The Pokemon Company is hiring localization experts for Latin America. Recently, The Pokemon Company International posted job listings for a “Localization Editor – LATAM Spanish speaker” who will work to localize upcoming Pokemon games in Spanish, with an eye towards the terminology and phrases used in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries. While previous Pokemon games were localized into Spanish, they were localized based on the Spanish dialect spoken in Spain. The hiring follows criticism by some Latin American Pokemon fans about the lack of a LATAM Spanish localization. There are are significant differences in how some Spanish phrases are used in Spain compared to how they used in some Latin American countries, and several phrases considered inappropriate in Latin American countries have made their way into Spanish translations of the Pokemon games.
The use of separate translations for European Spanish and Latin American Spanish speakers is not uncommon in video games. Local vernaculars use certain words and phrases very differently, resulting in some significant deviations in how words are interpreted. For instance, the phrase “nos importa un pito” translates to “we care very little” in Spanish, but is often used in parts of Latin America as an equivalent to “we don’t give a f—.” Spanish translations of recent games like Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon X and Y both use Spanish phrases that are considered inappropriate in parts of Latin America, especially for the young children who the Pokemon games are geared towards.
While not stated outright, the new localizers are likely being hired for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the upcoming open-world Pokemon games. Notably, the new games will be set in a brand new region inspired by the Iberian Peninsula, the region where both Spain and Portugal are located. As a new Pokemon game, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will feature brand new Pokemon species.
The Pokemon Company has not officially confirmed that it will be releasing a Latin American Spanish translation of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Expect more news about the game in the coming weeks.