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Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Romanization

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This is a sub-article of the main Bulbapedia manual of style. It covers the use of romanized Japanese in articles.


As Pokémon is originally from, and thus derives many terms from, Japanese, romanization of the names of many terms and things associated with the franchise is necessary in articles, most especially where there is currently no English name for the subject.

The primary and preferred method of romanization of Japanese used on Bulbapedia will be the utilization of the trademarked name of the subject in question. For example, while Umbreon's Japanese name of ブラッキー would be taken literally to be romanized as Burakkī, the name copyrighted by Game Freak and Nintendo is in fact Blacky: note how "Burakkī" is a close approximation of this in katakana. A table of these trademarked names is found here, itself derived from various official Nintendo sources as well as the Japanese list of trademarks.

The secondary method of romanization of Japanese used on Bulbapedia will be the Hepburn standard, itself used widely by the world outside Japan to transliterate Japanese text. Long vowels are indicated by using the macron-topped letters Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū ā ē ī ō ū, and should be used rather than a doubling of the letter, a tilde, a circumflex, or an unmarked vowel. Please note that if the copyrighted romanization uses one of these that it is not wrong (i.e., オオタチ Ootachi, Furret, which is trademarked with the doubled O).

For Hepburn romanization:

  • I-macron (Ī ī) and e-macron (Ē ē) is to be used when romanizing Japanese words of foreign origin, hence kōhī for コーヒー but Iizuka for いいづか. A hint to look out for is whether or not a () is used to lengthen it.
  • O-macron (Ō ō) is to be used for both おう (as in しんいちろう Shin'ichirō) and おお (as in おおづか Ōzuka)
  • E-macron (Ē ē) is rarely used, except with the interjection ええ and some foreign loanwords.
    • Please take note that verbs such as 思う omou and 呪う norou do not have long vowels.
      • However, subjunctive forms such as 思おう omoō and 呪おう noroō do have long vowels.
  • zu is to be used for both ず and づ; ji is to be used for both じ and ぢ.
  • With ン/ん, there is some free choice whether to use n or m when followed by labial consonants p, b, f and m. Follow popular or established convention on a word-by-word basis, hence, Namba for ナンバ but Hanba for はんば.
  • To simplify matters, always romanize ポケモン as Pokémon; when ポケ is an abbreviated form of Pokémon, romanize it as Poké.

All romanizations and transliterations should be italicized.