Maggie sent me the following question in a blog comment:
my name is maggie (ghaleb)
just want to make sure of something…
getting my 3th arabic tattoo! (proud to be libanease!)
its the word believe (faith) in the way, i believe i will get trough this, or i believe things will get better ….. NOT in the way: I don’t believe you OR I believe (In God)…even though I do (lol!)
my dad wrote it to mee…but can’t get a confident confirmation from anyone..
thank YOU so much! LOVE YOUR SITE! Just discovered it tonight!
Translating “believe” into Arabic is tricky and I’m glad you gave a few example sentences to illustrate which sense of “believe” you mean. The word آمن (aamana) is a good fit for “to believe” in the religious sense (e.g. “I believe in God”), but it would seem out of place in a translation of e.g. “I believe things will get better”. This phrase would be better translated using the verb اعتقد (i3taqada). However, اعتقد (i3taqada) does not have the connotations of “determination” or “hope”, that the English verb “to believe” sometimes has.
I think that in your case the word اقتناع (iqtinaa3) would be better suited. الاقتناع (al-iqtinaa3) means “conviction” in the sense of being convinced of something. E.g. أنا مقتنع بأنني سألعب في كأس العالم ana muqtana3 bi-annani sa-al3abu fi ka’s al-3aalam “I am convinced that I will play in the World Cup”.
Below is the word “conviction” in Arabic as a picture:
Alternatively, I would suggest العزيمة al-3azeema (determination) or الثقة بالنفس ath-thiqa bi-n-nafs (self-confidence or trust in one self) or perhaps القوة الداخلية al-quuwa ad-daakhileeya “inner strength”. Maybe “hope” الأمل al-amal might be an option too? There are tattoo designs for all of these four phrases in my Arabic Tattoos eBook.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t give you a clear-cut answer, but I hope that my explanations have given you a better idea of your options. If you send me the word your dad wrote for you I will tell you what it says.