This guide will cover every language and their various terms in the card layout, this way you can copy-and-paste them into the relevant blank file (once I release the high quality version).
What to translate, and in what language:
- PERENNIAL WORDS
- Stat line (Width, Height)
- Weakness – Resistance – Retreat (Cost)
- Level, #
- CARD SPECIFIC
- Baby: “Baby is a Basic” rule, “Baby Pokemon” type, “Baby Rule” text, “Evolves to XXX / Put on” text
- Basic: “Basic Pokemon” type
- State 1: “Stage 1 Pokemon” type, “Evolves from XXX” text, “Put on the Basic Pokemon” text
- State 2: “Stage 2 Pokemon” type, “Evolves from XXX” text, “Put on the Stage 1 Card” text
- (any other cards?)
- TRAINER CARDS
- Trainer card types (Item, Tool, Supporter, Stadium)
- Trainer type rule text
- The word “Trainer” itself (like “Trainer’s” in Japanese and Korean, etc)
- LANGUAGES (only ones which had official releases)
- English (for Japanese blanks)
- Japanese (for English blanks)
- Korean (since DPP)
- Thai (new release)
- Chinese [Simplified] (new release)
- Chinese [Traditional] (new release)
- Indonesian (new release)
- Dutch (Base-Fossil only)
- Russian (Black & White only)
- Polish (Diamond & Pearl only)
- Portuguese (Base-Fossil, then HGSS onwards)
This’ll be a challenge but worth it!
Generally one entry per cell, but if there are different versions, forms, spellings, etc, the earliest is on top with later versions in subsequent lines. These different versions generally cover major milestone releases, such as Base Set, Neo Genesis, Ruby & Sapphire, Diamond/Pearl, HGSS, and Black/White.
|HP||Weakness||Resistance||Retreat Cost||Stat Line||Level||#||Illus.||Notes|
XXXX Pokémon. Length: Y’ Y”, Weight: ZZZ lbs.
|LV.||#||Illus.||English-language cards are only one that uses a non-metric system of measurement, while the rest of the world uses metric. Which honestly is the best way to do it: everyone who uses superior FREEDOM UNITS gets to use them, while all the other nations that never landed a person on the moon gets their metric measurements. It’s Win-Win!!
And hopefully soon the rest of the world will ALSO agree that writing dates with the day is placed AFTER the month (eg. 12/31) is the SUPERIOR system! Afterall, a majority of the world recognizes the superior placement of Month/Day! In fact pictures like this are disingenuous as FUDGE because it uses an inconsistent format; this is the more correct version! If we assume the YMD format is superior, then the European DMY format is the WORST while the American MDY format is… well, less worse. I mean, at least the American MDY format stays in order within the same year like the superior YMD format. This kind of stuff drives me up the wall so much that I’m willing to hijack a part of my website just to rant about it. Is anyone even reading this far down?
XXXポケモン : 身長YYm、体重ZZKg
XXX 포켓몬. 키: Y.Ym, 뭄무게: ZZZkg.
|Illus.||Like with Japanese, “전국도감” simply means “National Dex”.|
Coste de retirada
Pokémon XXX. Longitud: Y.Ym, peso: Z.Zkg
|Ni.||N°||Ilus.||The difference in how Spanish translated “hit points/HP” is covered below, because it’s just waaaay too much text to put here.|
|French||PV||Faiblesse||Résistence||Coût de retraite||Pokémon XXX. Taille : Y,Y m, Poids : Z kg.||NIV.||No.||Illus.|
|German||KP||Schwäche||Resistenz||Rückzugskosten||XXX-Pokémon. Größe: Y,Y m, Gewicht: ZZZ kg.||LV.||Nr.||Illus.|
|Italian||PV||debolezza||resistenza||costo di ritirata||Pokémon XXX. Lunghezza: Y,Y m; Peso: ZZZ kg.||LV.||#||Illus.|
|Dutch||IP||zwakte||weerstand||terugtrekkingskosten||XXX-Pokémon. Lengte: Y,Y m; Gewicht: ZZZ kg.||NV.||#||Illus|
|Portuguese||PS||Fraqueza||Resistência||Custo para Recuar||Pokémon XXX. Altura: Y,Y m Peso: ZZZ kg||NV.||N°||Illus.|
|Polish||PŻ||słabość||opór||koszt wycofania się||
NR ### XXX Pokémon WYS.: Y,Ym WAGA: ZZZ,Z kg
