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Ariana Grande has joined the less-than-illustrious history of people getting tattoos in foreign languages which, when translated, say something completely different than they expected. The pop star’s latest single, “7 Rings,” took the No. 1 position on the Billboard Top 100 recently, and to celebrate, Grande decided to get a tattoo in the song’s honor.
The title card for the “7 Rings” music video has the title in both English and Japanese Kanji, which reads as “七つの指輪.” Grande decided to get “7 Rings” tattooed on her hand in Kanji but made a serious error. Rather than the full phrase that was used in the music video, Grande just had the characters for “seven” and “ring” tattooed on her hand, but those characters mean something very different together. According to BuzzFeed, “七輪” doesn’t translate to “7 rings” it translates to shichirin, which is a small charcoal grill used for Japanese BBQ.
Grande deleted pictures of the tattoo from her social media, but not before people took screencaps and started roasting her.
ariana grande welcome to the club of [email protected] have tattoos they said would disappear and dissolve over time. see u at the laser removal spot
— 𝘋𝘈𝘙𝘊𝘐𝘌 𝘞𝘐𝘓𝘋𝘌𝘙 (@333333333433333) January 30, 2019
for those who are confused, ariana grande got a tattoo on her hand in japanese intended to spell out “7 rings” and posted it on instagram (now deleted), but japanese people in the comments started saying how the REAL translation is bbq grill pic.twitter.com/rF0NvEa9Yv
— Alice (@alice2096) January 30, 2019
Although she deleted the pictures of her tattoo, Grande did respond to one Twitter user who called out the mistake. “i [sic] left out ‘つの指’ which should have gone in between. it hurts like fuck n still looks tight. i wouldn’t have lasted one more symbol lmao,” she wrote.
While some see Grande’s tattoo as an embarrassing, but harmless, mistake, others have said that it is a sign of Grande’s cultural appropriation. According to critics, Grande’s response that her tattoo “still looks tight” shows that she sees Japanese culture as an aesthetic to borrow from, and doesn’t respect it enough to try to get the language right.
I used to love Ariana Grande and I think a part of me always will but I can’t get with the cultural appropriation from 7 rings and now this bbq “7 rings” tattoo. Like it’s okay to like another culture but idk her interest in Japan (and Japanese) is very ignorant to me.
— not seeing exo?? (@Channievv) January 30, 2019
ariana grande getting an incorrectly google translated tattoo in japanese is karma for trying to user another culture as an accessory. imagine tattooing bbq grill onto ur hand omg… pic.twitter.com/eTkRQAIlmm
— iris⁸¹¹⁹⁴ (@chromegens) January 30, 2019
ariana grande’s dumb ass got a tattoo of an entree and has the audacity to be like o lol i didnt want to sit thru it bc it hurt uwu so basically u care about the aesthetic of kanji but not the meaning of the words?? “indeed” pic.twitter.com/bhCvrEVZuf
— caro🐞🕷💫 (@rococcoletariat) January 30, 2019
Grande didn’t seem concerned about the mistranslation, and even suggested she might fix it, writing, “this spot also peels a ton and won’t last so if i miss it enough, i’ll suffer thru the whole thing next time.”
H/T Buzzfeed News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.