Ok, who’s a big fan of Pokémon? Don’t be ashamed to admit it. I loved watching Ash (Satoshi) trying to catch ‘em all.
The idea for this post came about when I was having lunch with a creative director I did some work for last year.
We were talking about translation and localization and somehow the conversation turned to Pokémon. She said I could make a whole post about Pokémon names, so here we are!
Guess the Japanese name of the Pokémon and click on the English name to see if you guessed right.
Heads up, you’ll need to be able to read Japanese. I ain’t transliterating.
フシギダネ can mean two things: “strange seed(s)” or “strange, isn’t it?” The former would be written as 不思議種 and the latter as 不思議だね.
From what I could translate from the website I found on Squirtle, the name is based on a kind of turtle from the Edo period that looked like Japanese coin or “zeni.”
It’s pudding in Japanese. Must be pudding cuz jelly don’t shake like that! I’m sorry.
A combination of “sparkle sparkle” ピカピカ and “squeak squeak” チュウチュウ because Pikachu is basically a shiny mouse.
カビ is “mold” ドラゴン is “dragon.” I was told that the idea behind the name is that this dragon-like Pokemon lounges around for so long that mold starts to grow on it. For some reason this Pokemon always reminded me of laxatives as a kid. It’s supposed to be “snore” and “relax” in English but I dunno…
A combination of the diminutive character 子 used as a prefix for ダック “duck. ” It would like saying “little duck.” Localizers were probably like nah, he’s a psychic duck so Psyduck it is.
The number “six” ロク and the sound effect for foxes コン or “kon.” You can’t see it in this picture but Vulpix has six tails.
How many did you get right?
I only knew Pikachu at first. It’s OK.
Happy language learning!