When Latin Tattoos Go Wrong

by wjw on January 30, 2010

I knew people tattooed idiotic dog-Chinese on their skins, but Latin? Latin from an online translation program?

You know, I liked Pulp Fiction a lot, too.

But I didn’t like it so much that I needed a quarter of my chest devoted to Sam Jackson’s badass Biblical quotation. I sure as hell didn’t need it put in Latin. If I did need it in Latin, I wouldn’t have put it through an online translator, either. Why do you people think this is a good idea?

Look, it even left “of” in your text.


That should have been a clue that your translation was not ready to be etched forever into your flesh.

Also, when you’re running it through the translator, make sure you’ve spelled the English correctly in first place, mm?

It should have read “though I walk in the valley…” not “thought I walk…”

How can I tell? You’ve got “sententia” sitting right there as the third word. Come to think of it, it should read “sententia” but you managed to misspell in Latin the word you misspelled in English.

And many more terrible, terrible examples.

[via Shelly Rae Clift]

Oz January 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I enjoyed those, thanks! (Though I must admit my Latin was always execrable and I flunked my comps the first time around. My Greek was always better.)


Anonymous February 1, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Lest you think it's only Latin or Chinese people manage to get permanently etched incorrectly on their bodies:


D May 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

More instances of unfortunate attempts at creating Latin tattoos solo can be found here: http://www.classicalturns.com/Latin-Tattoos(1893959).htm

Keep up the good work!


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