Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Choose an Arabic Tattoo

Why get an Arabic tattoo? This trend is widely spread in the UK and with Angelina Jolie's and Rihanna's help - it is also becoming more and more popular in the US. However, this is not the main reason why people decide to get an Arabic tattoo. The most prominent reason is having family or roots that you want to commemorate.
So how to choose your Arabic inscription?
First of all, choose a word or phrase that you relate to. Many people choose poetry, or inspirational quotes. The easiest choice is a name of you or someone you love.
Second, consult a professional translator to see how well your word or phrase translate into Arabic. Arabic lacks certain letters that exist in English so even the simplest name can sound and mean something different in Arabic. Check if your translation will have other meanings that you may be unaware of.
Third, which is a very important step, choose the font and design for your tattoo. When the trend of Arabic tattoos started, the traditional Arabic font was the only option available, unless you knew someone who has Arabic installed on his computer and can download fonts for you. But now, you can Google the term "Arabic tattoo" and come across many beautiful fonts and designs for your tattoo. Some sites offer calligraphy which is a very special way to display your tattoo.

If you are more traditional, you might want to go with a simple circle or a vertical line.
And for the last part - which is a crucial step: make sure you give the tattoo artist accurate instructions on how to place your tattoo. Chances are your tattoo artist will not be able to tell if you have given him a flipped design. So writing a simple "left" and "right" on your design, guarantees that the result will be an actual Arabic inscription tattoo and not a mirrored one.
If you do learn to identify the Arabic letters at some point, you will come to realize that many tattoos are actually meaningless, or inverted, rotated, mirrored and flipped.
Amber Sheldon, who recently got her Arabic tattoo and helped in preparing this article, said the following thing: "When I started thinking about my Arabic tattoo, I thought that a simple Google search will give me the answer on how to translate my short tattoo phrase - 'my art my life'. But the more I looked into it I realized that doing it right means taking this phrase to a professional translator and a tattoo designer. It took a couple of days extra but knowing that my tattoo is correct was worth it. And being a designer myself I appreciated the option to choose a design that is not like all the other Arabic tattoos you see out there!"

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