French Language Blog

Gotta Catch ’em All! Pokémon Names in French Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Culture, Vocabulary

While current articles are stating that Pokémon Go usage has been decreasing, it’s no secret that this active game has been on everyone’s phones since July. Walk down the street at 2 in the morning and you’ll find Pokémon trainers. See a large group of people walking around together with their noses buried in their phones? Probably catching some Pokémon. I’ve managed to avoid the addiction, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been talked into doing it for my friends while they were driving (safety first).

When the game was first released, 90s kids rejoiced in celebration. A new Independence Day movie, a Clinton running for office, and Pokémon was highly relevant again – it’s a return to childhood for my generation! (I’ve also heard Surge soda has been rerelased, but I have yet to see this elixir of the gods in stores around me). One of my favorite things about learning French was (and still is, I should say) rediscovering things I grew up with. While I was reading the Harry Potter series and learning all about muggles and Hogwarts, kids in France were having the same experience, but with des Moldus and Poulard.

In addition to Potter, I’ve also relearned Disney songs in French. Tap into the knowledge you already have – it really does help with your foreign language skills. Despite that, I realized I’d never learned Pokémon terms in French. Some of the terms and names are certainly the same, but do you know who Chétiflor is? Read on to find out!

Ah, Pokémon – those pocket monster animals that live in harmony with humans but that possess special abilities normal animals don’t have. I love my pets, but they can’t spit fire or produce electricity. Pour attraper les Pokémon (To catch Pokémon – note that there is no S on the plural, just like if you’re pluralizing last names in French), you need to have une Poké Ball to keep them in. Once you have a few of them, you can organiser des combats entre les monstres (organize fights with the monsters). Chaque dresseur Pokémon (Each Pokémon trainer – feminine form is une dresseuse) voyage à travers le monde (travels throughout the world) to catch the highest amount of monsters possible.  The ultimate goal is to become un Maître Pokémon (Pokémon Master). Ok, enough with the gross oversimplifications, let’s get on to the characters!

After 6 generations, there are more than 700 of these creatures. For this post, though, I’m only going to focus on la première génération (the first generation). Which is your favorite?

Bulbizarre Bulbasaur Rondoudou Jigglypuff
Herbizarre Ivysaur Grodoudou Wigglytuff
Florizarre Venusaur Nosferapti Zubat
Salamèche Charmander Nosferalto Golbat
Reptincel Charmeleon Mystherbe Oddish
Dracaufeu Charizard Ortide Gloom
Carapuce Squirtle Rafflésia Vileplume
Carabaffe Wartortle Paras Paras
Tortank Blastoise Parasect Parasect
Chenipan Caterpie Mimitoss Venonat
Chrysacier Metapod Aéromite Venomoth
Papilusion Butterfree Taupiqueur Diglett
Aspicot Weedle Triopikeur Dugtrio
Coconfort Kakuna Miaouss Meowth
Dardargnan Beedrill Persian Persian
Roucool Pidgey Psykokwak Psyduck
Roucoups Pidgeotto Akwakwak Golduck
Roucarnage Pigeot Férosinge Mankey
Rattata Rattata Colossinge Primeape
Rattatac Raticate Caninos Growlithe
Piafabec Spearow Arcanin Arcanine
Rapasdepic Fearow Ptitard Poliwag
Abo Ekans Têtarte Poliwhirl
Arbok Arbok Tartard Poliwrath
Pikachu Pikachu Abra Abra
Raichu Raichu Kadabra Kadabra
Sabelette Sandshrew Alakazam Alakazam
Sablaireau Sandslash Machoc Machoc
Nidoran Nidoran♀ Machopeur Machoke
Nidorina Nidorina Mackogneur Machamp
Nidoqueen Nidoqueen Chétiflor Bellsprout
Nidoran Nidoran ♂ Boustiflor Weepinbell
Nidorino Nidorino Empiflor Victreebel
Nidoking Nidoking Tentacool Tentacool
Mélofée Clefairy Tentacruel Tentacruel
Mélodelfe Clefable Racaillou Geodude
Goupix Vulpix Gravalanch Graveler
Feunard Ninetales Grolem Golem
Ponyta Ponyta Kangourex Kangaskhan
Galopa Rapidash Hypotrempe Horsea
Ramoloss Slowpoke Hypocéan Seadra
Flagadoss Slowbro Poissirène Goldeen
Magnéti Magnemite Poissoroy Seaking
Magnéton Magneton Stari Staryu
Canarticho Farfetch’d Staross Starmie
Doduo Doduo M. Mime Mr. Mime
Dodrio Dodrio Insécateur Scyther
Otaria Seel Lippoutou Jynx
Lamantine Dewgong Élektek Electabuzz
Tadmorv Grimer Magmar Magmar
Grotadmorv Mulk Scarabrute Pinsir
Kokiyas Shellder Tauros Tauros
Crustabri Cloyster Magicaroe Magikarp
Fantominus Gastly Léviator Gyarados
Spectrum Hunter Lokhlass Lapras
Extoplasma Gengar Métamorph Ditto
Onix Onix Évoli Eevee
Soporifik Steelix Aquali Vaporeon
Hypnomade Hypno Voltali Jolteon
Krabby Krabby Pyroli Flareon
Krabboss Kingler Porygon Porygon
Voltorbe Voltorb Amonita Omanyte
Électrode Electrode Amonistar Omastar
Nœunœuf Exeggcute Kabuto Kabuto
Noadkoko Exeggutor Kabutops Kabutops
Osselait Cubone Ptéra Aerodactyl
Ossatueur Marowak Ronflex Snorlax
Kicklee Hitmonlee Artikodin Articuno
Tygnon Hitmonchan Électhor Zapdos
Excelangue Lickitung Sulfura Moltres
Smogo Koffing Minidraco Dratini
Smogogo Weezing Draco Dragonair
Rhinocorne Rhyhorn Dracolosse Dragonite
Rhinoféros Rhydon Mewtwo Mewtwo
Leveinard Chansey Mew Mew
Saquedeneu Tangela  


Attrapez-les tous ! (Gotta catch ’em all!)

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About the Author: Josh Dougherty

Just your typical francophile. If you have any topics you'd like me to discuss, feel free to let me know!


  1. claire Lorenz:

    I love this post!!! Thanks so much.