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02/29/2008: Pokémon Speech

A while ago, I started randomly compiling some of the details I've gotten together about my interpretation of Pokémon speech in an orderly fashion in my brain, and subsequently adapted it to the format of a one-shot similar to the IALCOTN chapter 3 extra. I ended up writing what I'd created of that down, but then wasn't sure how to continue it or end it. Here's the piece so far:

“Well, kids,” said Darius Flintlake, stroking the soft curls on his Vulpix’s head, “now I suppose we will start teaching you some real grammatical basics. Yet again, let me remind you how different Pokémon speech is from any human language. The range of sounds their vocal chords can ordinarily produce is too limited to let them form as many different words as we do. An example? Vulpix, if you please.”

“Vul,” said Vulpix, the vowel drawn out somewhat.

“Exactly that,” the teacher said, looking emphatically over the kids while pointing at the Pokémon on his desk, “can, depending on context alone, mean anything from ‘die’ to ‘fall a long distance’ to ‘great reduction’ to ‘disappear’ to ‘tiny’.”

The children stared, every single one of them. Mr. Flintlake chuckled.

“You do get the basic connection there, though, don’t you? The most literal translation of the word would in fact be ‘greatly reduce’. However, if I had died and Vulpix ran in here to tell you about it, what would he say?”

“Pix Vulpix Vul,” Vulpix responded.

“The literal translation of that,” the teacher said, “would be this.”

He walked to the blackboard, selected a piece of chalk and then wrote on it in comically stiff capitals:


He stepped away from the sentence, smiling with satisfaction as the kids snickered.

“Of course, any idiot can tell that this is not how you should write translations when we get to that. You may first convert the words into their literal translation, but then you always have to look at the whole sentence and make sense of it. When a sentence in Pokémon speech consists of a name, with the name emphasis I’ve talked about, and a word immediately after it, the last word is interpreted as a verb implying something which happened to the person, in a very personal way. In other words, Vulpix is saying that I greatly reduced, in a much stricter sense than we would use it. The way we say it, it could just as well mean, say, that I shrank down to almost nothing. If Vulpix meant that, however, he would have said…”

“Pix Vulpix Pix Vul.”

“The literal translation of that?” Mr. Flintlake grinned, turned back to the blackboard and wrote:


The class snickered again, and the teacher couldn’t help doing so with them for a moment.

“Here, however, ‘up’ is being used as a noun, and means ‘size’; in other words, my size was greatly reduced. This is not at all the same as when I was greatly reduced. The reduction refers to the person; therefore, the very essence of me was reduced to nothing. Or in other words, I died.”
So a) do you like it in general, and b) what do you think I should do with it? Try to finish it up somehow and put it up as an extra or spin-off? Just leave it here like this for bored readers who bother to read the blog?


kingcliff9 (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Oh, wow. I love it.

I was always mildly disappointed that the old Extra never got to the juicy stuff of how Pokémon speech grammar works - it only explained something we already knew in more detail - so this is awesome. I'm already starting to get an idea of how the speech works.

More, please. :3
Victreebel and Scizor Luver (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
I agree, I think that this would make a really good spin-off. I say that you write it.
Fox McCloud (Poketoa (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Go for it. ^^
bigguy99 (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
It's a good idea. Knowing how Pokemon speech works would be a good read, and would be something constantly updated since there are many ways to go about this. That would make us very happy campers. :D

Plus, it feels and reads just like somebody was actually trying to TEACH you something rather than babble on about it. Either way, it would be a great spin-off.
Draconid (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Great spin-off idea. I'd be greatly disappointed if you left it at that.
EeveeSkitty (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Too good an idea to pass up. Use it, I'd love to learn more about Pokémon speech. This is really interesting. Feels like I'm learning something real.
storm (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
hehheh. some of it is kinda funny. specifically, the "greatly reduced" part
Bob (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Wow, I'd love to see more of this sort of thing. Pokemon speech is quite interesting, especially as they never explain it in the TV show.
Pikachu Goddess (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Awesome. Please continue on this Pokémon speech idea. I feel like this is something that I'd learn in school. XD I'd like to see more of this.
mewmj123 (02/29/2008 00:00:00)
Go for it. I always liked the concept, and I like for it to be expanded on.

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