You know Kědáyā & Miàowāzhǒngzǐ, but probably not by their Mandarin names. With a new Pokémon game coming out next week, here’s a list of terms to prepare to catch them all: 把他们全部抓住 Bǎ tāmen quánbù zhuā zhù!
Pokémon in Mandarin
Gotta catch them all!
The translation of Pokémon names is a bit of a study. In Taiwan it was originally 神奇宝贝 shénqí bǎobèi (literally “magical baby/treasure”), and in Hong Kong was 宠物小精灵 chǒngwù xiǎo jīnglíng (“pet little elf”). In the rest of China, people called it 口袋妖怪 kǒudài yāoguài (“pocket goblin”), but later used all three names. In 2015, the Pokémon company decided the official translation should be 精灵宝可梦 Jīnglíng bǎokěmèng (Elf treasure dream), but stating that in the future the name will change to just 宝可梦 bǎokěmèng (treasure dream) in the future. Also individual Pokémon changed their names a few times, for instance, Butterfree went from 巴大蝴 Bādàhú to 巴大蝶 Bādàdié.
Will you be getting the new Pokémon game? Come learn Mandarin & play it with us at GoEast in Shanghai.