Hong Kong Branch of Nintendo Addresses Translation Protests

Hong Kong branch of Nintendo and The Pokemon Company release statement regarding Mandarin Pokemon translations

Long-time Hong Kong Pokemon fans have been holding protests over the last week regarding name translation changes in the upcoming latest games, Pokemon Sun and Moon. And Nintendo's branch in Hong Kong has finally responded to the outcry.

The protests arose from the change of Pikachu's and several other Pokemon's names. Pickachu's name, for example, was translated from Hong Kong's regional version of pronunciation, æ¯”卡超 (Bei-kaa-chyu), to the dominant Chinese Mandarin, 皮卡丘 (Pikaqiu). Whilst the Mandarin pronunciation sounds like the global name of Pikachu, in Cantonese it reads Pei-kaa-jau. 

The issue has come to be controversial, mainly deriving from Hong Kong fan's feeling as if these language changes are in efforts to further erase their cultural Cantonese language.

In a statement by the Hong Kong branch of Nintendo, and the Pokemon Company, the companies stated that it was not in their intentions to offend any of their fans, saying that they simply implemented these changes so that the names might translate easier across language barriers. They also said that the names, despite the translation changes, should still be read in their traditional pronunciations. 

It is not certain if this statement will appease Hong Kong fans, especially since the Mandarin translations will seemingly remain. 

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Published Jun. 7th 2016

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