Wellington Pokémon Go community embraces Māori Language Week
September 21, 2018
Members of Wellington’s Pokémon Go community, in the spirit of Maori Language Week, have named their Pokémon in te reo.
A member of the community’s Facebook group asked if anyone had been nicknaming their Pokémon in te reo, and the response from other players was affirmative.
Pokémon Go player David Lim said, “it was pretty good the response. It’s quite cool being able to give the PoGo experience a Kiwi flavour.”
Two players said they used the Māori dictionary to come up with appropriate Pokémon names.
Pokémon Go player Justin Van Holland Dahm said he named his top 18 Pokémon in te reo.
“They are the main ones I use in my Pokémon battles. Some are named after particular characteristics of them.”
For example, Van Holland Dahm said, “Dragons breathe fire so [I] called a Dragonite Ahi.”
“Rayqueaza is my 100 per cent [combat power] Pokémon so I wanted to give it a strong powerful name and what better name than the earth mother Papatuanuku.”
While others named their Pokémon after places they were caught at, most adopted Van Holland Dahm’s method.
Player Shannon Lucas said she used a mixture of Maori she already knew and used the online Maori dictionary to fill in the gaps in her knowledge.
“Mostly I just used their real animal counterparts but I took a few creative liberties with others,” Lucas said.
Lucas also offered suggestions to other players. For instance the alternative for houndour, a dog-like Pokémon, would be kurī.