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nagiatzi

Opinion About a Translation

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nagiatzi

Hi all, 

I had a text translated from a professional from English to Chinese, but since this is going to be a permanent tattoo i would like your suggestion too, please.

 

So "只有你从未选择参战的战斗才是失败的战斗" is near to "
A failed battle is only the one that you never chose to participate in." ?

 

Thanks in advance

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Jim

The Chinese is much better than the awkward English, though there will be an even neater way to say it in wenyanwen.

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Shelley

Wow that seems long for a tattoo, there must be a Chinese proverb (usually 4 characters long) that expresses this much more eloquently.

 

I am not a fan of tattoos, this seems like a bad choice for many reasons.

 

Who among the people you know will be able to read it? Why not find a shorter, more poetic way of saying it in your own language, choose a nice font and a good background and have that. This way you will be able to share your idea with people.

 

I am sure you have your reasons but I strongly suggest you rethink your choice. 

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nagiatzi
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The Chinese is much better than the awkward English, though there will be an even neater way to say it in wenyanwen.

 

 

Indeed that is because the translation in English made by me, and probably the translator try for a better phrase. 

 

Quote

Who among the people you know will be able to read it? 

 

Maybe a tourist from China only. I do not want the people around me to read it. The specific tattoo and the phrase means a lot for me. A have already done what you said in my language and a nice background and indeed it's a very nice idea :)

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murrayjames
23 hours ago, nagiatzi said:

So "只有你从未选择参战的战斗才是失败的战斗" is near to "
A failed battle is only the one that you never chose to participate in." ?

 

Yes. Or more idiomatically, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

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anonymoose

That translation seems fine to me (as a non-native speaker). I should point out, though, that this is in simplified characters. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what you want. But from a purely aesthetic point of view, tattoos are usually done in traditional characters, which would be:

 

只有你從未選擇參戰的戰鬥才是失敗的戰鬥

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anonymoose

And, by the way, if you want to get this as a tattoo, I strongly suggest you find a Chinese person to do it, because it will more than likely get butchered by anyone not competent in Chinese.

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imron
On 10/20/2019 at 3:26 AM, nagiatzi said:

A failed battle is only the one that you never chose to participate in." ?

Sun Tzu disagrees:

 

"The greatest victory is that which requires no battle"

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nagiatzi
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And, by the way, if you want to get this as a tattoo, I strongly suggest you find a Chinese person to do it, because it will more than likely get butchered by anyone not competent in Chinese.

 

You mean that he will not follow the blueprint? I had also an Arabic one from my artist in a vary small font-size and he did great. This time the phrase is going to cover a large part of my leg, so the letters will have 2cm height. You think that it is still challenging? 

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Lu
6 hours ago, nagiatzi said:

You mean that he will not follow the blueprint? I had also an Arabic one from my artist in a vary small font-size and he did great. This time the phrase is going to cover a large part of my leg, so the letters will have 2cm height. You think that it is still challenging?

Yes. A tattoo artist who doesn't have a clue about Chinese characters will often make them wonky, with a stroke just a little bit too high or too low or with the wrong flourish at the end. Or you may inadvertedly pick an ugly or unsuitable font which the tattooist then copies. The tattooist won't see the difference, you won't see the difference (because you don't know anything about Chinese characters either), but people who know about Chinese characters will know and it will hurt their eyes.

 

And don't underestimate how many Chinese-reading people you will see in your life. Likely hundreds at least, not just one errant Chinese tourist. And all those hundreds of people will 1) be able to read your personal message to yourself; 2) be able to judge the quality of the tattoo.

 

If you don't want just anyone to be able to read it, perhaps get a tattoo in a place that other people rarely see uncovered. Alternatively, get your phrase of choice as a nice calligraphy scroll. You'll be more sure of good calligraphy (since people who have no clue about Chinese characters usually don't go around writing them in the first place), and as long as you don't invite Chinese people to your home, nobody will be able to read it.

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anonymoose
12 hours ago, nagiatzi said:

You mean that he will not follow the blueprint? I had also an Arabic one from my artist in a vary small font-size and he did great. This time the phrase is going to cover a large part of my leg, so the letters will have 2cm height. You think that it is still challenging?

 

I'm sure he will try to follow the blueprint, but as Lu said, there is too much that can go wrong with Chinese characters. Take for example 己 and 已 or 曰 and 日. One stroke slightly too long or too short will change one character into another. It won't be obvious to the tattoo artist, but anyone literate in Chinese will immediately spot a misplaced stroke.

 

If that hasn't convinced you, take a look at http://hanzismatter.blogspot.com/.

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nagiatzi

Guys I would like to thank you for your answers. You were very detailed and I have already started to reconsider. Maybe I will have a temporary with another ink colour, and only if it is correct I will go to the permanent. Or maybe since I always wanted to go to China to make it there as a souvenir.

 

Quote

 Or you may inadvertedly pick an ugly or unsuitable font which the tattooist then copies. 

 

Very interesting point. Just out of curiosity the above fonts seem ok to you? 

seira1.png

seira2.png

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imron

Neither are good, but the 1st one is awful.

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Lu

Both are pretty awful, each in their own way.

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nagiatzi
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Both are pretty awful, each in their own way.

 

now i totally got what you said about awful fonts. So if i go with it i will choose a noto sans one (as the page uses for the signatures etc) . Hope that they are better 🙏

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imron

I would also avoid noto sans for a tattoo.  What looks good as a web font, won't look so good when tattooed on your skin.

 

This is why it's important to find a tattoo artist skilled and knowledgeable about writing Chinese (not just tattooing it, but someone who is familiar with the language and what does and doesn't look good), because they'll be able to set you up with the right type of style.

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