When A Dictionary Leaves Its Mark on You

This little gem was sent in by Amit, and is just too good to pass.

As the story goes, this girl wanted to write "I love XXX" (boyfriend's name) in Hebrew and tried to accomplish the task using Babylon translation software.

Well, if you read this site, you know where this is leading...

What does this Hebrew Tattoo read?
"Babylon is the world's leading dictionary and translation software"

Oh yeah, THAT bad.

Remember boys and girls, never use an automatic/online translator, and especially if you're translating a name. Sadly, this effort was doomed from the start.

Strength? You'll Need It!

Today's victim really did try. She even asked an Israeli friend to provide the correct translation for her Hebrew tattoo, but to no avail. Tattoos done in Hebrew just have a special way of always going wrong...

This Hebrew tattoo, which was discovered and sent in by Leor, is supposed to say "Lord give me strength". I have to admit, it is grammatically correct. Out poor victim made the mistake of trying to render it vertically, though, all by herself. Bad idea!

Below is how "Lord give me strength" is supposed to be written in Hebrew. They're the exact same words as in the tat. Can you spot what went wrong?

Mistake #1: This Hebrew tattoo is backwards. Unlike English, Hebrew is written right-to-left, so the rightmost letter should be on top, in a vertical tattoo.

Mistake #2: Letter Yod is not an apostrophe! Yod is the shortest letter, but it's still a letter, and as such, it deserves its own line when written vertically. In this tattoo, all Yods have to share their living space with other letters :(

Mistake #3: Some letters were replaced by other, similar looking letters. So you can very well read the word "Ten" (give) as "Chen" (grace), and you can read "Koach" (strength) as either "Noach" (comfy) or "Moach" (brain). Yeah, this tattoo could absolutely be read as "Lord give me brains".

Vertical Hebrew tattoos? Kids, don't do them!

Gnome In Natural Habitat

Sometimes, Hebrew tattoos can be all too funny. Take this cute scene, that was forwarded here by Reut, as a prime example:

The tattoo reads in Hebrew as "Gamad", which translates to Gnome.

Why did he do it? No idea! Most likely it's a misspelling, though there's always the possibility that this is a die-hard role-playing geek, taking his character one step too far. The photo shoot setting certainly fits!

There's Something Lacking...

Today's victim was going for a spiritual ring tattoo. She wanted "Mercy" tattooed in Hebrew on her finger, but I guess God had other plans...

There's just a tiny incorrectness in one of the Hebrew letters. A small lack of a line, and this tattoo spells not "Mercy" but "Lack" or "Absence".

See, Mercy in Hebrew is "Chesed", but turn the letter Dalet into a Resh, and you've ended up with "Cheser", which means something else entirely. I like how it is still a real Hebrew word, though.

Dalet and Resh are very similar, aren't they?

Luckily for this woman, her tattoo is very easy to fix. Just add a tiny protrusion to that Resh, and she's back in the righteousnesses business.

Now, this is how "Chesed", which means Mercy and also Grace in Hebrew, is written:

Statue Comes to (Misspelled) Life

This is a statue. It resides in The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and spells out Ahava (Love in Hebrew), somewhat artistically.

The design became famous, and can be found in Hebrew jewelry and tattoos all over. Incorrect to one degree or another, usually. In an older entry we saw this same design mangled beyond all recognition. In this one, you can tell what it's supposed to be, but it is still misspelled.

It doesn't spell out Ahava, but rather Achbach, which really means nothing in Hebrew.

See, many Hebrew letters are very similar in appearance. For example He, which produces the HA and the last A in Ahava, is quite similar to Chet, which makes a CH sound. The statue has borderline rendition of the letter He, but the tattoo totally crossed that border.

In the Hebrew language, every little stroke can turn your chosen letter into something else entirely.

Want your Hebrew "Ahava" (Love) statue-like tattoo correct? This is How you'd write it in proper Hebrew. It's really supposed to be all in one line, but we're being artistic, yeah?

The Daddygirl Has No Need For Grammar

Today we have a Hebrew tattoo of something unusual, the Daddygirl. I guess Daddygirls happen when men who have children undergo sex transformation?

Well, here's one of these rare creatures, boasting her trans-gendered fatherly pride, ink on flesh:

In reality, this victim was going for an innocent "Daddy's Little Girl" tattoo in Hebrew, but somehow lost the word "little", the proper grammar of a sentence, and the spaces too.

In fact, all that remains are the words "Girl" and "Daddy" mashed together, and so the Daddygirl is born!

Want a proper "Daddy's Little Girl" Hebrew translation for your tattoo? This is how it's supposed to be written:

Her Name was Lost in Rotation

When I first saw this tattoo, I thought it wasn't Hebrew writing at all. It looks like some weird script, Martian maybe?

The victim claims this Hebrew-like doodle to be her name, and on closer inspection I realized that it really was. It just so happened that when trying to render her tattoo vertically, some letters were rotated and some were not, creating this very strange result.

I never had to draw this particular chart before:

In any case, the Hebrew tattoo most likely says "Ebony Eve". Most likely, since aside from being mis-rotated, it's also slightly misspelled. So if you have another interpretation of this name, I'd love to hear it!

And this is how you would correctly write "Ebony Eve" in Hebrew. Ebony on the right, Eve is on the left.

My suggestion, when it comes to words which have letters of different height, is not to rotate it letter by letter. It just doesn't look nice.

Want your Hebrew tattoo to be vertical? Just turn the whole thing 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Like this: