacters.com/). BTW, it's all Chinese characters. Kanji literally means "Chinese Characters". The Japanese adopted the Chinese alphabet as their own. Hope that helps.


Cool site, but what is with them only going up to an XL?


In brief, you should probably write your son's name in katakana (one of the types of Japanese writing).

You should probably keep in mind that there is no Chinese analogue of "Nicholas." Chinese people don't give names like that. I would second a suggestion made above (I think) about going with Japanese and using katakana. The Japanese have a bunch of different ways of writing, one of which is kanji. Kanji uses Chinese characters, but you're going to run into the same problem there as if you try to use Chinese characters. Katakana is the Japanese way of using Oriental-looking symbols to represent foreign words. You can use the characters to make a homonym of Nicholas, and tattoo that on yourself.

Oh, and beware the pitfall of inscribing random Asian characters on yourself. Mistakes can be hilarious, and not for you. I knew a guy once who was proudly showing off the tattoo "Strong." It really said "Car."


Be very careful and selective if you do choose to have kanji tattooed onto you. Not only is there a sort of literal meaning to each character, but also a general emotive type of cultural association based on how the character is traditionally used.


Who in their right mind would need bigger than an XL? Be cut, not huge man, that's what the chics dig, dude.


Historically, the Kanji were imported from China. Since then kanji writing has evolved into a part of the Japanese writing system by using the borrowed ideograms to indicate pronunciation. The pronunciation is different from the chinese, and the meaning isn't allways the same.

allso the mainland Chinese don't follow the traditional way of writing anymore, as the Taiwanese do.

When in China I'm known as Wang Long or King Dragon :slight_smile: this more or less sounds like my real name, but the meaning is totally different (my name means walrus in Dutch). And no, I'm not from Holland.

But maybe I should check your friends website to see what my Japanese name should be like.



If anything, go with the Katakana "spelling." Or, go with a nice font in english. Kanji is a strange mistress, don't take her lightly. Or some shit like that.


Have you seen the owner's pics? I'm willing to bet your bowel movements weigh more than he does. Anyway, got off the phone with him a little while ago and he said he'll start offering XXL and XXXL sizes within the next month.


Oh shit...is this serious? If you're into improving your body for chicks my man, I just have to go ahead and feel sorry for you. Besides, from what I've experienced, chicks don't even notice a cut dude unless he has his shirt off...which that just doesn't happen all that often unless you're the type of guy who runs around with his shirt off all the time. A "cut" guy looks pretty damn normal wearing normal clothes. Now, you can't hide "hugeness" no matter what kind of clothes you wear.




I think it pays to know someone or be related directly to that culture in some way so that the meaning can be directly translated. I have a chinese half sister. I know what mine mean even though I sometimes have to explain why I chose those symbols for myself to other people who understand the language (it has started conversations before).


I am One Hung Low in Chinese and Biggus Dickus in Latin.


Is that the western version of http://www.engrish.com?


Yeah, I'll second that. Either knowing the language yourself, or knowing someone that'll give you a no-bs translation is crucial. Be aware that asking "random asian dude's" translation advice might not illicit a 100% legit response. Make sure it's someone you trust.

A friend of mine, who is asian and speaks the language, has a character tatooted on his stomach that translates to "Further." One time he joked that he should've got a tat that said, "No, that's not a thigh."


That's funny, man, I didn't know that Nicholas was either a Chinese or Japanese name. But, I suppose since you're so knowledgable of and in love with either of those cultures, the origin of the characters representing your son wouldn't matter.[/sarcasm]

Yeah, I'm a dick. Though, as your attorney, I advise you to do as you like. Good luck.


I also have to advise against tatoos of which you have no understanding.

Unless you read the language(s) yourself, I'd advise against it.


My reccomendation:

Chinese characters look great - I can read and write some Chinese (hell, I can SPEAK nearly fluently), but I probably wont' get any of them tattooed on me - I DO have Enochian tattoed on me, which is Angelic script - looks badass.

But the thing is, overall, just text makes for a pretty boring tattoo, I have text in combination with dragons on my forearms. I'd reccomend deciding on a symbol for Nicholas - something that you feel embodies him the best - his power animal, perhaps, or his moon sign. Find a way to relate that symbol of the embodiment of his personality to one that relates to your own, and plan a comprehensive piece that speaks to both.

Example: A bear and its cubs, A whale and a dolphin, a stag and the moon, a dragon and a wyrmling, etc etc.

In the end, writing is only a symbol - take that idea, and make it more abstract, in the end, it'll probably be more meaningful, and more beautiful than simple text alone.

Good luck,