Pokemon Criticized For Inappropriate Latin-American Spanish Localization

The Pokemon Company recently came under fire for not including region appropriate Spanish localizations in their games. Last month, voice actors Gabriel Ramos and Gabriel Gama highlighted a petition started by Pokemon fans asking The Pokemon Company to include Spanish translations of the game specific to Latin American audiences. The petition notes that Pokemon games commonly use phrases and words that have more vulgar implications to Latin American players and asks that The Pokemon Company bring in a localization team to translate the games for a Latin American audience instead of using a general Spanish language track. Additionally, the petition asks for a second Portuguese translation for the games specific for Brazilian players. 

Having two Spanish translations, one for European Spanish speakers and one for Latin American speakers, is not uncommon in video games. Like other languages spoken by millions of people spread out across the world, various Spanish-speaking regions use certain words and phrases differently in local vernaculars. For instance, the phrase "nos importa un pito" translates to "we care very little" in Spanish, but is often used in parts of Latin America as an equivalent to "we don't give a f---."  The petition notes that the Spanish translations of recent games like Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon X and Y both use Spanish phrases that are considered inappropriate in parts of Latin America, especially for the young children who the Pokemon games are geared towards. 

The petition has over 18,000 signees, with more signatures added on a daily basis. And while the soon to be released Pokemon Legends: Arceus won't have a Spanish language translation specific for Latin America, The Pokemon Company has acknowledged the recent complaints. The Latin American website ANMTV noted that The Pokemon Company provided a standard response when asked about the petition. "Pokémon encourages players/users to submit comments and suggestions so that our products can offer the best possible experience to our customers. Although we do not always implement all the suggestions, we read and pay attention to each comment," the company's response stated.

You can read and sign the petition here.