Nintendo Issues Statement About Chinese Pronunciation of Pikachu and Pokemon Names


Last week, reported on a protest in Hong Kong over recent changes to the Chinese names of Pokemon. The protests were started when fans learned that the new Chinese versions of Pokemon Sun and Moon used a unified translation that used the Mandarin names of Pokemon characters over the Cantonese names traditionally used in Pokemon merchandise sold in Hong Kong. The unified translations added fuel to a growing fear in Hong Kong that the city's unique culture and heritage was being overwritten by mainland Chinese culture.

After protests about the planned name changes made international news, Nintendo's Hong Kong division released an official statement meant to soothe fears about the changes. The company clarified that their intent was not to limit pronunciations of the characters' names, but to create a uniform translation to provide a foundation for future games. It added that Pikachu's name should be pronounced "Pee-ka-chu" (the character's universal pronunciation) instead of its Mandarin or Cantonese translations. While Nintendo can't change the translations in Pokemon Sun and Moon, it did note that the inclusion of the Chinese language was an important step for the franchise moving forward. Basically, it appears that with few exceptions, Nintendo is telling Chinese fans to pronounce Pokemon's names the way they always did.

Nintendo also announced it was delaying a planned Pokemon National Championship for Greater China, which was due to take place in Hong Kong. It's unclear if the protests were responsible for the delays or not.

(via Nintendo Everything)