Appreciate Life in Arabic

Posted on: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 21 comments

I have seen my fair share of bad Arabic tattoo translations. But, in recent weeks one of them has especially caught my eye. The Arabic phrase انا معفن ana mu3affan is purported to mean “I appreciate life” whereas it actually means “I am rotten” or “I am putrid”. The trouble … Continue reading

Arabic Tattoos, Mistakes and Art

Posted on: Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 7 comments

In one of my previous articles on this blog I discussed what I considered to be the most embarrassing Arabic tattoo mistakes – disconnected letters, written in the wrong direction and offensive tattoos. I thought it was pretty clear that most people would like to steer clear of these pitfalls. … Continue reading

BBC Correspondent Learns Arabic In Damascus – And Fails!

Posted on: Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 0 comments

There is an interesting article on the BBC News page detailing the experience of one of their correspondents in learning Arabic in Damascus. While I certainly applaud his efforts, I nevertheless have to remark on some inconsistencies in his article. In the article, the author writes: But however modest our … Continue reading

Arabic Tattoos – The Three Most Embarrassing Errors

Posted on: Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 94 comments

While Arabic tattoos can be aesthetically pleasing if the right calligraphy is used, there are a huge number of cases where neither the person getting the tattoo done nor the tattooist have the slightest idea of Arabic. The result is often disastrous: incorrect or ugly Arabic writing. I’ll show you … Continue reading