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 is that many people keep reposting, reblogging and retweeting the bad translation, thereby making it seem that the majority of users agree that this is the correct translation.
This has gone so far that some unsuspecting people have taken this bad translation to their tattoo artist and have actually gotten it inked on their skin:
Someone else might have had this phrase tattooed on her skin, although I’m not sure if this is an actual tattoo or merely written with a pen:
It’s a shame really to think that someone has got these bad words inked on their skin when all they wanted was something encouraging. That’s why I’ve decided to write a blog post about the real translation of “appreciate life”.
Appreciate Life – Arabic Tattoo Designs
As with almost all translations, there are several possible Arabic renditions of the phrase “appreciate life”. The two best candidates would be:
قدر الحياة qaddir al-hayaat
This would be the imperative of “to appreciate”, i.e. “appreciate life!”. However, the verb qaddara can also mean to assess or evaluate (i.e. appraising the worth or value of something).
In addition, the phrase could also mean “he valued life”, as the written language does not make a difference between the imperative form and the third person singular past tense form (on the other hand there is a difference in pronunciation, but this is not reflected in writing).
One could add the diacritic marks to ensure that the word is pronounced in a way that is not ambiguous between the imperative form and the third person singular past tense form:
قدِّر الحياة qaddir al-hayaat
This way it’s clear that it’s qaddir (imperative) and not qaddara (3rd person singular past tense).
To express “I value life” in Arabic one would write:
أنا أقدِّر الحياة ana uqaddir ul-hayaat
Esteem for life
إعزاز الحياة i3zaaz ul-hayaat
i3zaaz means “love, affection, regard or esteem for something”, so the translation would be “esteem for life” or “having a high regard for life”. The word can also mean “strenghtening, reinforcing, or endearing”.
I hope this blog post helps someone find a good translation of “appreciate life” for their Arabic tattoo.
Hi, I was just wondering what “faith” and “warrior” would be, and is it correct that it is a translation of “Iman” and “Imari”? Thankyou for taking the time out to answer my question, thanks again!
“Faith” is الإيمان (al-imaan), while warrior is المقاتل (al-muqaatil). There are designs for both of these words in my Arabic Tattoos ebook.
To be honest, I can’t think of any Arabic words from which the name ‘Imari’ might have been derived, so perhaps the name is not of Arabic origin?
I want to have a tattoo in Arabic, and every person that I asked for translation gave me different writings, can you translate the words “Desert rose” and “Rebel” in Arabic hand writing for me? Thank you.
Hello there I’ve been recently trying to figure out the correct way to spell “stay gold” in Arabic I want to to get it tattooed but I don’t know of this is the correct way to say it يبقى ذهب
Can you please translate this?
Hi there! This isn’t Arabic.
can you please tell me how would you translate: “you don’t need wings to fly”
thank you 🙂
I was wondering what is its easy to forgive but its hard to forget in Arabic
Hello guys im here to help some people ,
Desert rose = زهره الصحراء
which is Zahrtu Al-Sahra’
Rebel = متمرد
Which is Mutamrid
you don’t need wings to fly = لا تحتاج اجنحه كى تطير
which is “La Tahtag Agniha Kay Tatier
what is its easy to forgive but its hard to forget = السهل فى المغفره لاكنه صعب في النسيان
Which is “Al-sahil Fe Al-Maghfira Al-sa’ib F Al-Nessian
i wish i did help you , and if i’m wrong feel free to correct me anybody
i can help you to design your tattoo also
can you please translate the following phrases for me
I have a rough translation but I want to get it bang on.
I’m interested in getting ‘appreciate life’ tattooed on me and I’ve seen that you’ve translated it. I’ve put it into an Arabic – English translator and your translation has come out as ‘as life’ is this a mistake by the translator(most likely) is yours definitely correct?
forgive me if it is, I just want to make sure!
this is the translation in question.
id be so grateful if you could help, thank you very much 🙂
Desert rose = زهرة الصحراء
Zahrat al sahra’a
Rebel = متمرد
you don’t need wings to fly = لست بحاجة إلى أجنحة كي تطير
Lasta be haga ela agneha kai tatier
what is its easy to forgive but its hard to forget = مايكون سهلاً ليُغفر يكن صعباً ليُنسى
Ma yakoon sahlan le yogfar yakon sa’aban le yonsa
قيمة الحياة = The value of life
إعزاز الحياة = Esteem of life
قدِّر الحياة = Appreciate the life
I wouldn’t say (إعزاز الحياة) I would say instead (أَعِزّ الحياة) besides, it means esteem more than appreciate. For appreciate I would say (قدِّر)
Also, flower = (زهرة)
while rose = (وردة)
So desert rose = (وردة الصحراء)
Stay gold = (ابقى ذهباً) as in “you must stay gold” or even “I remain gold” as the first letter of the first word may be pronounced “a” or “i”
what is easy to forgive is hard to forget = ما يسهل غفرانه يصعب نسيانه
Hi! Please can you translate ‘Daddy’s little girl’ into arabic for me! Really want to get it tattooed, also how would you write ‘Mohammed Ebrahim’ in Arabic calligraphy?
Thanks so much!
regret nothing ?
How would you write “Life is Beautiful”
Hey was just wondering about the ‘Appreciate Life’ quote that its definitely 100% wrong? Thanks 🙂
can you please translate the following phrase for me:
If you can dream id you can do it.
how do you translate the word “open” in arabic?
