UPDATE: Well, she tried. Less than 24 hours after her new tattoo misspelling became public, Ariana Grande tried to fix the problem. But her addition may have just made the tattoo less comprehensible than ever.
Grande posted an Instagram screenshot of her conversation with her Japanese tutor, who advised that adding a 指 (the kanji for “finger”) above and between her extant tattoo would help modify the meaning from “barbecue grill” to “7 Rings,” as the singer originally intended. But Grande did not follow this advice precisely; instead, she added 指 below the other characters, along with a heart emoji. This clashes with the fact that Japanese is typically read top to bottom, right to left.
The end result, as BuzzFeed Japan writer Eimi Yamamitsu pointed out, basically just spells “Japanese barbecue grill finger,” with a heart for good measure. Hopefully someone, somewhere, has learned a lesson from all this.
EARLIER: The eternal risk of getting a tattoo in a foreign language is that you might create a permanent typo for yourself. Unfortunately, that exact sitcom-like situation just happened to Ariana Grande.
On Wednesday, the singer posted a photo of her new palm tattoo. It was supposed to say “7 Rings” in Japanese, referring to Grande’s latest single. But kanji characters don’t exactly work like that. The character 七 means “seven,” and 輪 can mean “ring” (or “hoop,” “circle,” etc). But combining the two doesn’t mean “7 Rings,” it means a whole different word entirely. As several people pointed out in the replies to Grande’s now-deleted tweet, her tattoo actually spells “shichirin,” which is a small charcoal grill.
The actual kanji spelling of “7 Rings” would be “七つの指輪.” At least some people connected to Grande know that because it appears on the title card of the “7 Rings” music video. But it would also be a lot of characters to fit on your palm. Before deleting all her tweets about the tattoo, Grande acknowledged the missing characters and said, “It hurt like f–k n still looks tight. I wouldn’t have lasted one more symbol lmao. But this spot also peels a ton and won’t last so if I miss it enough I’ll suffer through the whole things next time.”