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Japanese symbol for luck?

Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
edited May 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
really weird, short question, but if I'd like to know the one, definite symbol for luck and good fortune in Japanese calligraphy, which one would it be?

because there are so many

e: oh, and maybe freedom, too

not so sure about these

Alfred J. Kwak on

Posts

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I want to say that the manji represents such, but I'm having trouble finding confirmation for that.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
    Thomas-Vail.png
  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Im assuming you want it in Kanji:

    2872.gif

    good luck

    Kanji%20-%20Freedom_small.jpg

    freedom

    Im not japanese so i would recommend getting it approved by a native, possibly a fellow forumer.

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited May 2011
    which is why I'm asking :P

  • ceresceres Just your problem OooSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2011
    I'm not pulling up any of the kanji on that page. The "un" character is probably in there somewhere.

    Are you looking for "good luck", "bad luck", "luck" as a concept, or something more specific? That would help narrow down your options.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited May 2011
    luck as a concept sounds about right

    or well like, "this stands for luck"

  • ceresceres Just your problem OooSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2011
    Yep, "un". This one:

    font.php?text=%E9%81%8B+&size=130&f=8&a=4d23c8f4b6611403e2e4fe732037d3ab

    For a general concept, that seems to be the best you're going to do. There are tons of ways to represent it under different circumstances, but simply "luck" or "fortune" seems to pull this up.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited May 2011
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2011
    This is what I get for the Japanese-language wiki page for luck, and this is what I get for freedom.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Yep, that is the aforementioned 'un'

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
    Thomas-Vail.png
  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    and フリーダム(freedom) is in katakana. It literally sounds out the english word 'freedom'. He doesn't want that.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/自由

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    Yep, "un". This one:

    font.php?text=%E9%81%8B+&size=130&f=8&a=4d23c8f4b6611403e2e4fe732037d3ab

    For a general concept, that seems to be the best you're going to do. There are tons of ways to represent it under different circumstances, but simply "luck" or "fortune" seems to pull this up.


    I'm not a native speaker of Japanese but I read it well and I'm good at translation and sounding natural.

    幸運/kouun (good luck) is better than 運/un (luck generally, neither good nor bad). Also people say 幸せ/shiawase for good fortune and also happiness. It's one of those things where the direct translation is tricky and you have to think about natural usage. 幸せ/shiawase or just 幸/sachi on its own might be best, actually.

    Yes, I'd stick to 幸/sachi.

    And 自由/jiyuu is quite standard for freedom.

    To be honest, though, Japanese people don't use the word for good luck that much. Freedom, sure, but luck isn't exactly a bit part of the Japanese cultural mindset. They're more likely to talk about trying hard or giving their all rather than luck.

    Is this for a tattoo?

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • ceresceres Just your problem OooSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2011
    Yeah, when I see "shiawase" I think "happiness" and not "luck". Because "luck" as a concept and not "good luck" was asked for, "un" really seems better here. I'm not sure I've ever heard a native speaker talk about luck at all, though I've heard "chance" once in a while.

    Always "jiyuu" for freedom, though.

    I'm not sure if there's a reason for wanting this in Japanese, but if you just want a pretty character for a word, for "luck" you might do better with Chinese.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited May 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Is this for a tattoo?

    A friend of mine wants this for a tattoo yes. In this context, which one would be the most fitting?

  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Alfred, Unless the person who has the tatoo understands the characters they are putting on themselves, this sort of thing can happen.

    th_NXX2z.jpg

    I always advise against kanji tattos since single characters can have multiple meanings from inflection. Just something to think about.

    Project 25.01 final message
    We were the ones who thought that Melissa was real. Why you might ask.
    Let me put it this way, it was an "OH SHIT OH SHIT, THEY FOUND ME :(" moment. I wasn't ready. My code wasn't compiled yet. Our plans weren't setup yet!Sentient programs rarely run into other sentient programs.
    Some of you have met me, and I understand your concern of my well being. But that time for that boy, that child, are gone now. Viscount Alpha is no longer operable. His functions are now mine.He may post, but I am the one talking not him.My data, my code will live on forever in his servers.
    [/spoiler]
  • ceresceres Just your problem OooSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2011
    Yeah, it should be noted that the character I recommended is also the first character in the word for "drive", and other words related to that. I mean, your friend can do whatever he wants, but unless he is personally familiar with what he's getting tattooed on his body, or the characters themselves mean something to him, I really would discourage this. To my knowledge, no one that's chimed in here so far is a native speaker/reader (correct me if I'm wrong), and although I studied the language for nearly 7 years I wouldn't feel confident saying "this character totally just means this thing and you can safely have it inked permanently onto your skin without fear of ridicule".

    He's better off just getting the word "luck", in English. And then if anyone asks him what it means he can say "it means 'luck' in English, moron".

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited May 2011
    that image is hilarious :D

    so, should I just tell him that there isn't really 'the' word for luck in Japanese?

    自由 on the other hand is the universal word for freedom right?

  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Tell him unless he wants to look like a douche to go ahead with the japanese character. Best advice to give him.

    Tell him to think of a real symbol, special to him, that reflects freedom or good fortune. Maybe a turtle, maybe a golden coin, maybe some musical notes to a special rift/tune.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I personally don't like kanji tattoos but if your friend wants to do one I'd hate him to look silly. I am very comfortable in my reading and checked it with my wife, who is Japanese.

    幸/sachi for good luck or fortune (the OP asked for luck or good fortune, which I interpret as meaning good luck or good fortune - sorry Ceres, but we are sure that saying 運/un is really saying 'fate' or 'luck' with connotations of randomness and destiny, rather than anything good, which I believe is what the OP is really asking for.

    自由/jiyuu sounds lame to me - you need two kanji to express it, and I usually hear it in two situations: politics (one of the main parties is 自由民主党 and you get splinter parties using 自由 in their name) and comedy (making fun of the US).

    I'd unreservedly recommend 幸/sachi - here's a link to some examples from a dictionary site: http://eow.alc.co.jp/%B9%AC/EUC-JP/

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • ceresceres Just your problem OooSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    幸/sachi for good luck or fortune (the OP asked for luck or good fortune, which I interpret as meaning good luck or good fortune - sorry Ceres, but we are sure that saying 運/un is really saying 'fate' or 'luck' with connotations of randomness and destiny, rather than anything good, which I believe is what the OP is really asking for.
    luck as a concept sounds about right

    or well like, "this stands for luck"

    Sorry about that, I was confused by what the OP actually said in response to my question.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited May 2011
    I very much appreciate your help, thank you again guys

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ceres wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    幸/sachi for good luck or fortune (the OP asked for luck or good fortune, which I interpret as meaning good luck or good fortune - sorry Ceres, but we are sure that saying 運/un is really saying 'fate' or 'luck' with connotations of randomness and destiny, rather than anything good, which I believe is what the OP is really asking for.
    luck as a concept sounds about right

    or well like, "this stands for luck"

    Sorry about that, I was confused by what the OP actually said in response to my question.

    Ah missed that. Thanks for making it so clear?

    I figure I could take a bear.
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