Role Reversal – English words on the Chinese

It’s become somewhat of a cliché to have Chinese characters for tattoos in England since it’s been such a huge craze over the past decade. Yes that’s right it’s been nearly a decade since the English public decided to go out in droves and get inked up with Chinese symbols, which may even be indecipherable to the Chinese. For example Marcus Camby of the Los Angeles Clippers has two large symbols which mean absolutely nothing.

Apparently though, the trend has hit a reversal. Chinese people are now requesting tattoos written in English. Zhu Jian owner of Tattoo 007 in Shanghai has seen the popularity of tattoos in English rise in the past year. Now 3 out of 10 tattoos he inks are English phrases. However unfortunately English grammar is not his forte, having inked phrases such as “Best Love in My Life”, I guess the issue goes both ways then.

Picture from The Telegraph

Picture from The Telegraph

But what’s the reason? Surely English does not look quite as ‘cool’ as Chinese characters, well Yang Enna, 22, is a Television producer from China who has English ink. She claims “English tattoos are just more special. They are very trendy and they say something about my personality. They are much simpler compared to Chinese characters and can hold deep meaning”. So apparently it’s for the same reason that we get Chinese symbols. They can say things that we believe in without everyone knowing what they mean, making them more special and personal, well, unless you live in China.

Who knows if this trend will carry on for quite as long as it has over here? Perhaps they will move onto tribal tattoos in 5 or 6 years. Or maybe tribesmen will begin tattooing British Football Team logos onto their arms and faces. Only time will tell.

Scribed by Jonni Tolson

2 Responses to “Role Reversal – English words on the Chinese”
  1. Mel Roberts says:

    Joni.. this is awesome xD
    Anyways =P.. I dunno why, but I kind of think it’s cute how the Chinese have adopted our culture with tattoos, and now have their own way of doing things with their English tattoos =] Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into a fad, like how the Chinese ones are now, otherwise they may end up loosing their meaning a little.. but I have to say, I do really like it =]

  2. Leta Wilchek says:

    Many thanks for that, lasted just over a cup of coffee for me to read!

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