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| I Choose You!|
キミにきめた！ I Choose You!
|| July 15, 2017
| United States
|| November 5, 2017*|
November 25, 2017*
| Home video
|| December 20, 2017
| United States
|| February 13, 2018
| English themes
| Japanese themes
| United States
| Great Britain
| New Zealand
Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! (Japanese: 劇場版ポケットモンスター キミにきめた！ Pocket Monsters the Movie: I Choose You!; officially known as Pokémon the Movie 20: I choose you! in Japan) is the twentieth Pokémon movie overall. In a departure from the previous movies, this movie is a loose reboot of Ash's original journey through the Kanto region, in celebration of the Pokémon anime's 20th anniversary. It is the first movie of this alternate continuity and is followed by The Power of Us.
It premiered with Japanese vocals and French subtitles at Japan Expo on July 6, 2017. It was released in Japan on July 15, 2017, and received a limited release in North American, South American, and European theaters starting on November 5, 2017, in Australia and New Zealand starting on November 11, 2017, in Singapore starting on November 23, 2017, and in Malaysia starting on December 7, 2017. It premiered on Disney XD on November 25, 2017 as part of a marathon including Mounting an Electrifying Charge! and Alola, Kanto!.
It was first revealed in a teaser trailer that aired on Oha Suta in Japan on December 15, 2016. The full trailer was later released on March 2, 2017. A new trailer was released on April 8, 2017, officially revealing Marshadow to have a role in the film.
Other posters and logos
Pokémon the Movie 20: I Choose You! logo
When Ash Ketchum oversleeps on his 10th birthday, he ends up with a stubborn Pikachu instead of the first partner Pokémon he wanted! But after a rocky start, Ash and Pikachu become close friends and true partners—and when they catch a rare glimpse of the Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh in flight, they make plans to seek it out together, guided by the Rainbow Wing it leaves behind.
Trainers Verity and Sorrel join Ash on his journey. Along the way, Ash catches an abandoned Charmander, raises a Pokémon from Caterpie to Butterfree and then releases it to follow its heart, and meets the mysterious Mythical Pokémon Marshadow. When they near their goal, the arrogant Cross—Charmander’s former Trainer—stands in their way! Can Ash and Pikachu defeat this powerful Trainer and reach Ho-Oh as they promised, or will their journey end here?
Ash Ketchum, a young boy from Pallet Town, is watching a battle between two Pokémon Trainers, Neesha and Corey, on television, preparing to start his journey the next day.
Later that night, Ash is asleep, dreaming about training his Pokémon as he throws his alarm clock in his sleep. The next morning, Ash's mother, Delia, wakes him up, letting him know that he'll be late to receive a Pokémon from Professor Oak. Realizing that he overslept, Ash gets out of bed and rushes over to Professor Oak's Laboratory. When he arrives, Professor Oak tells Ash that all of the starter Pokémon are taken, with the exception of one. Just then, Ash spots a Pikachu wandering around the lab and chases after it. Oak introduces Ash to the Pokémon and Ash is thrilled about Pikachu being his new Pokémon. Pikachu is not so thrilled, however, and proceeds to shock him. Delia enters the lab to give Ash his clothes and his belongings to begin his journey. After Ash gets dressed, he orders Pikachu to get in his Poké Ball, in which Pikachu refuses, hitting it back at him. Delia says that they seem to be getting along well, and Ash agrees, saying that they're best friends already. He picks Pikachu up, who shocks Ash, Delia and Professor Oak.
While dragging Pikachu out of Pallet Town, Ash asks Pikachu if he hates him. He says that he is willing to make friends with Pikachu and tries to shake hands with him, but Pikachu still wouldn't cooperate. Ash then spots a Pidgey and tries to catch it before realizing that he has to battle it to weaken it first. Unfortunately, Pikachu is still being disobedient, so Ash just attempt to hit Pidgey with a rock, but hits a Spearow instead. The Spearow saw Pikachu laughing and since it believed that Pikachu was the one who hit it, it begins attacking him. After Pikachu hits Spearow with a Thunderbolt attack, Spearow calls a whole flock to attack him. Ash and Pikachu begin to flee as the Spearow catch up to Pikachu to proceed in attacking him. Ash picks Pikachu up and carries him until they were injured and tired. Ash tells Pikachu to get inside its Ball, but it once again refuses. Instead, Pikachu defends Ash from the Spearow by summoning a large Thunderbolt that scares them away. As the storm ceases, a Ho-Oh flies above and drops a Rainbow Wing, which Ash catches. Ash and Pikachu make a promise to go and meet the Legendary Pokémon someday.
