12 August 2012

Tattooing errors

I was travelling by bike yesterday and it was glorious weather, so lots of road cyclists were out.  I was waiting for a ferry from Arran to Ardrossan in a swarm of cyclists.  One had a tattoo on his leg which caught my attention, because I couldn't for the life of me think what could come before those last two words.

Now, those two words were French, and the guy sporting them wasn't, so I figured I'd probably found a good ol' tattoo translation error... oh yes indeed.

The full tattoo was the words "Iron Man", the Iron Man championship logo, and the sentence "la vie est plus queue respirer".  Those of you who understand French will no doubt realise that what he wanted was something about life being "more than [just] breathing", but that what it says is "life is more tail to breathe".

A couple of years ago, I would have put this down to human transcription error, but I'm guessing this may be a modern take on that -- autocorrect.

Anyway, I'm not into tattoos, but if you're going to get one, for pity's sake get one in a language you understand... and that the tattooist can write in too.


random review said...

I'm not sure I understand where "auto-correct" can come in with tattooing: is there a stage where it's on a computer nowadays?

Sorry if this isn't as relevant as I think, but I notice lots of people with tattoos in Chinese where I live, I asked my housemate about this and his reply was that it is so that the person with the tattoo knows what it means, but nobody else does (unless they choose to tell them), so they can put quite private and personal messages on their body. Quite clever really. Doesn't work with French though: too many people can read it.

Nìall Beag said...

How does autocorrect affect tattoos? Quite simply: when you get send someone to send you a translation by email. Or if you send it to the tattooist by email.

I'm guessing one of the two happened in this case....

random review said...

Ah. I figured people just found a quote they liked, wrote it down on a bit of paper, took it to a tattooist and said, "I'll have that, please."