The media franchise Pokémon, created in 1996, has had great success in platforms including trading cards, movies and television series, just to name a few. For the company’s 20th anniversary Nintendo, the co-owner of the brand, announced the release of two more installments of the video game series under the titles Pokémon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3DS

For the first time in its history, the game will be released in simplified Chinese in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China. Along with the change in language, many characters including the beloved Pikachu have had their names adapted for consistency. To date, the many facets of the Pokémon franchise have traditionally been released in different languages in accordance to the region of distribution, acknowledging linguistic and local cultural differences.

“Pokémon in Greater China will be officially called 精靈寶可夢, or Jingling Baokemeng in Mandarin (Jingling means “spirit” or “elf,” and Baokemeng is a transliteration of Pokémon). Earlier in Hong Kong, it was 寵物小精靈, Pet Little Elves (or Spirits), while in Taiwan, it was 神奇寶貝, Magic Babies,” according to Zheping Huang of Quartz.


This news was upsetting for Cantonese speakers who felt their language and culture are being disrespected. On Monday morning, a group of fans in Hong Kong protested and marched to the Japanese Consulate demanding Nintendo adopt a different Cantonese translation for the new Pokémon video game in Hong Kong.

The protest was co-organized by Civic Passion, a radical, anti-communist, political group established in China in 2012.

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