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Tibetan Tattoo Translation
Tibetan Tattoo Sample 1

Tibetan Tattoo

Tattoo Design by
Mike Karma



~ ~ ~




マイク カルマ

Tibetan Tattoo Translation

藏文 紋身 設計

藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如


藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 1

This skewed image makes it easier for you
to visualise the actual tattoo on your skin.

Tibetan Tattoo Sample 1


Below are a few more tattoo text-images you might make a tattoo-stencil from.

藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 2

The Tibetan word poon-tsok, seen in the images directly above and below, is a contraction of poon-soom-tsok-pa, meaning, in a scriptural context, 'possessed of the three: grace, glory, and wealth', and by extension has various meanings, ranging from wonderful to excellence to prosperity. Poon-tsok is also used as a personal name, usually spelt Phuntsok, so this design can be used as a Name Tattoo as well.

Tibetan Tattoo Sample 2


藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 6

This sample features what we might call a pseudo-vertical arrangement of Tibetan script: It is in fact written as horizontal text, converted into an image, and then simply rotated 90deg. clockwise. Incidentally, this piece of Tibetan text was executed using a font that looks much more "classical" than the more modern fonts above.




藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 7

Here we have what we might call the true vertical arrangement of Tibetan script: In terms of computer-aided design, the Tibetan target text is, again, typed horizontally, but before converting it into an image it needs to be broken down into discrete units that can be stacked vertically. Note that unlike the sample above, here the individual glyphs (representing syllables) remain horizontal, however, the string as a whole is vertical since the units are arranged into a vertical column.



The Tibetan target text shown in this image is a portion of a an adage I translated for one of my clients. The entire translation was approx. 5 times the length (or height, rather) of this image, and he eventually had it tattooed down the entire length of his spine.


藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 8

I have recently been experimenting with different advanced types of script-arrangement, and have started offering more adventurous script-forms, such as circular and spiral. This sample shows a phrase in Tibetan script bent into a circle.




藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 9

Twirling a piece of text into a spiral (with decreasing font-size etc.) is what many would consider the ultimate challenge in script-design. Incidentally, the ability to do this is not some 21st century luxury - Tibetans used to inscribe their charms in such delightful shapes already thousands of years ago, albeit much more painstakingly, syllable-by-syllable. This sample features a more modern "charm": an introductory clause to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Tibetan Uchen Script, arranged in a spiral.


The large version of the above image is quite impressive and most people would probably consider it more suitable as a wall-hanging than a tattoo. View it here: Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (English source text to be inserted.) Needless to say, this sort of elaborate design is not cheap: Tibetan glyph-stacking is difficult enough on a horizontal line, and the glyphs tend to "fall apart" when twisted into an unusual shape, requiring much manual retouching. Hence, an image like the two above will cost 10~40EUR, depending on factors such as size, and primarily on how much manual correction is required.



藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 10

Approximately one-half of the people who approach me for a Tibetan script design primarily wish to have one or more personal names converted into Tibetan script for a name-tattoo. For this reason I now have nearly 100 English, Spanish, German.. names in my archives. Small-size, lower resolution versions of these designs will cost you only a Euro or two, but I do not like to let go of the higher quality images too cheaply because I put considerable effort into these Tibetanised names.

One of the concerns is that the grapheme-clusters in the (non-Indo-European) Tibetan should represent the phonetic structure of the (Indo-European) Western names as faithfully as possible, which is not easy at all; in fact, most transcriptions of Western names that appear on the Web and in print are very poor as most (Tibetan) people do not bother or know how to transcribe them properly. In this respect I try to maintain high standards.

Let me explain what I mean using a concrete example: The name below was transliterated into Tibetan applying more or less the same rules as apply to the transliteration of (Indo-European) Sanskrit into Tibetan. Sanskrit graphemes generally do not represent individual consonants and vowels, such as "r" and "a", but whole syllables, such as "ra". In case a word ends in an "r" sound it is necessary to cancel the inherent "a" using a special symbol called halanta. Thus, to avoid Christopher looking like Kris-toh-feh-rah, halanta is applied to the grapheme representing "ra" so as to cancel the "a" sound. In the image, halanta is the diagonal stroke in the bottom-right corner of the cluster.



UPDATE: I have prepared a rough-draft version of the previously announced large PDF file containing nearly 100 English and other Western names converted into Tibetan script. It can be viewed immediately below in iPaper format - I recommend trying out the different View Modes, such as "Scroll", "Book" etc.

Note that the iPaper is extremely useful for quick online previews of documents, but does not fully convey the superb "finish" of the original PDF. Purchasers of this unique collection of Tibetanised Western names will, of course, receive the original PDF without superimposed logos or other protective measures.

