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Help translating my grandmothers kanji

J Robinson

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Hi everyone I'm new to the website! This is my first post. My grandmother recently wrote kanji in my holiday card and said that it says "I love you" and from what I've googled her kanji was much longer in characters than what I've found. Regardless of what it translated to, I wanted it tattooed on my wrist so I can see her writing every day as she has been a huge influence and support my life. She's getting old and I won't have her around much longer so having a piece of her writing with me forever was important for me.

I was hoping to email a photo to one (or more) experts in kanji and have them give an exact translation and possibly an explanation as to why it's more characters then what I've found online. I'm assuming her kanji is older and not as modern

My email is [mail address removed]

I'd greatly appreciate any help you could provide and promise I won't take up much of your time.

Thanks for the help

Kind regards,
Jeff
 
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Mike Cash

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Just post the photo here. Is your grandmother Japanese?
 

J Robinson

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Hi mike! Thanks for the quick response. Yes, my grandmother is 100% Japanese. Didn't move to the US until the early 50's.

I tried up upload my image from my iPhone but it's saying "image is too large" I'll try to rescale it on here.
 

J Robinson

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Going to try to attach, my phone seems to be glitching out and saying the file is too large. I've tried to upload it in four different sizes.

I'm the technologically challenged Asian, who's also bad at math.
 

Toritoribe

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私は貴女を愛します
Watashi wa anata wo aishimasu

It exactly means "I love you". 愛しています "Aishiteimasu" is more common and appropriate than "aishimasu", though.
 
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It says 私は貴女を愛します 「愛」 being a kanji for "love"
Your grandmother's 愛 is not missing any strokes - it's a perfectly normal handwritten 愛
Just like Toritoribe said above a minute before.
 

J Robinson

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Thank you both very much. It's been an emotional past year and my grandmother may not have too many more with me, having her handwritten kanji on me to see daily warms my heart.

Im in the process of re-learning to speak Japanese, I spoke as a child but lost it over the past 20 years. Hoping it comes back because it would make her dreams come true for her grandson to speak her native language to her. Kanji is beautiful but very challenging to pick up on as there are so many characters/meanings. It makes the English alphabet seem like child's play.

Again, thanks so much for the help. I'm going to look into Rosetta Stone, hoping they have a version that'll also teach kanji. I envy the ability to read and write it, must of taken a while to fully get the grasp of. Wish me luck!

Domo arigatou gozaimasu
 

Mike Cash

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Rosetta Stone is not particularly good for Japanese. There are better alternatives out there.

Your profile says you are a male. Is that correct?
 

J Robinson

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Rosetta Stone is not particularly good for Japanese. There are better alternatives out there.

Your profile says you are a male. Is that correct?
Any recommendations on alternative programs to learn versus Rosetta Stone would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, I am a male. Is the picture I provided written for a female? If so, which character(s) would need changing?

Thanks for the help
 

Mike Cash

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Any recommendations on alternative programs to learn versus Rosetta Stone would be greatly appreciated.
The Genki textbook/workbook series is most commonly recommended.

Yes, I am a male. Is the picture I provided written for a female? If so, which character(s) would need changing?
Change 貴女 to 貴方
 

joadbres

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It is quite strange that your grandmother would write the female version of "you" when writing to her grandson.

Anyway, if it's your grandmother's handwriting you want for a tattoo, you obviously can't just willy nilly change the characters in the message. A compromise would be to make a tattoo of only the "love" character from her message.
 

Mike Cash

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It is quite strange that your grandmother would write the female version of "you" when writing to her grandson.
She's very old and has been out of Japan for sixty years or so. It isn't so hard to imagine.
 

Toritoribe

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Agreed. The awkwardness of 愛します also shows it.
 
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A compromise would be to make a tattoo of only the "love" character from her message.
If it were me, I would probably do 愛(love) with a decorative border alone, although I can see why the OP wants the whole message. If I did the whole message, I'd do it totally intact errors and all... it wouldn't be faithful to her memory to correct her mistakes.

Then again, I don't have a tattoo myself because nothing is ever quite perfect enough for me to make it permanent.
 

Mike Cash

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I'd get it on a t-shirt and see how long it takes me to get tired of answering questions about it.

Since she is still living, I'd also ask her what she thinks of the idea of having that be the basis for a tattoo. My bet is she would be horrified.

At the very least, ask her to rewrite it, telling her it is going to be made into a wall decoration or something.

She isn't "a memory" yet, so give her some chance at input on what will be her memento to you.
 
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