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El_Cadejo's avatar

Are Pokemon names an amalgam of two words in other languages like they are in English?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34610points) February 5th, 2013

Im referring to the the original 151 here though (as I like to pretend thats all there is :P) but in English a good majority of the Pokemon’s names are a combination of two different words.

Charmander=Char+ Salamander Charmeleon= Char + Chameleon Ivysaur=Ivy+Dinosaur etc.

What I was in different languages is it a mix of two words? I would imagine it is, what I’m more curious of is, is it the same two words they used for the english name. Maybe combining char and salamander just doesn’t flow right in spanish,french, japanese or whatever other language so they decided to use two different words.

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7 Answers

bhec10's avatar

I also love the first 151, I used to know pretty much all of them by their numbers.
I was shocked when I went to search for Pokémons right now and found out that nowadays there are almost 650 of them!! Bloody hell.

As for their names, they always seemed to make sense to me. I remember there were the snakes Ekans and Arbok, which if you read them backwards are Snake and Kobra. There was also Abra, Kadabra and Alakazam, they were quite the “magicians”!

I miss my childhood

El_Cadejo's avatar

@bhec10 yeaa but like is it snake and kobra backwards in other languages too?

I’ve been playing Blue lately :P

bhec10's avatar

@uberbatman Well you say “cobra” in Portuguese and Spanish so it’s close. But I think all the names have that English connotation, which makes them understandable very quickly.

I only had Yellow for my Game Boy Colour and sometimes I dust it off and play for a while :)

Seek's avatar

“Pikachu” basically means “Zap mouse” in Japanese. “Pika” is the Japanese version of what an electric current sounds like. “Chu” is “mouse”.

I know Meowth’s Japanese name is “Nyarth”. I always assumed that was the equivalent of a mewling sound.

Bulbasaur (my favourite Pokemon) in Japanese is “Fushigidane”, which is technically supposed to mean “Strange Seed”, but since they don’t use Kanji to disambiguate, it could also mean “Strange, isn’t it?”

And that’s kind of hilarious.

Seek's avatar

@bhec10 It’s insane. I have a 4 year old that’s apeshit for Pokemon now (huge improvement over Disney Cars, I’ll tell you what) and there are about eleventy billion of them. I’m like “But where’s Mr. Mime?”

SamandMax's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr any kind of animation from that side of the globe tends to be strange.
Pokemon being a prime example of it.

dxs's avatar

I remember that in Japanese, Jigglypuff is Purin.
Maybe in spanish, Ekans is Etneipres.

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