A strong Life is the hardest to live

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by g0rby, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. g0rby New Member

    England, English
    Firstly, if this a grossly inappropriate place to ask for advice on this matter I apologise, please just disregard my post!
    Im interested in getting a Kanji Tattoo on my the inside of my left forearm and I want to avoid the common pitfalls on Kanji tattoos; I want the characters I choose to reflect the meaning / context I have in mind, rather than use some characters and have them mean something completely different when translated accurately!
    I want the tattoo to read
    "A strong Life is the hardest to live"
    I think at least it should contain some of these characters:


    Hard / difficult

    But thats about as far as I can get! Im sure that if i arranged these characters into a literal translation it would just be gibberish to read so I would love to get some advice from Kanji writers :)
    Thanks for your time in advance.
  2. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hello and welcome, g0rby.

    Your request needs some clarification. :) When you asked for advice on "a literal translation," in what language are these kanjis supposed to be read? If you have an all kanji sentence in your mind, the chances are that you want a Chinese (Mandarin) translation of "A strong Life is the hardest to live." I ask you because "kanji" is the word for Chinese characters as they are used for writing Japanese. I am sorry if all this is a pure pedantry but I thought it would be worth a while to be on the safer side.

    Welcome again. ;)
  3. g0rby New Member

    England, English
    You do indeed highlight my ignorance on the matter =).
    My selection of Kanji for this was purely based on aesthetics; If i understand you correctly then I guess I need the Mandarin translation, then to convert that to Kanji.
    Thanks for the frank reply :)
  4. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Well, Mandarin is written in kanji (except that they don't use the name; — it's a Japanese term), so you don't need the "to convert that to Kanji" part. However, you might want to know how the sentence is to be pronounced.

    I am moving this thread to the Chinese forum.

    Flam, OL modo
  5. Kwunlam

    Kwunlam Senior Member

    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    How about:

    強者 - "strong person"
    難為 - "difficult to be"
  6. Zulis Member

    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong - Cantonese, English
    I second Kwunlam's suggestion, simple yet very close in meaning to your thread title.
    I seriously hope that your tatoo artist know Chinese caligraphy :D Those are not easy words at all ~!
  7. Kwunlam

    Kwunlam Senior Member

    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    By the way, 生 is a brandname (Johnson), and "生" is not the normal word meaning strong-life.
  8. Mugi Senior Member

    NZ English
    What does "strong life" mean? (Maybe I've been away from an English-speaking environment too long ...)
  9. g0rby New Member

    England, English
    Thanks so much for all the replys!

    Haha! well that's just the kind of thing I was trying to avoid! Don't like the thought that I would become some kind of living advert (albeit a subtle one) for the Johnson company! ^^

    I'll be going with 強者難為 as suggested.

    Mugi: The other posters in the thread have pretty much nailed what I was after; In my mind a 'Strong life' Is one lead with integrity, morality and respect.

    Now to find the right Tattooist, I think that might take a bit longer than settling on what I wanted!

    Would you like a picture of the finished article when I'm done?
  10. g0rby New Member

    England, English
    After a bit more thinking, perhaps there could be some more refinement.

    I looked up 強 and the literal translation seems to denote physical things first.
    In context with the other things you have suggested this is fine; I believe a strong person (in life) is mentally strong before being physically strong so it makes sense to me =)
    Im just wondering if there is a different kind of strong, or indeed "strong person" that denotes spiritual strength instead of "strength" in general.

    Thanks again,

    Sorry for the poor edit, I was sitting correcting my typos and things but you beat me to it! =)
  11. Kwunlam

    Kwunlam Senior Member

    Cantonese, Mandarin, English
    When we are talking about 強者, we are usually not thinking of a physically strong person, a muscular type man or woman. 強者 is what Gorby says, a strong person with integrity, morality and respect etc...

    But I think 強者難為 is not so commonly used in Chinese (although it appears suitable to what Gorby wants to say). People may not intuitively know what it means.

    I think you can try some already-existent Chinese phrases like 遇強越強 (when one faces a strong person, one becomes even stronger). People know immediately what 遇強越強 means. It sounds like "Never Say Die".

    "吃得苦中苦 方為人上人" means one must be able to withstand the greatest sufferings in order to be the most sublime (heroic, top-ranking, excellent) person. But this sounds to me rather old-fashioned nowadays. Even if you do not mind being a little bit old-fashioned, you need to add 10 words on your skin !!


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