The dangers of amateur translation

Latin tattoos gone awry




Latin tattoos are difficult to tackle with success and can easily go wrong. It is clear that a number of people have taken into their own hands the translation of English into Latin for the purpose of creating fashionable Latin tattoos rather than having contacted an expert. Just four examples of the potential chaos and indelible errors that can ensue from using the automatic translators available via Google, Yahoo and Bing are given below.


For professional help for the creation of a Latin tattoo (including Latin tattoo translation, fonts, ideas etc.) at the lowest rates available online please visit Classical Turns' Latin tattoo translation service.

Latin tattoo Danielle Lloyd 


Here stands the august shoulder of Danielle Lloyd, a 'celebrity' who has sought to bring the prestige of a Latin tattoo to her body, alongside a unique (i.e. unmeaning) Hebraic tattoo (top left). Her press release told journalists that her tattoo meant: "To diminish me will only make me stronger". Alas and alack, only one word is correct, namely 'only': tantum. The 'meaning' of what she has had inked in is: "As who am I wearing away for myself, I only set  (it) down for/on myself, strong man (that I am)?". Interesting and lightening; at least Ms Lloyd will take strength away from this episode.


Latin tattoos

Some people are known to love Aerosmith to the extent that they devote their backs to their lyrics. One such specimen appears above, consecrated to the haunting refrain from their 1973 Dream On: "Sing for the laugh, sing for the tear". The tattoo certainly conjures up half of these emotions, as half of the words are wrong and, as it stands, it could only mean "I am singing - alas! - smiles! I am singing for a tear [or "- alas! - cry!"]" cane ad risum, ad fletum cane. Indeed, Tyler.











English Latin tattoo

Imagine you want a tattoo that expresses the most basic statement of the relationship between two people, i.e. the most sweet and simple assertion "you and me". These are three common words: You - and - me. It is possible, however, to regard this challenge as three gaping pitfalls for error, as this hapless hip has learnt. To translate the tattoo: "You [i.e. you lot (=two or more people)] are the thing that is for me", or more literally, "you that/because for me". How could things go so off-track, we may wonder? Here is to be found the quick, and disturbing, answer to that one.





Latin tattoo picture 


"Rest in peace" is a commonplace sentiment among myriad cultures and, as such, is not difficult to express in simple terms, even in Latin. Nevertheless, a dictionary can still be used by those in search of their own novel translation. In this genuinely regrettable instance, words have been cobbled together peacemeal, and the full dictionary entry for 'peace' (i.e. 'pax, pacis' - literally "peace, of peace", where the noun is repeated to elucidate its declension) has led to the insertion of the word twice, which also stand ungrammatically after in. The result? "The thing that has been refreshed by rest in... Peace of peace." Say the phrase to a Roman on the street, moreover, and he understands: "That which is now rested in... - Silence, you! - Peace of Peace!".








 Latin tattoo Harry Potter

This is a Latin tattoo inspired from a Harry Potter spell: crucio, 'I am tortured'. This may be true. It is certainly correct Latin. But we may tentatively opine that something has none the less gone wrong here.





What, then, is the obvious moral of this series of mistaken Latin tattoos? As fashionable as Latin (and Ancient Greek) tattoos are, they are still very much worth checking with someone who knows the Classical languages well before inking them into skin. With this task Classical Turns would be pleased to help, and further information about assistance can be found on the page for Latin tattoo translation. For any Latin tattoo request, information can readily be provided regarding Latin tattoo fonts, lettering, styles of writing, images and all matters of their appearance, as well as help regarding the choice of Latin phrases and mottoes.




For yet more unfortunate examples of mistaken Latin tattoos and meanings,

visit this page, this page and this page, among others. Alternatively, you can search for results via Google, Yahoo or Bing. In no circumstances should the Google Latin Translator be trusted for tattoos!



Latin tattoos gone wrong




Classical Turns - English Latin tattoo translator

for swift and professional Latin translation etc.






















Other Links


For a repertory of some well-known Latin phrases see In Rebus;

For clothing with Latin slogans of all kinds see LatinShirt.

For other Latin resources visitLatin Language.

Online translation hub X-Vita Translation.

Latin translator




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