Tattoo Goof: How Not To Write In Syriac

Once again, my Bad Aramaic Senses tingled as I searched the net for new Aramaic tattoos to critique, and lo and behold I come across the following:

Once again, the above portion of the image is protected under Fair Use for criticism educational purposes. Click for the full-sized image.

The above is taken directly from 1st Corinthians 16:24:

ûkhûvî `am kulkûn bamshîkhâ’ yeshua`
“And my love (be) with you all in the Christ, Jesus.”

It’s a direct quote from the Syriac Peshitta, so the Syriac is perfect; however, we see another big problem: The writing is sloppy, and plagued with errors.

Every letter in this tattoo is in a final form (i.e. the letter forms that are only supposed to be at the very end of a word) with no proper interconnections displaying.

The diagnosis?
The owner of this tattoo probably looked up 1st Corinthians in an online Syriac Bible, but did not have proper Syriac support installed on their computer. As a result, none of the letters rendered properly.

This is a great example of when you have something correct from a reputable source, but are missing something critical. Whenever you get a translation in a language that you don’t know, always always always get an image file from a professional, and always always always get a second opinion!


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