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English to Japanese kanji translation 2019/12/3 01:28
Hi everyone,
I'm tryin' to translate Free Spirit in japanese kanji and I though Jiyuu ki 自由気 would be fine but a friend of mine said that "ki" is used in spiritual context, not for human being. For her it's better jiyuu jin 自由人.
What's best?
Thank you

Patty
by Patty (guest)  

Re: English to Japanese kanji translation 2019/12/3 12:33
In spoken Japanese, 自由人/jiyujin is actually a sarcastic insult. It describes someone who just does whatever they feel like doing in the moment, even if it makes other people feel bad. Tattooing it on yourself would give off less of the feeling of "free spirit" and more "I only care about myself."

自由気 also will feel awkward, clunky, and wordy to native Japanese speakers. Imagine seeing someone with a tattoo that says "SPIRIT OF FREEDOM" phrased exactly like that, and you'll get the idea.

Unfortunately, I can't offer any alternatives as to what a better Japanese tattoo would be for "free spirit." Honestly, trying to take short idiomatic phrases in one language and translate them to another almost never goes well, because those phrases are so connected to the specific cultural values and social trends of an individual country.

I'm not trying to say you shouldn't get whatever tattoo you want. I'm just saying that if you're hoping that whatever Japanese tattoo you decide on as meaning "free spirit" probably won't resonate with Japanese people the way you want it to, nor will it be an authentic representation of the Japanese language, so if either of those are your goals, you might want to reconsider.
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Re: English to Japanese kanji translation 2019/12/3 18:36
Thank you for your answer.
You hit the point, I just want to avoid any misunderstandig.
Ha e a nice day :)
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