True Love? To Blave. - Another Unfortunate Tattoo

If you've ever seen my news feed setup for anything Aramaic you'd think I was obsessed. Well, in a word: Yes. :-) I'm always constantly crawling the internet looking for new stuff posted about the language, and today I came across a very unfortunate tattoo on deviantArt whose owner I am trying very hard to contact.

Update (March 12, 2008): Since I've published this article, the author has contacted me and requested that I take the image down, so I have done so to respect his wishes. You can still view the image through his deviantArt Profile here.

The tattoo reads:

ܚܘܒܟܘܢ ܒܫܪܝܪܐ
khûvkûn b-shrîrâ'

The owner was told that it reads "True Love" which it is very close to but sloppy. There is a bit of grammar that doesn't make too terribly much sense to me so allow me to break it down and go over it:

Comes from the root word khûbâ which means "love"
The suffix -kûn means "your" in the masculine plural. This is awkward.


Comes from the root word shrîrâ' which should mean "truth" but is generally found in the feminine form ܫܪܝܪܬܐ shrîrtâ' otherwise it should be in the form ܫܪܪܐ shrârâ'. It's possible that whoever translated this was trying to work from an adjectival form (ܫܪܝܪ shrîr) which would make it technically correct, but a bit awkward.
The prefix be- means "in," "within" or "among" depending on context (here it's certainly "in").

Despite the misspellings this literally translates to:

"Your (masc. pl.) love in truth."

Not really "True Love," but not incomprehensible. Although the tattoo came out beautifully, the actual translation was very sloppy.

Please don't let this happen to you! Trust a professional.


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