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Pokemon fans in Hong Kong protest over Pikachu name change

Posted on May 30, 2016 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

Pokemon fans in Hong Kong aren’t pleased with how Nintendo is approaching Pikachu’s name in Sun/Moon. There’s a bit of a change happening with the two games, which will feature traditional and simplified Chinese in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. While different regions have featured their own translations to reflect local language and tradition in the past, that won’t be the case any longer.

Quartz sheds more light on the situation in a new article:

Now Nintendo wants to unify them: Pokémon in Greater China will be officially called ?????, or Jingling Baokemeng in Mandarin (Jingling means “spirit” or “elf,” and Baokemeng is a transliteration of Pokémon). Earlier in Hong Kong, it was ?????, Pet Little Elves (or Spirits), while in Taiwan, it was ????, Magic Babies.

Pikachu was originally translated as ??? (Bei-kaa-chyu) in Hong Kong. Now it is named ??? (Pikaqiu). While the name ??? in Mandarin sounds similar to the global name Pikachu (as it was always called in China and Taiwan), it reads as Pei-kaa-jau in Cantonese, which doesn’t sound the same at all.

Part of the issue in Hong Kong is that some believe that Cantonese is being threatened by the mainland Chinese government. Ultimately, there is a concern that the language could be disappearing.

This has resulted in some Hong Kong fans going to Nintendo’s Hong Kong Facebook page to voice their displeasure about the situation. Additionally, a small group of protesters went to the Japanese Consulate in Central and put on a demonstration in front of the building by holding banners, singing the Cantonese theme song, and demanding that Nintendo change “Pei-kaa-jau” back to “Bei-kaa-chyu.” And if that wasn’t enough, a Facebook community has been created while over 6,000 fans have signed a petition.

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