Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I Do Not Think that Character Means What You Think It Means

My friend Shay J. is buying a condo here in Austin, and I'm his realtor. We noticed a tile mosaic on the face of the breakfast bar and saw that it contained four tiles with either Chinese or Japanese characters (Hanzi or Kangi/Kanji) that had English translations in the lower right corners. They said, supposedly, "Family," "Love," "Happiness" and "Growth." I took pictures of them and sent them to a blogger named Tian who posts pictures of tattoos, clothing and other items that contain such characters. He translated the tiles in a post here, and it turns out only two are correct.

Tian's blog, Hanzi Smatter, will eternally be one of my favorites for this post, in which he shows a woman's lower back tattoo that says "Crazy Diarrhea." Tian has since removed the picture, which I posted here, at the woman's request. She now says she knew what it meant all along. I'm not sure if I believe her, but there are some good Photoshops in Tian's post anyways.

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