I was wondering if there was a correct or fitting way to write these as a possible tattoo in Hangul. I have seen warrior as 전사, strong as 강한, and other forms.

I know that usually, going from one language to another, in this case being English to Korean, things get lost or meanings change in the translation. I was wondering if anyone knew of good ways to express these ideas and what their English translation would be.

I'd ask my Korean grandmother who grew up there but I'm pretty sure she'd tear into me for even thinking about the possibility of a tattoo. Thank you so much for your time!

  • Are you only interested in Hangul, or also Hanja? May 22, 2018 at 21:12
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    I'll definitely defer to the native speakers on a matter of this importance! The only (perhaps obvious) thing I will point out is that Hangul renditions run the risk of having alternate meanings - e.g. 전사 (戰士) means warrior, but 전사 (戰死) means to die in battle. May 22, 2018 at 21:41
  • Interesting. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Do you think getting 전사 tattooed would be a decently safe bet? The idea was to get it down the back of my calf.
    – JMV12
    May 22, 2018 at 21:43
  • I'm not inked myself and I'm not a native speaker (so rather cautious!), but I'd definitely get multiple opinions from native speakers first. reddit.com/r/Korean is another place to get a few more opinions. May 22, 2018 at 21:56
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    I think alternate meaning is OK, because if you see a tattoo reading 전사, you will probably not think "died in a war". If you see an English tattoo "hawk", you will probably not think "carry around and offer (goods) for sale, typically advertising them by shouting", either. (I can't comment on how that tattoo would look... I think it's a bit cheesy, but I've never been a fan of tattoos myself.)
    – jick
    May 23, 2018 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


I am a native speaker. And I have no fiend with tattoo. I want to say my opinion, some examples, about tattoo with strong meaning.

First, I may understand grandmother's feeling partially.

Usually young Korean enjoy 청산가리 potassium cyanide, 강적 strong enemy, 인피니트 infinity, 살풀이 exorcism, 전갈 scorpion and 고압 전선 high-tension wire so on for rock group's name.

Ad far as I know, Korean consider three or four kinds : strength, ambiguity, and intellectual. Or comic.

Hence we use english frequently. How about runaway soldier (탈영병) ? (my creative).

First, it is very funny. And I think that most Koreans can not interpret runaway soldier (including me. But after long thinking, someone guess). And runaway soldier is very dangerous.

Nowadays, Korean use 궁예 (strong king in Korea), 김정은 (president in North korea) as a nickname in youtube.

  • extreme example : 막가파(human of no patten and only his exciting way) 인간말종 (last species of human) and so on.
    – HK Lee
    May 28, 2018 at 12:20
  • ...Is this a list of tattoo suggestions for a new member of 조폭 (crime syndicate)?
    – jick
    May 28, 2018 at 22:39
  • I agree that words in the list is more close to dreadful rather than strong.
    – HK Lee
    May 28, 2018 at 22:50

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