From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Talking Pokémon are Pokémon who can speak human language. The human language itself is not clearly depicted and all people in the Pokémon world seem to speak one common language, which is always referred to just as human language (however, in Generation IV games it is possible to collect foreign Pokédex entries). While it appears that all Pokémon can understand human speech, very few can communicate with humans except via body language. There are exceptions to this, however, depending on the version of the Pokémon world being depicted.
Talking Pokémon in video games
In Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions and their Generation III remakes, Copycat's Doduo is able to speak a line of human language when approached. Also, Bill, when transformed into a Pokémon, can speak human language from his house on Cerulean Cape. In addition, the Marowak's ghost can talk.
In Generation II and Generation IV, a Murkrow owned by Team Rocket in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal tells the player the password to the generator room in Mahogany Town.
In Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald Versions, Mr. Stone wants to be able to communicate with Pokémon, so he started a project for Devon Corporation intending to build a translation device for Pokémon; however, not much progress has been made.
Generation IV introduced Chatot, a Pokémon mentioned as being able to speak the human language through use of its Chatter move.
Darkrai is not able to speak directly, but it's presumed that the man inside the Harbor Inn is an illusion created by Darkrai, through which it is able to communicate with the player.
Certain Pokémon are also capable of using telepathy, such as the Regigigas in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia.
It may not be known if all Pokémon, wild or not, may understand everyday human speech in the games, as said in Lapras' Pokédex entry, where it describes its ability of human speech comprehension.
In the Mystery Dungeon games and special anime episodes, all Pokémon can talk. This includes the player, who was transformed into a Pokémon. However, since there are no human characters in the Mystery Dungeon games, it is entirely possible that these Pokémon are not, in fact, speaking human language but their own Pokémon language, which the player can understand as a result of being a Pokémon himself.
Talking Pokémon in the anime
Understanding of human language
As mentioned above, all Pokémon in the Pokémon anime with no exceptions can understand human speech. Moreover, judging, for instance, by Phanpy in Hatch Me If You Can, they are able to do this immediately after hatching, without having to learn.
The anime generally does not focus on language problems, therefore there is a confusion about Pokémon language and their ability to understand humans. Although it is obvious that all Pokémon can understand each other, Meowth in the episode Go West Young Meowth once mentioned Meowth language, Jessie in Who's Flying Now? mentioned Chimecho language, so it is not clear, whether there is a common Pokémon language or every species has its own.
What concerns human language, Meowth in the same episode was shown learning pronunciation, not the language itself, what implies that all Pokémon have innate knowledge of human language, so they can understand human speech and only have to learn how to pronounce its sounds or be able to establish telepathic contacts to speak. Despite this, Misty in Whichever Way the Wind Blows once asked Meowth to translate her words to other Pokémon and May taught her Bulbasaur the meaning of the word town in Grass Hysteria. Therefore, this ability of Pokémon is not well-defined in anime canon.
Although every Pokémon in the anime can understand human speech, very few can talk, although many legendary Pokémon can. In most cases though, talking Pokémon speak through telepathy.
- Meowth is the most famous talking Pokémon, and the one that makes the most appearances. His clone in Mewtwo Strikes Back and Mewtwo Returns, however, cannot speak, the reason being Meowth wasn't born knowing how to speak human language: he learned how to speak human language.
- In Island of the Giant Pokémon, Ash's and Team Rocket's Pokémon can speak due to most of the episode focusing at them (although this is done through subtitles in the Japanese version and several of the dub versions). This prevents difficulty of understanding Pokémon saying only the syllables of their name.
- A giant Tentacruel in the episode Tentacool and Tentacruel spoke through Meowth via telepathy.
- A Gastly in The Ghost of Maiden's Peak has the ability to talk.
- A Lapras in Holiday Hi-Jynx has the ability to talk telepathically.
- Mewtwo can talk via telepathy.
- The Gastly and Haunter in the episode A Shipful of Shivers spoke through Meowth via telepathy.
- The Lugia in The Power of One also speaks via telepathy.
- A Slowking in The Power of One can also talk, surprisingly without telepathy. Presumably this would be because of its wisdom.
- Entei can talk in Spell of the Unown. However, this Pokémon is the embodiment of Molly's wishes, so therefore Entei itself probably cannot actually talk.
- Ash's Larvitar in Address Unown was speaking when Ash and his friends entered its mind.
- Max's Ralts in Do I Hear a Ralts? talked to Max as it teleported away.
- Deoxys from Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys' Crisis! (Part 1) and (Part 2) spoke through Meowth via telepathy.
- Jirachi can talk via telepathy in Jirachi: Wish Maker.
- Lucario can talk in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, though this is accomplished with Aura.
- Manaphy can talk without using telepathy in Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, although it can only say a few words (such as "happy" and "I love you") as it is still a baby.
- Chatot can repeat human words.
- Darkrai occasionally spoke in The Rise of Darkrai.
- Shaymin can speak telepathically in Giratina and the Sky Warrior.
- Arceus is able to speak human language, due to the fact that it is the creator of the Pokémon World, as well as human beings, in Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
- A Snover from the Ice Palace could mysteriously talk in Pikachu's Ice Adventure.
- Zorua can speak telepathically in Ruler of Illusions : Zoroark.
Talking Pokémon in manga
In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga, all the Pokémon can talk except Red's Pikachu.
In the Magical Pokémon Journey manga, Clefairy and Squirtle can speak human language, however most Poké-speak is translated for the reader's ease (indicated by a different font in the word bubbles). They are easily understood by humans just the same.
In the Pokémon Get da ze! manga, Shū can understand his Pokémon's language by using a special headset device called an In-Com.
In the Pokémon Zensho manga, Sabrina has a unique telepathic Lapras that can communicate with humans.
In the Pokémon Adventures manga, when Bill is accidentally transformed into a mutated Rattata in ...But Fearow Itself! he asks Red to aid him from the transformation.