Translations of Pokémon’s Slowpoke.

A Global Craze

Alright, scholars.  Many of us have been swept by the Pokémon phenomenon, or you have at least heard of the success of the Pokémon franchise that has found worldwide success in various fan communities.  With it’s global sensation, have you ever stopped to wonder at how Pokémon has spread across multiple languages and cultures?  Well if you haven’t guessed already, Pokémon is accessible in many countries due to translation.  How would’ve thunk it?

As a homage to our beloved Pokémon and tricky characters, let’s take a look Slowpoke and his own influence in Pokémon culture and translations.  The Slowpoke Song is a fan favorite that was made possible by the work of translation.  Go figure, translation is not just about creating your own spectacular versions of literary texts, but you can also find translation success in video games and songs!  Let’s take a look at some fun facts.

 

Slowpoke's Infographic
Click to View Full Infographic

According to Krystian Aparta, TED’s Localization Community Manager, translating songs is much more than just bringing a few words and line together,  “There’s so much work that goes into translating lyrics: you need to think about the connotations of the words, rhymes, alliteration, which words will be stressed by the singer, how to adapt the song to make as much sense in the target culture… By translating these lyrics and bringing the fun and humor in this video to so many audiences all over the world, these guys are truly proving that music can be the universal language.”

There you have it, scholars.  Translating brings culture and language together, while providing access to incredible works and ideas that would not have been possible with translation. You can also make a difference with your own interest in translation.  So rock on brilliant ones, rock on.

  • “Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.”  –George Steiner
Resources:
The Joy and Agony of Translating Song Lyrics. TED Blog. TED, 22 Sept. 2014. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.
Pokemon Slowpoke Reggae Song Gets Translated Into English. iDigitalTimes. 04 Sept. 2015. Web 20 Mar. 2017.
The steps Beyond Simply “Translating” a Song (“Mimikyu’s Song” – Pokémon). Kantopia. 22 Oct. 2016. Web. 20 Mar. 2017
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