> As Chinese tattoo is gaining an ever increasing popularity, more tattoo lovers are starting to give this cool type of skin art a try, including celebrities. Yet, getting a nice Chinese tattoo requires a lot more than money alone. It needs creative ideas. As it turns out, while many celebrities tragically ink inappropriate, weird, or even dull Chinese words onto their bodies, some are fortunately enough to be wearing inspiring, cool, and smart Chinese characters tattoos. Among them, football star David Beckham surely can be proud of his unique Chinese tattoo on the left side of his body.

The ink on David’s body says “Sheng Si You Ming, Fu Gui Zai Tian”, which means: “Life and death are decided by fate, wealth and honor are held by heaven.” Sounds cool, doesn’t it? In fact, this is a well-known saying originating from the Analects, a brilliant book noting the remarks of Confucius, and a crucial piece of the Chinese culture puzzle.

The thing is, even David Beckham is a nobody, inking this classic and thought-provoking saying will help him stand way out of the tattoo crowd. So, what can we learn from David’s ink, in addition to knowing that it’s a cool, smart, and unique tattoo that rocks?

Here’s the deal, if you really want your Chinese tattoo to shine of personality, never trust any type of “Chinese tattoo translation”, which refers to the process of translating the English word you desire for ink into a Chinese word. Rather than that, the right way of doing this is that you should first go out into the Chinese field, and actually find a word, phrase, or saying that fits your attitude or value, with the help of a dictionary or any kind of tools that translates what you find.

The caveat here is that the sequence should not be reversed. The right path to getting a nice Chinese tattoo should always be “Chinese then English”, not the otherwise. So, now the question becomes: why?

Well, culture is the only reason that makes all these differences. The fact is, when you translate an English word into Chinese, you risk exposing the huge cultural gaps between these two wildly different cultures, which often leads to a poor translation, and a bad Chinese tattoo. By saying this, it’s not suggesting that translation never works, it simply says given the fact that when it comes to tattooing, being concise in the translation is fairly important. Yet, this would be a difficult task. Therefore, the odds of translating a English word correctly, properly and concisely, while taking care of the cultural gaps on the side, are just too low.

On the other hand, it makes very sense to find your tattoo word directly from Chinese language, which is all likelihood, will to an ideal and favorable tattoo idea. Still, culture is what comes into play in this. When you look for your tattoo word straightly in the huge room of Chinese language, you are breathing the air of Chinese culture, even when you aren’t aware. In this way, you avoid all the potential cultural gaps that could do you damage, by plunging into the sea of Chinese culture right from the beginning.

The thing to remember from this, is that “Chinese tattoo translation” doesn’t necessarily work. And its chance of ruining your tattoo word is just much higher than you can imagine. Change a route, and start seeking your unique tattoo word directly from the Chinese classics, you will be amazed how many fantastic words, phrases, and sayings are out there for you to discover.