The finalised file will contain over 100 English, Spanish, German, French, and other Western names transcribed into Tibetan script, and will soon be available for purchase and direct download via this page. It is particularly recommended for tattoo parlours, however, there will also be an option to purchase a selection of only 5 names for non-business purposes.






藏文 紋身 設計 - 例如 11

Owing to popular demand I have finally decided to begin offering Tibetan tattoo designs executed in scripts other than Uchen. Below is a sample featuring Tibetan text executed in one of the various Ume scripts, notably DruTsha (also known as DruCha), realised using a high-quality font that does the inherent beauty of DruTsha justice and is, at a glance, hardly distinguishable from hand-written calligraphy.


A few words on why it took me so long to decide to start offering Tibetan tattoo designs executed in scripts other than Uchen:
When I first surveyed the possibilities of creating computer-generated Tibetan designs (a few years back) it seemed to me that it would only be appropriate to do this in the 'headed' Uchen (dBu-Can) script since this is the script that is normally found in books; it is traditionally printed, i.e. produced mechanically rather than manually, and therefore rendering it thorough electronic means seemed only a minor 'deviation'.
The various Ume (dBu-Med) or 'head-less' scripts, on the other hand, are normally found in hand-written documents; they are traditionally produced manually (hand-calligraphy) and rendering them through mechanic or electronic means seemed a bit incongruous.

However, I have now changed my attitude owing to two special reasons:
1) the popular demand for designs in the various Ume scripts, notably DruTsha: I wouldn't want to disappoint people who can't afford to pay for (much more expensive) Ume done as hand-calligraphy;
2) there have recently been dramatic improvements in the quality of Ume computer fonts; in the case of the font displayed above many people, myself included, feel that it is so refined as to give impression of hand-written calligraphy;
It has thus become possible for me to start creating Ume designs through electronic means without any sense of incongruity, and to great satisfaction of my customers!



Tibetan Tattoo

Actual Tattoo Samples


Tattoo Sample 1

This is an actual tattoo in Tibetan U-chan script -- should you wish to have your intimate regions perused for ancient wisdom...




Hey!  Thanks! I am so in love with my tattoo :) Thanks to you it was able to happen so I appreciate it a lot! [...] and soon I'll send another picture for you!!!   T.D.



(Click to enlarge.)


Tattoos in Sanskrit, Japanese, and more..

Sanskrit Tattoo Design Sample 1

The script employed for this Sanskrit Tattoo is called Devanagari.

( संस्कृत - देवनागरी - गोदना )

sanskrit-translation-tattoo-design-devanagari-image-by-tibetalia-4f-1.jpg संस्कृत


Sanskrit Tattoo Design Sample 2

Though this piece was created more than 1 year ago I have only now come round to adding it to the Website. It certainly deserves to be included here, for several reasons. Firstly, it it an abbreviated version of the famous, beautiful, and profound poem commonly known as the 'Salutation to the Dawn'. Secondly, we prepared it in one of the best Devanagari fonts available, thus ensuring that the design reflects all the calligraphic rules that apply to hand-written Sanskrit. (Sources of properly-rendered pieces of Devanagari text in digital format, are, regrettably, very rare. Most Websites, for example, feature a hideous font that seems to reflect the content of Indian kindrgarten-level kids' notebooks, rather than the hand of accomplished poets!)

sanskrit-translation-tattoo-design-devanagari-script-image-by-tibetalia-4ebay-darshaM-Salutation-to-the-Dawn-1-Kālidāsa Devanāgarī: कालिदास संस्कृत

'Salutation to the Dawn'

'Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.
Such is the salutation to the dawn.'


Sanskrit Tattoo Design Sample 3

The script most commonly associated with Sanskrit is Devanagari; however, there are numerous other types of script that, down the centuries, have been used for Sanskrit: the image below features a long mantra written in Ranjana.

ranjana V.S. mantra sanskrit

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: The above image was not created by Tibetalia, it has been included here merely for educational purposes.


Japanese Tattoo Design Sample 1

A Kanji Tattoo sample; more precisely, it is a mixture of Hiragana and Kanji.
The style employed here is called Iwata Gyosho.