Ash and Pikachu continue on their journey, catching a Caterpie, having battles with other trainers, and even challenging the Celadon Gym, earning his third badge, the Rainbow Badge from Erika. The group eventually settle at a Pokémon Center, where Ash gives his mother a call. A Trainer bursts in claiming that they encountered an Entei, a Legendary Fire-type Pokémon, causing Ash, as well as several other Trainers, to rush into the woods to look for it. Team Rocket, a group of Pokémon thieves, also decide to try and catch it. Ash finds the Entei, but ends up fighting over it with a Trainer named Verity, who uses a Piplup to try and battle it. They are also joined by an aspiring Pokémon Professor named Sorrel who uses a Lucario in battle. When Entei escapes, Ash and Verity get into an argument and Sorrel leaves, telling them that they should find shelter soon. As Ash and Verity have a battle, they accidentally disturb an Onix that starts chasing them. They manage to get it to leave just as it begins to rain. As they look to find shelter, they find a Charmander that has been left out. They quickly learn that it belongs to a ruthless trainer named Cross who left it out in the rain. He carelessly refuses to take it back, calling it weak, and abandoning it. Ash and Verity decide to find it shelter.
They come across a cave where Sorrel and Lucario happen to be and help Charmander back to health. Entei and several other Pokémon arrive to sleep for the night and Ash reveals the Rainbow Wing. Sorrel reveals that Ho-Oh only gives the Wing to the "rainbow hero" who is destined to fight it, as a shadow Pokémon named Marshadow watches. The next morning, Ash convinces Charmander to join them. Team Rocket follows the group, as they venture on a journey to Mount Tensei to find the Legendary Pokémon. During their travels, Caterpie evolves into a Metapod, Verity spots a Suicune and Charmander evolves into Charmeleon. After giving his mother a call at another Pokémon Center, Ash learns from Sorrel that the Rainbow Wing can lose its color when it is in the possession of someone with a cold heart. Eventually, while battling other Trainers in town, Ash is challenged by Cross to a Pokémon battle with his Charmeleon against his Incineroar. Charmeleon is savagely defeated, and Cross talks down to Ash, causing him much grief.
Still upset over his loss, Ash openly admits that he could have won with Pikachu and runs away. Pikachu follows Ash, as the two have an argument over Ash's behavior. He states that he wished he had gotten Bulbasaur or Squirtle as his starter Pokémon instead of Pikachu. Ash realizes that he's all alone, as Pikachu has stopped following him. As Ash declares that he doesn't need anyone, Marshadow puts Ash in a sleep-like state as the Rainbow Wing turns dark. Ash dreams he is in a world where no Pokémon exist and where he attends regular school with his friends. Realizing that something is missing, he remembers Pikachu and wakes up to his friends, and the Wing regains its color. Sorrel shares a story of a time he lost a friend being a Luxray, who died protecting a young Sorrel from a snowstorm. The group is soon surrounded by some angry Primeape. Ash calls out his Metapod, who evolves into Butterfree as they escape from the pack of Primeape. They rescue a pink Butterfree from a Fearow and realize that Ash's Butterfree needs to mate. Ash decides to lets his Butterfree go so that it can be happy with its mate. Although Ash is sad about releasing Butterfree, he feels like he made the right decision, and that they will always be friends no matter what. The group soon spot a Raikou and realize they are getting close when the Wing begins to glow in the direction of Mount Tensei.
