Arabic Readers: Please help me decode this tattoo.
July 6, 2006 1:20 PM   Subscribe

Arabic Readers: Please help me decode this tattoo.

A friend of a friend got one of those "I dont care" tattoos where they just find some foreign script and decide it needs to be on their body forever regardless of what it actually says. The owner isn't even curious as to what it means but we are all dying to know what it says.

The only thing we know is it came from the headline of an arabic news paper.

posted by ernie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total)
It doesn't really mean anything. I think you've actually got a case of gibberish, because there aren't enough vowels to make a string of words.
posted by parmanparman at 2:04 PM on July 6, 2006

How many dots are there at the end (second to last letter from the left)? Because as I recall, standard Arabic wouldn't have a letter like that with three dots. Farsi might, or possibly Arabic transcriptions of foreign words could make use of something like that...
It's been a very long time since I studied Arabic so I could be completely wrong.
posted by dilettante at 2:33 PM on July 6, 2006

Response by poster: From what I understand, there is a vowelless form of Arabic used in certain printed materials (with diacriticals filling in for vowels) but I can't even tell which is which.
posted by ernie at 2:43 PM on July 6, 2006

There are several "consonantal vowels",* actually. I can make out a waw, two alephs (one medial, one terminal)** and a ya. However, I speak Arabic and it doesn't actually say anything intelligible.

* That's what I call the three Arabic vowels that are always written "on the baseline", as part of the word, and not as diacritical marks. I'm not a linguist though, I'm sure that's not the name for them.

**Like I said, I'm not a linguist and I'm sure I'm butchering actual linguistic terms. What I mean is that certain letters change shape depending on what part of the word they're in.
posted by evariste at 2:58 PM on July 6, 2006

I'm more interested in what body part that is. WTF?
posted by ChasFile at 2:59 PM on July 6, 2006

That is, it's Arabic script, but not the Arabic language. Could be Farsi.
posted by evariste at 3:00 PM on July 6, 2006

Response by poster: body part: Inside arm
posted by ernie at 3:01 PM on July 6, 2006

Best answer: Might it also be Urdu? I don't really know anything, but I've been told that Urdu is largely Hindi, written in Arabic script.
posted by maxreax at 3:43 PM on July 6, 2006

evariste is right, it could well be Farsi, but it could also be Levant Arabic, which I don't know writing for.
posted by parmanparman at 3:46 PM on July 6, 2006

Just going by what I can make out I see something like

M-S?-T-N B?-W-J-A-S-T-Y-R

where question-mark means I'm not sure. I agree the language may not be Arabic.

How about you find us the newspaper? It'll be a lot easier to read.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:31 PM on July 6, 2006

posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 4:50 PM on July 6, 2006

<Blatant Derail>Since all the Arabic readers are here, any chance someone could translate this</Blatant Derail>
posted by i love cheese at 4:57 PM on July 6, 2006

Best answer: Per my visiting dad, Maxreax is right, it's not arabic nor persian, it's urdu. It says "motmaeen, hoojatee heen." It loosely means "for certain, it's safe." Like "it's for sure" or "it's a given."

Your friend is lucky it wasn't something like "brangelina's baby: it's a girl!"

note: the tick marks that denote vowel sounds are not always placed on text.
posted by neda at 5:20 PM on July 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

That is not Arabic. It does sound like Farsi, and the font name --calligraphy speaking-- is also called farsi.

'i love cheese' Which part do you want translated?
In general, to the left "Storage" then below "No smoking"
To the right in the yellow rectangle is a bunch of words:
"Accounting","Sales","Cashing","Balance","Bought goods", etc.. a bunch of accounting related words.
posted by convex at 5:22 PM on July 6, 2006

Thanks convex, that's what I was looking for.
posted by i love cheese at 6:42 PM on July 6, 2006

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