(日本語での刺青・入墨 | 漢字・ひらがな)

japanese-translation-tattoo-design-kanji-image-by-tibetalia-irezumi-4f-1.jpg Mike Karma,通訳者,マイク カルマ,チベット語,翻訳,チベタン タトゥー,チベット語 で タトゥー,入れ墨,入墨,剳青,文身,黥,刺青,彫り物,いれずみ,イレズミ,しせい,シセイ,ぶんしん,ブンシン,げい,ゲイ,ほりもの,ホリモノ,タトゥー,タトウ

Japanese Tattoo Design Sample 2

An all-Kanji Tattoo sample; again the font reflects
the extremely beautiful calligraphy style known as Gyosho.

This is a Tibetalia stock item, a word meaning 'Survivor'.

(日本語での刺青・入墨 | 漢字)

'Survivor' japanese-translation-tattoo-design-kanji-image-by-tibetalia-irezumi; Mike Karma,通訳者,マイク カルマ,チベット語,翻訳,チベタン タトゥー,チベット語 で タトゥー,入れ墨,入墨,剳青,文身,黥,刺青,彫り物,いれずみ,イレズミ,しせい,シセイ,ぶんしん,ブンシン,げい,ゲイ,ほりもの,ホリモノ,タトゥー,タトウ

In brief, in addition to Tibetan, I can be of assistance with Sanskrit, Japanese, Ancient Greek, and certain other languages as well - notably Thai, thanks to a recently established Thai connection!

Also, please note that the present page is only sporadically updated; for my most recent designs please visit my blog:




Dear Visitor,


Thank you for taking a few minutes off your busy schedule to view my humble Tibetan Script Tattoo Designs page.


If you are a returning visitor you may wish to skip down to the updated paragraphs in green. (Having just returned, alive and kicking, from Σταυρομυλα βητα, I am now refreshed and have a heart for any fate - even the prospect of using the primitive, health-impairing Earth technology (i.e. this blooming computer) for many hours a day! In other words, I have finally mustered the energy to introduce some new ideas into my modus operandi and to update this Tibetan Tattoo Designs page a trifle...)


~ ~ ~


Life is hard indeed, in this turbulent age more and more people are experiencing spiritual confusion and even physical strife.


I have observed that to many, marking their body with a visually pleasing image of a meaningful phrase or name is a way to emotionally deal with their problems. Tattoos probably do work quite well, on some deep, subconscious level.


Regardless of whether you are here because you are looking for a visual expression of your deepest thoughts or whether you have a more happy-go-lucky attitude and simply want to play with whatever comes your way in life, if you are, at this stage, considering getting a Tibetan Tattoo, or a tattoo in some other language, please continue reading to learn how to proceed.


If your source text (English, Deutsch, Español etc.) is under 10 words, it will cost 8 EUR to translate into Tibetan and generate a large JPG image of the actual Uchen Tibetan script. In the case of proper names, it costs 8 EUR to phonetically transliterate up to 5 names.


Please note that designs costing a mere 1-2 EUR are no longer available for direct purchase, however, any and all existent Tibetalia designs that you may have discussed with me previously or found elsewhere on the Web (e.g. popular names like John or words such as Survivor) can still be obtained at reduced prices.


Though I regret no longer being able to accomodate with new designs potential customers who truly cannot afford to pay much, I am, on the other hand, happy to announce a new scheme whereby I will be offering greater value for money to customers willing to pay at least 8EUR.


All customers placing an order for a new Tibetan Tattoo Design will, subject to certain conditions, be able to obtain one complimentary Tibetan, Japanese, or Sanskrit Tattoo Design (from the existing Tibetalia Designs archives) completely free of charge. The details will be explained to you by Email once you have submitted the Order Form below.


The last (but not least) item amongst the novelties will be of interest to Tattoo Parlours / Studios: I am planning to start selling a large PDF file containing about 100 English, German, Spanish, and French given names (John, Manfred, Manuel, Gregoire etc.) as a single item. The file will cost about 50EUR, meaning that by purchasing this PDF you will be paying about 20X less per name than when buying names individually.


I am perfectly aware that most Tattoo Studio owners do not place due importance on the correctness of exotic-language tattoo designs. If you are one of them and willing to reconsider your attitude, please view Tattoo Sample 10 above and Note 9 below.


~ ~ ~


If you submit a name for 'special treatment', or have further requirements such as unconventional tattoo design, extra fine Tibetan fonts, specification of the meaning of the individual Tibetan syllables employed etc. please peruse the Tibetan Translation Notes and Terms further down the page.


However, if you are in a hurry or simply require a straightforward translation of a few words and a JPG image of Tibetan glyphs for your tattoo, it is completely safe to ignore the small print and you can use the Contact Form immediately below to state your desires.


Well, while I am at it, I might as well add a whole new page to this site. For a great laugh be sure to visit the Aku Tonpa page!



