A group of Latin American video game fans from Pokmon have started a campaign to demand The Pokmon Company and Game Freak the localization of titles into Latin American Spanish (neutral). Players from Mexico, Argentina and other countries in the region receive the latest games with the location of Spain. They have created a petition on Change.org where they have more than 18,000 signatures of the 25,000 they have established.
The situation, they explain from the portal ANMTV that promotes the complaint, creates various problems. The players, many of them children, are exposed at best to terminology, clichés, and jokes they don’t understand, and at worst to words that in Latin American Spanish are vulgar and aggressive although in Spain they are not. In addition, it is created confusion when using different names for characters, locations, and movement between the games and the anime, which is localized to certain seasons.
Regarding the former, there are many examples since the locations of Pokmon, so praised in Spain for the use of jargon from the different regions of our country, are shocking in Latin America. For example in Pokmon X/Y a person says “we don’t give a damn”, which while in Spain translates as “we don’t care about anything”, in the American region translates to “I don’t give a shit”.
In Pokmon Sol / Luna, Francine dice “nia drinks”, which in Latin America would be translated by “nia pene”. While jalar means to eat in Spain, there it is an idiom that is refers to wanting to inhale drugs. That is why they are problematic, especially if they are read by children, phrases like: “How can I not pull something but already, it’s going to give me a yuyu!” and “Bua, after the fights I feel like pulling that you don’t see!”.
In Sun / Moon, a Team Skull recruit says, “Maybe I should give the sinbone less, your strength gives me goosebumps and stuff.” The problem is that in Latin America “la sinhueso” is not the language. Other expressions refer to “insert the bug” or “take by surprise” that in Latin America have a very different meaning and clearly inappropriate in a game for children.
Nintendo s translates the games in Latin America
The company responsible for localizing the games Pokmon It’s not Nintendo, but The Pokmon Company. The switch maker localize all your games to neutral Spanish of Latin America since 2007, when they launched The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for NintendoDS. In the last decade, other major companies such as PlayStation Studios, Xbox Game Studios, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Games and Square Enix have also localized their games for that region.
The Pokmon Company lanz en Latinoamrica Pokemon Red/Blue in English in the year 1999, and a year later it was republished with the Spanish translation from Spain. All successive games until 2013 they were only published in English. In Pokmon X/Y they added a language selector with which they could enjoy the translation of our country.
The situation has caused many players to have been raised with the saga terminology (characters, movements, cities, objects, etc.) and ingls. Those who watch the animated series and the movies have to identify what the names translated in the audiovisual. To this, since 2013 they have to add the Spanish term from Spain, very free adaptations of the Anglo-Saxon term, as you can see in the following table.
The campaign started by ANMTV Latin America pide a The Pokmon Company International que locate the next games in the series into Latin American Spanish, something that not happen with Leyendas Pokmon Arceus, which hits stores this Friday, January 28. The group has gained the support of the dubbing actors Gabriel Ramos and Gabriel Gama, the voices of Ash and Brock respectively in the Latin American dubbing of the television series, who have voiced a video explaining the problem.
Nob Ogasawara, responsible for translations from Japanese to English in The Pokmon Company, reacted last December to the video that already has more than 100,000 views: “I did not know that the Spanish translation was inadequate (and worse, even derogatory in some cases) for Latin America. It seems tragic and short-sighted to ignore an obviously huge and growing market. I hope that fans can force Nintendo, Game Freak and The Pokémon Company International to make the change.”
At the very least, I’m appalled that an entry-level JRPG aimed at kids would have derogatory terms in it.
That goes completely against the philosophy I applied when I did the original translations upon which other localizations were based.
It’s meant to be KID FRIENDLY.— Nob Ogasawara (@DougDinsdale) December 9, 2021
“At the very least, I’m horrified that an entry-level JRPG [al gnero] directed at children have derogatory terms,” Ogasawara continues. “That goes completely against the philosophy that I applied when I did the translations originals on which the other locations were based. Their goal is to be kid-friendly.” The saga Pokmon it is the largest intellectual property in terms of revenue on the planet.