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The One Man Credited With Translating Nearly Every Pokémon Game Up Through Platinum

Localizing games is a tricky and involved process, especially when it comes to globally popular franchises like "Pokémon" or "Final Fantasy." The main goal is to ensure that players of another language don't have a drastically different experience than the one that was intended, after all, and translation mishaps can range from the long-lasting mistakes that plagued "Final Fantasy 5," to simple inconsistencies that nevertheless caused confusion throughout the franchise — as was the case with the mistranslation of the Pokémon move Splash.


Nowadays, the "Pokémon" games have big localization teams that plan their global reach to provide the best balance of faithfulness and relatability — but that wasn't always the case. Before the long lists of regional translators in the credits of the most recent installments, most English versions of "Pokémon" games had only one credit for text translation: Nobuyuki "Nob" Osagawara, the man responsible for every bit of English text aside from Pokémon names in nearly every entry up to "Pokémon Platinum."

Nob Osagawara was there from the very beginning

Though he was only responsible for the translation of six Pokémon names — Hoppip, Skiploom, Jumpluff, Staravia, Staraptor, and Mismagius — every iconic line from the early installations that went on to become recurring series in-jokes can be accredited to his work. "Pokémon" fans can thank him for classics like the "Science is amazing" man who rarely fails to make an appearance in each game, or the everlasting meme of the shorts-loving youngster. On top of that, Nintendo of America has continued to make little shoutouts to him after "Platinum," with at least one NPC named "Nob" in more recent games like "Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire" and the "Let's Go!" series.


Though he has moved on to other projects, Osagawara is also fairly active on his Twitter account and often takes his time to answer questions about his work on the "Pokémon" series — sometimes through quickly weighing in on mysteries like the lost "Pokémon" spinoff that resurfaced recently, or speaking on more serious topics like the lack of gender inclusivity options in earlier games.