|PZ.||NR||Ilust.||Yes, HP and Level are both “PZ”; to be specific, HP = PŻ (punkty życia, “life points”) and LV = PZ (poziom, “level”)|
|Chinese [S]||弱点||身高 / 体重|
X神奇寶貝 ; 身長 Y.Y 公尺 , 體重 Z 公斤
|LV.||#||Illus.||So far I only have the Wizards-era card text, not the modern-era versions.|
|Pokémon||Baby||Basic||Stage 1||Stage 2||Evolves From||Put XXX on the Basic Pokémon||Put XXX on the Stage 1 Card||Notes|
|English||Pokémon||Baby||Basic Pokémon||Stage 1||Stage 2||Evolves from XXX||Put XXX on the Basic Pokémon||Put XXX on the Stage 1 Card|
|Evoluciona de XXX||Poner a XXX sobre el Pokémon Básico||Poner a XXX sobre la carta de Etapa 1
Poner a XXX sobre la carta de ETAPA 1
|Stage 1 and Stage 2 cards themselves are called:
|French||Pokémon||Pokémon de base
|Polish||Pokémon||PODST.||ETAP 1||ETAP 2||Ewoluuje od XXX|
|Chinese [S]||宝可梦||基础宝可梦||1阶进化||2阶进化||My Chinese is super rusty, so please forgive me if I accidentally put the wrong words in the wrong boxes. And it doesn’t help that official terms kept being mixed around over the years.|
|If you’re gonna make Chinese-language fake cards, have fun choosing the different ways to spell “Pokémon” due to how Mainland China, Taiwan, and the post-2016 renaming all spell it differently.|
|Trainer||Item||Stadium||Supporter||PokéTool||Energy||Basic Energy||Special Energy||Notes|
|English||Trainer||Item||Stadium||Supporter||Tool||Energy||Basic Energy||Special Energy|
|아이템||스타디움||서포트||포켓몬의 도구||에너지||특수 에너지|
|Spanish||Entrenador||Objeto||Estadio||Partidario||Herramienta Pokémon||Energía||Energía Básico||Energía Especial|
|Polish||Trener||Stadion||Kibic||Energia||Specjalna karta energii||It’s my understanding that Polish cards only appeared in DPP-era, so some words were never officially translated. Also apparently the English-language layout was used on Polish Trainer cards as well.|
|Chinese [S]||训练家卡||物品卡||竞技场卡||支援者卡||宝可梦道具||能量卡||基本能量卡||特殊能量卡||All this said, the cards themselves don’t seem to actually have the word “卡” attached to it. For example, all Chinese Item cards just say “物品” on it.|
Spanish’s Different HP
Clearly Spanish-language cards went through the most renaming of HP… for the record:
- PI: Puntos de Impacto (“Impact Points”; loose translation of “hit”)
- PV: Puntos de Vida (“Life Points”; a reasonable translation of its intended meaning)
- PS: Puntos de Salud (“Health Points”; a better term given that Pokémon are Knocked Out due to insufficient health, versus killed due to insufficient life)
So why the change? Dr. Omanyte from the PA! Discord has a little theory:
- PI: Wizards of the Coast-era; apparently Latin American and proper-Spain translators were used in Base Set, while exclusively Spain translators were used from Jungle onward. Naturally when Wizards’ lost the license, that team moved on to other projects.
- PV: This was used between Ruby & Sapphire until the last BW set. Apparently with the Ruby & Sapphire set the new Spanish-language team (also mostly from Spain) were very inexperienced, but they later grew and developed over the next couple generations.
- PS: This is the current method for translating “HP”, which started in XY-onwards. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this new method came when Nintendo/TPCI started to release the Pokémon games all as the same time worldwide, so Nintendo likely got a new Spanish staff to reflect a more “broad, international” way of thinking versus focused on just a Spanish-centric point of view. Consider that there were other significant changes in the games between with the start of Gen 6, such as attack names.
Of course the details can’t be known for sure, but this seems to be the most likely.
Mega thanks to the following helpful folk from the PA! Discord for helping me fill in the various gaps:
- Dr. Omanyte – Spanish
- AtoMan – Polish