Sunday, November 05, 2017

What Does Your Tattoo Say?

Redditor chojurou posted a picture of a friend's tattoo. When people ask him what his tattoo says, he replies,

"I don't know, I don't speak Chinese."
And that is literally what it says. Those who read Chinese pointed out that it appears to be a machine translation, rendered in typewriter font instead of calligraphy, but it says what it says. Southernnfratty gave us a little more information.
中國話 is kind of a dated way to say "Chinese" (almost like how you'd say/write it in Japanese, actually).

Most people in Mainland China say 中文 or 汉语, or 國語 / 普通話 / 華語 if you're in HK/Taiwan/SE Asia. Also colloquially many people say "讲” more often than "说” ; the latter which to me sounds a bit more textbook-y.

But other than that, the tattoo is correct

Edit: 弄纹身的那个人的手写也挺标准的 Edit 2: Guys I was just pointing out a few subtleties lol. The phrase is a bit awk but overall correct. And 说/讲 can be used interchangeably, 讲 just sounds more natural to me
He's dressed up the tattoo a bit since the picture here was taken. While it is the perfect dad joke, it might not be so funny the 1000th time you explain it.

2 comments:

Bill Scheitzach said...

I don't know if it's true or not, but I remember hearing the story of a woman who had gotten a tattoo featuring a kanji symbol; she didn't know what it meant, she just liked its appearance. It wasn't until later that she found out her chosen design meant 'licensed prostitute'.

Miss Cellania said...

I don't doubt it. Some tattoo artists can be pretty sneaky, especially if you are stupid or piss them off.