Arabic Name Tattoos

Essential information for getting the right Arabic translation of your name for tattoos or other purposes

Ibrahimovic's Arabic Tattoo

Ibrahimovic got his own name as an Arabic tattoo

If you are planning to get an Arabic tattoo of your name or you simply wish to find out what your name looks like in Arabic, please make sure to follow these crucial tips on Arabic name translations.

1. Arabic letters are different
Many people seem to have trouble of telling the Arabic letters apart when they first encounter the language. In fact, many letters have similar shapes, the only difference being the number and location of dots and lines above and below the characters. A mistake here could change the meaning of the tattoo to something ridiculous or offensive.

2. Short vowels turn into long vowels
Short vowel sounds in the Arabic language are generally omitted in writing. The short “e” in “get” would not be written, resulting in “gt”. However, when translating Western names for tattoos, the short vowel sounds often need to be turned into long vowels that are part of the Arabic alphabet. This is done so that it is easier to recognize the words as names. As an example, the name “Angela” would be written like this in Arabic:

أنجيلا

This is pronounced “anjeelaa”.

3. Some sounds have no equivalent in Arabic
Another difficulty in translating a name into Arabic for a tattoo design is that quite a few English sounds are missing in Arabic. The closest Arabic sound needs to be used in this instance. For example, the “g”-sound does not exist in Modern Standard Arabic, so “Megan” becomes:

ميغان

which is pronounced “meeghaan”, where the “gh” is like a French “r” from the throat.

Other English sounds that do not have a direct equivalent in Arabic:

v -> becomes “f”
p -> becomes “b”
r -> becomes a trilled “r”, like in Spanish

4. More than one acceptable translation
Oftentimes there are many acceptable translations for a name, making it difficult to choose the right Arabic name tattoo design. This can depend on taste or just convention. In most cases, it’s best to choose the translation that is most common. A tattoo design collection like the Arabic Tattoos ebook has a large number of name translation that have been selected based on the popularity of the translation.

5. Arabic equivalent names
Sometimes there are Arabic equivalents of Western names, e.g. Biblical names, such as David or Abraham, that become Dawood and Ibraheem. When deciding on which name to get for a tattoo, it’s correct to choose either the Arabic equivalents or the direct sound translation (“daafeed” and “abrahaam”).

6. Where to get an accurate translation?
If you are looking for the correct way to write your name in Arabic for a tattoo or you need to be sure that it is absolutely accurate, then you should consider getting a professional translation of your name. The Arabic Tattoos ebook contains translations and designs for over 120 male and female names.

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2 Responses to Arabic Name Tattoos

  1. Evelyn says:

    I’d like to know how “evelyn” would look like and “do what you love” please help me i keep getting different responses

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