It means disgusting in arabic 🙂
it is a bit hard to say daddy’s little girl, you can say daddy’s princess اميرة ابي.another thing is دلوعة بابا i don’t know how to translate that exactly but we use it as in daddy’s little girl.. دلوعة might be translated as spoiled perhaps indulged.
regret nothing, لا اندم علي شئ that is more likely i regret nothing.
life is beautiful الحياة حلوة or الحياة جميلة or ما اجمل الحياة it depends on how it is phrased
if you can dream it, you can do iT
إذا استطعت الحُلم به ستستطيع فعله
open.. if you want it as an order, like open this or that, then it would be ” إفتح” and if you want it to be like an open box or door , like something already opened then it is ” مفتوح ” if you want it to be like saying to a person open up or blossom ” تفتح” or “انفتح”
but if there is a completely different meaning in your mind like release or unchain or free (mostly common as set free) then it can be ” حرر “
OK. I don’t have any translation skills, but I do have Arabic’s!(My native language and in LOVE with it)
After seeing the comments above, I have to say that you need to be very careful picking the right translation, ’cause some of Arabs here did well in translating your requests, but there are horrible writing mistakes!!!
Don’t know, but Ms. Nadia then Mr. Abdullah were the best.
I can’t give you the right translation of others, but I can tell you that mostly there are unforgivable mistakes 🙁 don’t make them into tattoos before making sure.
There’s another point I’d like to mention. Yeah, when you ask a translation they may differ from a person to another. If whom you asked have enough knowledge in Arabic, then you need not to worry, but to cheer up. There are many formations for the single expression and they all can be right, pick what sounds beautiful for you. Besides, you better ask your translator about all the details of his translation, ’cause Arabic grammar is very specific. You might get an expression that so far than what you were looking to! Simply because he/she doesn’t get what “exactly” you meant.
Sorry for long comment and broken English 🙂 But this is tattoo! And what we saw in this post “I’m rotten” is horrible!! Please have it right so it appears beautifully on you 🙂
One last thing >< You better mention if you want the translation in slang or classical language .. They reeeaally DIFFER O_O watch out!
How would you say “strength”
could anyone translate my name Kira in arabic?
How would you say:”you (she) will never be forgotten”?
Anyone can translate in arabic to me the words “brightness of the stars” or “shining of the stars”… Or “Be shiny”.
What is the translation for ‘but what if you fly’
Can someone please translate “forever in my heart” thank youuu
Quick question is this translated correctly?
إذا كنت ترى لي الحصول على أصغر لا تقلق أنا في عجلة من امرها لدي الحق أن تختفي
for : if you see me getting smaller do not worry I am in no hurry I have a right to disappear
What is live for yourself in Arabic?
Live for you self:
Hey can you translate
Beauty lies within in Arabic for me
You’re beautiful in Arabic
Can you give me the written form of these three phases please I want to get a tattoo but I need to know the correct writhing thanks so much
Can you please translate “forgive and forget”
What’s the correct way of saying Forgive & Never forgette translated
Could you tell me what “confident” or “confidence” would translate to please
انا معفن = I stink
Who the hell told them it means “Appreciate Life”? Lol
Yaslin = Its incorrect
Lizbeth = انسى وسامح
Tranieria = سامحتك ولكن لن أنسى
Bri = Confident = واثق .. confidence = الثقة
Hello, what is “free your mind” translated to? Is it like the one pinterest has up?thanks!
Hi. I got the wrong translation for appreciate life tattooed on me. Is there some other phrase I can use to cover this up that doesn’t mean ” I’m rotten”? I found out 3 years ago that it’s wrong. But I really want to change it. Any advice?
Hi! I really want to get a tattoo in Arabic that says: appreciate honesty
could you help me translate these two 🙂
jes :i’m sorry for you 🙁 …to cover maybe something like (انا ملكة) which means i’m a queen or(لاتلمنى =don’t blame me)-(انا معقد = i’m complicated ) the third one doesn’t have that good meaning but it’s close in shape
if not you can use other Arabic word or letters on the phrase to turn to a drawing so not to have definite meaning
malene :the word appreciate as said before means قدِّر (as in telling someone to appreciate ) and honesty = الامانة and courage = الشجاعة but Arabic is rich with meany Derivatives or definitions so there is more classical meanings (and just to know the mark on top of the middle letter in قدِّر means it’s repeated letter so the mark is important) so it’s قدِّر الامانة- قدِّر الشجاعة
Hey! I am so glad I found this. Would you be able to translate “Equestrian” for me? I found a few different translation, but I believe it’s how you are using it in a sentence.
Equestrian in arabic is الفروسيه if it is the sport it self or خيّال if you means the one how do it
I see some people got أنا معفن as tatto and they think it means appreciate life no that bad translation انا معفن means I am stink the right translation is قدِر الحياة
Does anyone know what this means in English?
I saw it on Pinterest and wondered what it means 🙂
Can anyone here help me translate “If it’s meant to be, it will be” in arabic? I am trying to get the correct translation for tattoo.
Hello can you help me find the meaning of” life is a beautiful struggle? And “life…In Arabic? Thank you😘
Hey, anyone stupid enough to Mar their body with the language of terrorist scum deserves what they get.
Could you please translate “if it’s meant to be it will be ” in arabic graphic
Thanks a lot !
Does anyone know the translation for protector ? I want to get that tattooed on me in red
Obviously the person above me can’t read correctly, he gave us the REAL translation of “Appreciate Life” and NOT the translation of “Putrid”
He was stating that people that doesn’t understand Arabic kept sharing it as if it really meant it, and it got to the point that people have gotten it inked on their body due to them not really understanding what it means.