Inter-Galactic Greetings,
signature-mike-karma-tibetan-translator-tibetalia-tibetan-translation-tibetan-tattoo-services-cursive-font-image-nomarg.jpg བོད་སྐད་ཡིག་བསྒྱུར་མཁན་ マイク カルマ,チベット語,翻訳,通訳者,


Tibetan Tattoo Quick Order Form


Can't wait? Call me or SMS me your order:
+ 852 517 33 44 0


Tibetan Tattoo Translation - Detailed Notes


If you are thinking to submit a name, or have further requirements such as special tattoo design, extra fine Tibetan fonts, specification of the meaning of the individual Tibetan syllables employed etc. please take a few minutes to peruse the Notes and Terms below.


NOTE 1: If you submit a personal name, please bear in mind that it is common practice to transliterate, not translate, all Western names into Tibetan syllables of a corresponding pronunciation that bear, wherever possible, a positive, or amusing, meaning.


NOTE 2: There is no adequate solution to the problem of diphthongs, word-final consonants, and multiple consecutive consonants (all three types being abundant in Indo-European languages such as English but virtually non-existent in modern spoken Tibetan). Most Western names will, therefore, undergo a considerable phonetic metamorphosis. However, I understand most people simply want a Name Tibetan Tattoo for its visual aesthetic effect, in which case there is nothing to worry about.


NOTE 3: As with idiogrammatic languages such as Japanese there are usually numerous possible Tibetan transliterations for any given Western name, albeit for different reasons. The basic fee of 8 EUR entitles you to one transliteration, viz. a simple conversion of the consecutive phonemes in your name into the nearest Tibetan equivalents.
However, if you pay 16 EUR, you will receive two different Tibetan transliterations, one being the simplest possible phonetic breakdown as above, the other utilizing more complex grapheme-clusters (corresponding to spoken syllables) that bear auspicious or amusing meanings. The doubled fee also entitles you to a brief consultation as to the choice of the meaning of individual Tibetan syllables.


NOTE 4: An additional fee will be charged for extra high-resolution images, additional file types (e.g. PDF), unconventional text-arrangement (vertical, circular etc.) and for "special effects", e.g. framing, skewing, shading, Xach etc.


NOTE 5: For the time being I do not do Tibetan scripts such as drucha, I only do computer-generated U-chen Tibetan, and, in some cases, hand-written Uchen (calligraphy).


NOTE 6: For the standard fee of 8 EUR the Tibetan text / design you order will be conveyed to you in an image format such as JPG or PSD. Unfortunately, viewing and printing the minutest details of the script while retaining the high-definition quality is simply not possible with images. One major advantage PDF's have over images is that they print much better. Moreover, even when text is magnified the edges of the graphemes do not become jagged at all.





Thus, owing to this particular PDF advantage which enables tattoo artists to work off enlarged printouts, I now offer the option to generate PDFs for more demanding customers.
Please remember: PDF files will never be sent to you as stand-alone items! Images remain the basic format and PDF’s can be had for a small additional fee to complement the images. Please peruse the JPG vs. PDF file to understand why this is necessary.


NOTE 7: You may be able to obtain a Tibetan Tattoo Design for as little as 2 EUR if an image of the sort you desire already exists in my archives. For example, popular names like John or frequently requested words such as Survivor can usually be had for just 2 EUR.


NOTE 8: I shall also be increasing the selection of Tibetan styles / fonts, and types of arrangement, e.g. not only horizontal and vertical, but also more adventurous forms such as circular and spiral.
I have to stress, however, that circular and even spiral etc. arrangements of Tibetan glyphs are not some modern-day whim or fashion - Tibetans used to inscribe their mantras in such diverting shapes already a 1000, if not more, years ago, as can be seen in the following picture:


