Tibetan Calligraphy

Letter tattoos: how to choose them – advice from a Tibetan artist

Would you rather have a letter tattoo rather an image or a drawing, but you don’t know which to choose? Here are some ideas ! They may aid you in choosing what to write on your back or at the base of your shoulder.

What should be the length of the text in my tattoo?

First of all, depending on whether you want the writing to be longer or shorter, you can turn to different languages. Indeed, ideogram based languages are shorter, since a symbol will represent a word all by itself. Nevertheless, in the end it will look more like an image or a drawing than lettered writing, as it is understood in English. Using ideograms (Japanese, Chinese) to write in initials or a name of English or other occidental origin. Indeed those names do not exist as ideograms, and translators may try to get close to the meaning of the name. This could be resulting in something quite far from what you expected.

letter tattooCheck the quality of your translation!

Take care also to check that the translation is of good quality, which is not necessarily easy. There is a huge number of stupid things on different websites, be carefull then ! Did you find a Tibetan translation on the Internet? You can send it to us to proofread, we will do it for free on our Facebook page.
In a letter tattoo, the writing style determines the final length of the tattoo. For example, a single word will suffice in Tibetan to make a beautiful, somewhat wide tattoo in Mongol script. A cursive lettering will allow for relatively short calligraphy.

Who will be able to read your letter tattoo?

That will depend on the language into which your text is translated! If you decide to keep it in English, then probably anyone. On the other hand, if you choose a foreign language for your tattoo, it is less likely be comprehensible. Unless you travel to the country of that language !
You may also use translations into foreign languages that are a somewhat remote, but still widely used such as Chinese or Arabic. In this case, you also risk that in the end your tattoo is very easily understood by many people. One of the features that our customers appreciate in Tibetan tattoos is that they remain completely secret. The risk that someone is able to read it is practically zero (well, unless you put it under the Dalai Lama’s nose, right?)

What about free translations from the Internet?

You should be careful not to pick the first free tattoo design that you find on the Internet. There is a large risk of getting a wrong or downright insulting translation.

What text to choose for a lifelong tattoo?

The lettered tattoo you will get inked on yourself can be from text that you had in your thoughts for a long time, or that flashed in your mind recently. In this case, it’s simple: you  just request a translation into Tibetan and choose the calligraphic style you like.

If you do not have in mind a specific text, you can check our suggestions by topic to find a phrase, and likewise choose the style. In both cases, we will draw your tattoo and email it to you, so all you have to do is take it to the tattoo artist.

I want my letter tattoo now!

Finally, if you’re the spontaneous type, you can also go to the list of calligraphies available for immediate download. Find the words that will be known to you alone or shared with all and run to your tattooist to get it inked!

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