The internet is littered with examples of people famous or otherwise that have tattoos of loved ones,ex-girlfriends and wrongly translated words and names in foreign languages.
Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic and Hebrew are among some of the most popular choices for translations due to their unique appearance and do offer an asthetic alternative to plain english.
A tattoo of a name is a dangerous game, possibly children would always be a safe bet, however a name of your wife/husband or partner could always end up being a painful reminder of a past relationship. Yes you love them now but things change, often more easily than tattoos change. You do not want to go back to your tattooist for a cover-up of a past love so think long and hard before going down this road.
Words,names and short phrase translations are also very common. Again this is dangerous if you do not do your homework. Names are usually transliterated, meaning that the name pronunciation is written in a foreign language, this is suitable if there is no direct translation into the chosen language.
Whether it be words,names or a short phrase it would be wise to avoid free online programs that cannot capture the essence of your desired text.
For names, pronunciation has to be done by a human, more than this they need to have a very good understanding of the original language especially if it is English.
How would a computer know how to pronounce Mary?
It doesnt, it could pronounced it ma-ry as in "marry me" when it should really be mae-ray. A human translator who's mother tongue being the destination language really needs a superb grasp of English language in this case.
For words and phrases that capture a particular feeling often the destination language may have similar suitable phrases that a human translator could suggest, it can often vary dependant on whether the person is male of female and sometimes it is almost impossible to translate certain requests.
Remember that other languages do not usually share our A-Z alphabet so initials may be impossible, Chinese for example does not have an alphabet more so a system of symbols and strokes.
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