Latin American Pokemon Players Want Better Translations from Nintendo

Pokemon Latin American translation cover

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Latin American Pokemon Players Want Better Translations from Nintendo

December 6, 2021

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 

Pokemon is a global phenomenon, but some players feel left out -- a group of Latin American players is petitioning Nintendo for proper translations into Latin American Spanish for the popular monster battle games.

The newest Pokemon game Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is pretty great. As is tradition, some innovative players have already discovered a dupe glitch and managed to speedrun the game in under an hour.

While quite a few fans are happy with this year's release, not everyone is having a great time with the franchise. Latin American players, in particular, are feeling somewhat left out due to the lackluster translation of the game for their region.

Make sure to turn on captions for this video.

 
 

The Problem With Pokemon's Spanish Translations

A new video from Latin American gaming and anime news site ANMTV that was highlighted on Reddit details the scope of the problem with the Pokemon Latin American translation. The key issue here is... well, there really isn't a Latin American Spanish translation.

You may be confused at this statement -- haven't the Pokemon games, cards, and anime been translated into Spanish for some time? Well, you're half right -- they're translated into Peninsular Spanish, which is spoken in Spain. That's somewhat different from Latin American Spanish; check out this chart showing some of the key differences in terminology.

Pokemon Latin American translation chart
(Image Credit: ANMTVChannelHD on YouTube.)

At best, the current Spanish translation is confusing to Latin American Spanish speakers. At worst, it can be downright offensive. As you might expect, several thousand miles of ocean and several hundred years of diverging and varied cultures mean that the Spanish dialects on either side of the Atlantic are very different. For the sake of context, consider that there are some words you can say in the U.K. or Australia that would be much more impolite in the United States (and vice versa).

The video explains the scope of the problem in detail -- and it has a plan for action, too. A petition has been launched which requests Nintendo to do a better job of translating its games for the Latin American audience. If you're feeling a bit nostalgic, you can buy the latest Pokemon game Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for Nintendo Switch via its official website.

Have you had any problems with the Latin American translations of these games? What companies do a good job of translating games into Latin American Spanish? Let us know in the comments below!

A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

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