NOTE 9: Through researching the keywords for this Website I have come to realise that it is not easy for people to find sources of correct information on the Web, i.e. when it comes to translation to an "exotic" language such as Tibetan things certainly are not as simple as just "Googling" something.
Some people try to create their own Tibetan script designs and in the process may come across certain tools such as an automatic Wylie to Tibetan converter. While this Wylie-Tibetan to Tibetan Uchen Script Converter itself seems to function correctly, there are not many people who will be able to give you the correct Wylie transcription to input.
There are at least 2 other Websites out there offering Automated Conversion (e.g. to convert an English name into Tibetan Script) which malfunction grossly. Generally, anyone not literate in Tibetan trying to ascertain the correct shape of Tibetan glyphs corresponding to their (English) words with the intention of having the glyphs tattooed would be well-advised to think twice, unless you are willing to risk ending up with something like "chattering" permanently tattooed on your skin when what you had in mind was in fact "Catherine"!
Unfortunately, even some sites that offer human translation often come up with very dubious results. (I have seen some fairly odd tattoos, which is why I am writing this note!) They will (usually) charge you a fee for the job, but in some cases your payment does not guarantee correctitude: you may still end up having "what-what" on your body instead of the intended "(Year of the) Mouse" etc.
A further problem is that many Tattoo Parlours assume a very flippant attitude in relation to the correctitude of foreign-language-based tattoo designs. They prefer scooping whatever poor-quality or outright erroneous material they can Google to paying a very modest amount for designs that are prepared by linguists and hence assuredly correct.
This sort of stinginess often results in (high-profile) tragi-comic cases such as a certain Beckham having a permanent excrescence of a tattoo saying "VHictoria" on his body etc.
In conclusion I would like to say that for the discerning tattoo-seekers floating about, lost in (Cyber-)Space out there, I guess there is no other way but to consult an expert, keeping in mind that as of now, there are only a handful of reliable people offering Tibetan Translation or Design.


NOTE 10: Last but not least: please do not take the word quick in the Quick Order Form above too seriously! Generally, I value my peace of mind and do not like to accept short-notice commissions. (Solicitations of the "I have an appointment with my tattooist at 17:45 - can you deliver the Tibetan design within 35 mins?" variety will not be entertained.)
Not to mention that I frequently pop out to Outer Space to hitchhike through the Galaxy and it may take several Earth days before you receive my response. Therefore, if you are in a hurry I suggest you check my online status via Skype, MSN Live & Yahoo! Messenger etc. If I am on the same planet as you, not sleeping, and in a good mood, I might even churn out a rushed Tibetan design for you!

My M S N  L i v e ID: fxuxtxuxrxe_txixgxexr AT [Remove Spaces!]
My Y a h o o ! ID: txixbxext_axlxixa [Remove Spaces!]
My S k y p e ID: txixbxext_axlxixa [Remove Spaces!]

Skype Button: Call Tibetalia to order a Tibetan Script Tattoo Design!
Add me!    


Once your payment has been received, an Email with an attached JPG image (and any additional file types you may order) containing the actual Tibetan glyphs will follow.

Please add the following address: tibetan-tattoos-email-address-futuretiger-tibetan-translator-tibetan-script-tattoo-designer-sanskrit-lettering-japanese-skin-art-ideas-mike-karma-tibetalia.jpg to your Whitelist or Contacts to ensure receipt.


Last but not least: Most people are not aware that my designs usually are delivered with a considerable amount of linguistic information. I have therefore prepared a PDF version of the Email that is sent to purchasers of one particular item entitled 'There is no Death, only a Change of Worlds'. It can be viewed immediately below in iPaper format - I recommend trying out the different View Modes, such as "FullScreen", "Book" etc.



Note that the iPaper is extremely useful for quick online previews of documents, but does not fully convey the functionality of the original PDF. You may therefore wish to download the PDF and also print it if you are going to study the details.


TIBETALIA Tibetan Translation Terms:

Translation of up to 10 words and conversion into Tibetan script costs 8 EUR. Translations of  10-100 words cost 20 EUR. For translations of over 100 words where only a file containing text displayed through standard Tibetan fonts and no JPG image is required please refer to my rates on

Special rates apply for transliterations of personal names into Tibetan or Tibetanised Sanskrit.

A surcharge, typically around 8 EUR, will be added if consultation and/or any design that goes beyond supplying an image of standard Tibetan fonts is required. There is a small surcharge of 2 EUR for additional file formats such as .psd, .pdf etc.

Physical persons whose identity cannot be confirmed are required to pay in advance, in full. PayPal, Moneybookers accepted.


Contact Tibetalia

Visit Tibetalia @ TranslatorsCafe

Tibetalia @ ProZ


Tibetan Tattoo: 藏文紋身設計, チベット語での入墨・タトゥー・刺青
Keywords (in English, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan):
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Tibetan Tattoo Design,irezumi,godana,tatouage tibetaine,tibetische tätowierung,tatuaje tibetano,tibetaanse tattoo.


チベタン タトゥー, チベット語 で タトゥー, 入れ墨, 入墨, 剳青, 文身, 黥, 刺青, 彫り物,

བོད་སྐད བོད་ཡིག བསྒྱུར་མཁན སྐད་སྒྱུར སྐད་གཉིས་སྨྲ་བ
ཁབ་གཙགས་རི་མོ་ རྨེ་རིས་ བཀྲ་ཤིས་

Related Sites: Japanese Tattoos


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