in

Pikachu's Name Is Being Changed in Hong Kong and People Are PROTESTING

With the new games Sun and Moon coming out in November, the internet’s already had a lot to say about Pokémon. But you’d think those opinions would’ve come from Twitter, or through memes — you don’t expect people to take to the streets. But since Pokémon fans in Hong Kong don’t have Bernie Sanders rallies to take out their frustrations, the translation-based name change of a popular electric mouse will have to do.

pikachu name change protest
The people used Fury. It’s super effective!
(source)

Dozens of protesters showed up at the Japanese Consulate in Central to voice their disapproval, but their beef is about more than Pikachu. Here’s what’s going on — Nintendo used to release specific versions of the Pokémon games translated into the native languages of specific regions. For example, players in Hong Kong would get a version of the game translated into Cantonese. But with the release of Sun and Moon, Nintendo will be moving towards a universal translation in China. The line of thinking is that a unified pronunciation of Pokémon names will keep the pronunciations consistent worldwide. Finally, all us Tajik speakers will know which Pokémon our cousins from Northern Xinjiang are talking about when they come visit for the summer!

But this change’s adverse affects are made clear in the case of literally everyone’s favorite Pokémon, Pikachu. See, the little guy’s name has been roughly translated to “Pikaqiu” (which sounds pretty close to “Pikachu” when said aloud) in China and Taiwan. But that’s a Mandarin name. In Hong Kong, where Cantonese is the dominant language, Pikachu’s name sounds like “Bei-kaa-chyu”. For the Hong Kong fans, Pikachu is literally being renamed, and that is a big deal.

pikachu name change indiana
Would you follow this guy into adventure if his name was, like, Travis Jones?
(source)

This protest was about preserving the Cantonese language, and therefore their entire culture, even as Mandarin is adopted as China’s official tongue. 18-year-old Chu Sung Tak told Quartz that Nintendo “should respect our local culture” and was protesting to “defend local language”. And it’s an important cause — so much of who we are as a culture comes from our words. If our language changed, what becomes of hip-hop? Poetry? That door-based scene from last week’s Game of Thrones? Do they translate? Probably not! It’d be terrifying to feel those and so many more parts of our world slipping away. So fight on, Pokémon protesters. I truly hope you get your Bei-kaa-chyu back.

pikachu rename nickname
Oh wait I forgot you can name any Pokémon whatever you want so never mind.
(source)

 

Follow Mikey on Twitter @mikeymccollor.

Contributor: 
Mikey McCollor
View Count: 
14
Weekly View Count: 
14
Mass images: 
pikachu name change indiana
pikachu rename nickname
pikachu name change protest

What do you think?

Comments

Leave a Reply

Loading…

Loading…

0

Comments

0 comments

Student drew every member of his high school class for a creative graduation surprise

This 'Girls Taking a Selfie' Statue is The Most Basic Thing That Ever Happened