From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Talking Pokémon are Pokémon who can speak a 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, since Generation IV, it is possible to collect foreign Pokédex entries, and there are NPCs who speak foreign languages). 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.
In the 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 their Generation IV remakes, a Murkrow owned by Team Rocket 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. Dr. Kaminko developed a device prior to XD that was meant to accomplish this, but it failed and was scrapped. A major post-ending quest details the player's efforts to undo its effects when it is accidentally released by Chobin.
Generation IV introduced Chatot, a Pokémon mentioned as being able to speak the human language through the use of its Chatter move.
Darkrai is not able to speak directly, but it is presumed that the man inside the Harbor Inn is an illusion created by Darkrai, through which it is able to communicate with the player.
In Black 2 and White 2, if the player visits Lostlorn Forest, a Zoroark is disguised as a backpacker who talks to the player before dispelling its illusion and leaving. Also, in Pokéstar Studios, the final film of the Love and Battles Series has a talking Smeargle, and the Timegate Traveler Series features a talking Ledian.
In Sun and Moon Versions, Tapu Koko speaks to the player through their Z-Ring before challenging them to a battle at the end of the game. Also, a Mimikyu at the Aether House tells the player it will curse them when spoken to.
In Hey You, Pikachu!, the game centers around using a special device called a PokéHelper that translates certain human-language words into something wild Pikachu can understand. In this game's spiritual successor, Pokémon Channel, various Pokémon appear as hosts and stars of TV shows, with their speech subtitled into the local human language.
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, are able to understand everyday human speech in the games, as said in Lapras's Pokédex entry, where it describes its ability of human speech comprehension. The Pokédex entries for Latias state that it is able to understand human speech, and it is also said that it can telepathically speak with humans.
In the Mystery Dungeon games and special anime episodes, all Pokémon can talk (minus Jynx). 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 rather their own Pokémon language, which the player can understand as a result of being a Pokémon himself/herself.
In Great Detective Pikachu ~Birth of a New Duo~, the player character, Tim Goodman, is partners with a talking detective Pikachu. However, only the player seems to be able to hear Pikachu's talking voice.
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, from Larvitar 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, so as a result, there is some confusion about Pokémon language and the ability of Pokémon to understand humans. Although it is obvious that all Pokémon can understand each other, Meowth in the episode Go West Young Meowth once mentions Meowth language, and Jessie in Who's Flying Now? mentions Chimecho language, so it is not clear whether there is a common Pokémon language, or every species has its own.
As far as human language is concerned, 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 and Mythical 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 the difficulty of understanding Pokémon saying only the syllables of their names.
- A Tentacruel in the episode Tentacool and Tentacruel speaks through Meowth via telepathy.
- A Gastly in The Ghost of Maiden's Peak has the ability to talk.
- Santa Claus's Lapras in Holiday Hi-Jynx has the ability to talk telepathically.
- Both Mewtwo seen in the anime can talk via telepathy.
- The Gastly and Haunter in the episode A Shipful of Shivers speak 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 without telepathy. Presumably this is because of its wisdom.
- Entei can talk in Spell of the Unown: Entei. However, this Pokémon is the embodiment of Molly's wishes, so therefore it is not currently known if Entei itself can speak. On a related note, the Dub added in an echo filter to imply that Entei's capacity for speech was actually telepathy, while the Japanese version had him speaking normally.
- 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 via telepathy.
- Deoxys from Pokémon Ranger - Deoxys' Crisis! (Part 1) and (Part 2) spoke through Meowth telepathically.
- Jirachi can talk via telepathy in Jirachi: Wish Maker.
- Lucario can talk in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew via telepathy.
- 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 speaks in The Rise of Darkrai.
- Shaymin can speak telepathically in Giratina and the Sky Warrior.
- Arceus is able to speak human language in Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
- A Snover from the Ice Palace can mysteriously talk in Pikachu's Ice Adventure.
- Zorua can speak telepathically in Zoroark: Master of Illusions.
- A Yamask speaks through Cilan in A Night in the Nacrene City Museum! while possessing him with its mask.
- Zekrom and Reshiram are able to speak telepathically in White—Victini and Zekrom and Black—Victini and Reshiram.
- Kyurem and the Swords of Justice, including Keldeo, are able to speak via telepathy in Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice.
- The members of the Genesect Army in Genesect and the Legend Awakened are able to speak via telepathy.
- In The Island of Illusions!, a Zoroark is able to talk by changing its form into a Nurse Joy.
- In Capacia Island UFO!, some Beheeyem hypnotize Meowth in order to communicate with Ash and Team Rocket.
- Diancie, her Carbink servants, and Xerneas can speak telepathically in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction.
- In The Cave of Mirrors!, the Mirror World counterpart of Meowth appeared, which, like his regular world counterpart, is able to talk.
- Hoopa is able to speak both telepathically and verbally in Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.
- Volcanion is able to speak telepathically in Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel.
- Diggersby, Pangoro, Delphox, Froakie, and Chesnaught are able to speak during Pikachu and Meowth's dream created by Darkrai in Dream a Little Dream from Me!.
- The Zygarde Cores Squishy and Z2 are able to speak telepathically during Pokémon the Series: XYZ.
In the manga
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 Adventures manga, when Bill is accidentally transformed into a mutated Rattata in ...But Fearow Itself!, he asks Red to aid him from the transformation. In the FireRed & LeafGreen chapter, Mewtwo reveals to Red that it gained the ability to talk via telepathy after leaving Blaine. In the Emerald chapter, it is revealed that Latios and Latias are also able to speak via telepathy. In the X & Y chapter, Xerneas is shown to be able to use telepathy to talk as well.
In the Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All manga, Shu can understand his Pokémon's language by using a special headset device called an Income.
In the Pokémon Pocket Monsters manga, all the Pokémon can talk except for Red's Pikachu.
In the Pokémon Zensho manga, Sabrina has a unique telepathic Lapras that can communicate with humans. She eventually gives Lapras to Satoshi.