English Pokémon names can have some pronunciations that don’t seem to match the name’s spelling. Here are some examples of the most surprising ones.

Throughout the Pokémon series, some monsters’ names have surprising pronunciations that don’t match the way they’re spelled. Without counting form differences, the total number of Pokémon will surpass 900 with the upcoming title, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. In the localization process, some Pokémon keep a similar name in English compared to the original Japanese name, while others have names that are completely changed.

The Japanese language uses phonetic spelling, so each Pokémon name is spelled the way it sounds. This isn’t the case for English, however, which can sometimes feel like there are more exceptions than rules when it comes to pronunciation. This can make some Pokémon name pronunciations surprising, such as the Pokémon Minccino (whose evolution Cinccino requires a Shiny Stone in Pokémon Black and White) using the Italian pronunciation of the letter “c” followed by an “e” or “i.” It could have been spelled “Minchino” for more clarity, but “Minccino” has more style and doesn’t actually break any pronunciation rules.

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Pokémon name pronunciations get even trickier when a Pokémon has the same name in both English and Japanese, but the spelling and/or pronunciation changes. For example, Raikou not only has the same name in English and Japanese, but its English name is spelled exactly how the Japanese katakana characters would be Romanized. But some English language material has pronounced the Pokémon’s name as “rye-koo,” when in Japanese it’s pronounced “rye-koh.” It also doesn’t help that some English language material pronounces it “rye-koh,” as well. A similar situation happened to the legendary Pokémon Arceus, whose Japanese name pronunciation is closer to “ar-see-us.” This pronunciation was used in Pokémon Battle Revolution, but has since been changed to “ark-ee-us” in English material. English Pokémon name pronunciation can be especially confusing when they change over time, but the following Pokémon are some of the most blatant examples of mismatching pronunciations.


Pokémon Regice’s Pronunciation Doesn’t Match Its Spelling


Pokemon Go Best Regice Raid Counters.png

Along with Registeel and Regirock, Regice is a legendary Pokémon from the Hoenn region. This trio of legendaries has been added to over time, with Regigigas being added in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Regidrago and Regieleki in Sword and Shield’s Crown Tundra DLC. Based on their naming pattern, it’s easy to assume that the weak Ice-type Pokémon Regice is pronounced “reji-ice,” and this is consistently the case in the English anime. But looking at its spelling without context, it looks like it would be pronounced “re-jice.”

Pokémon Archen & Archeops’ Names’ Real Pronunciations


Archeops flying in the Pokémon anime

Pokémon fans who recognize that Archen and Archeops are based on the Archaeopteryx, or one of the earliest species of birds, will likely know that the Pokémon’s names are pronounced as “ark-en” and “ark-ee-ops.” But the English “ch” is one that is more frequently seen pronounced as in “chair” or “chill,” so it may seem at first glance that these Pokémon’s names may be pronounced as “arch-en” and “arch-ee-ops.” The proper pronunciation of the old fossil Pokémon Archeops is similar to Arceus’ pronunciation, which can also cause additional confusion.


Pokémon Ferroseed & Ferrothorn Aren’t Ferocious


Pokemon Go Ferroseed

Many players naturally pronounce the “ferro” part of Ferroseed and Ferrothorn like they would pronounce “ferocious.” But the names are actually pronounced “fer-RAW-seed” and “fer-RAW-thorn.” Not only have these Pokémon appeared in the anime, but Ferrothorn is a highly viable Pokémon to use in the official Pokémon VGC competitive format, so its name gets said many times by commentators. But no matter how often its name is said, it always comes as a shock, since it doesn’t seem like it should be pronounced that way at all.

Next: Pokémon Names Everyone Pronounces Differently

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