The group make it there and meet Bonji, an old researcher who has been studying Ho-Oh for years. They make it to a crystal-like structure at Mount Tensei, with Jessie, James and Meowth still hot on their trail. They are interrupted by Cross, who wants to fight Ho-Oh himself, as he also saw Ho-oh, but didn't receive a wing from it. Cross's Incineroar fights Ash's Charmeleon, who quickly evolves into Charizard and defeats Incineroar. Cross, refusing to accept his loss, takes the Rainbow Wing away from Ash and places it on the crystal. But due to the wing being in the possession of a Trainer with a cold-heart, it turns dark, causing Marshadow, as Ho-Oh's agent, to possess the wild Pokémon and Cross's Midnight Form Lycanroc to attack the humans. The Trainers use their Pokémon to fight back. After Charizard protects Cross from an attack, he sees the error of his ways and helps the group out, even snapping his Lycanroc out of Marshadow's control. Being weakened by Marshadow and the other Pokémon, Ash tells Pikachu to get in his Poké Ball, but Pikachu refuses because he always wants to stay by Ash's side. However, Ash finally forces him in his Poké Ball as the Pokémon attacks Ash, causing his body to disappear. In despair, Pikachu emits a large Thunderbolt attack sending Marshadow and its army flying, releasing them from the Rainbow Wing's corruption. Marshadow notices the wing has disintegrated as Pikachu continues crying out for its Trainer.
Ash finds himself in a parallel world, but is brought back, presumably through Ho-Oh's power when Ash protected Pikachu. Ash and Pikachu embrace as he takes the newly formed Rainbow Wing and places it on the crystal structure. Ho-Oh arrives, healing Ash, his friends, and the Pokémon and Ash challenges it with Pikachu to battle. Later that day, the gang return to the Pokémon Center after Pikachu's battle with Ho-Oh. Back at Mount Tensei, Bonji makes a speech about Ho-Oh finding a new Trainer to leave its Wing to, as Marshadow watches. Cross leaves on good terms with the group and makes a promise with Ash that they will have a battle again someday. Eventually Ash, Verity and Sorrel split up so they can achieve their own goals: Verity to become a famous trainer like her mother, Sorrel to find the three Legendary birds of Kanto, and for Ash to become a Pokémon Master. Ash and Pikachu decide to continue their journey, hoping to encounter many friends and Pokémon in the incredible world of Pokémon.
During the ending credits, Brock, Misty, Tracey, May and Max, Dawn, Iris, Cilan, Clemont and Bonnie, and Serena are seen. Verity and Piplup are seen returning home to Twinleaf Town; Sorrel and Lucario spot an Articuno that Sorrel wanted to study; and Cross, Lycanroc, and Incineroar are out on their own journey. Meanwhile, Ash and Pikachu are seen traveling together, preparing to battle a wild Heracross while being tailed by Team Rocket in their Balloon.
- Main article: I Choose You! Music Collection
Original Cap Pikachu and the Pikashunium Z
CoroCoro revealed that the special distribution for the movie is Pikachu in a cap, which was distributed to those who pre-book tickets to the film. There are six variants for this special Pikachu, each based on one of the various anime series Ash was in. Regardless of variant, it came with a serial code that unlocked the special Pikashunium Z, which allows Pikachu to perform the exclusive 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt Z-Move. In order:
- Original Cap Pikachu is distributed between April 15 and May 1;
- Hoenn Cap Pikachu is distributed between May 3 and May 15;
- Sinnoh Cap Pikachu is distributed between May 17 and May 29;
- Unova Cap Pikachu is distributed between May 31 and June 12;
- Kalos Cap Pikachu is distributed between June 14 and June 26;
- Alola Cap Pikachu is distributed between June 28 and July 17;
In addition, the Pikachu in a cap variants were redistributed at a later date post-film release. Specifically:
- Original Cap Pikachu is distributed between July 19 and July 31;
- Hoenn Cap Pikachu is distributed between August 2 and August 14;
- Sinnoh Cap Pikachu is distributed between August 16 and August 28;
- Unova Cap Pikachu is distributed between August 30 and September 11;
- Kalos Cap Pikachu is distributed between September 13 and September 25;
- Alola Cap Pikachu is distributed between September 27 and October 9;
The player can only redeem a pre-ticket code booklet once, but the codes themselves can be redeemed as many times as needed.
The same day the second trailer for the movie came out, it revealed that Marshadow along with the bundled item Marshadium Z would be distributed in the Japanese theaters from July 15 to September 30, 2017. It was also distributed during two pre-release events in Tokyo and Osaka on July 2, 2017.
CoroCoro also distributed the serial codes for level 100 Ho-Oh based on the movie Ho-Oh that holds Sacred Ash in August 2017 issue.
It also revealed that distributions would be made on Mew for July 11 to August 7, Charizard, Lucario, and Piplup on August 1 to 28 by obtaining the serial codes at the 7-Eleven stores in Japan, with the latter three being based on Ash's Charizard, Sorrel's Lucario, and Verity's Piplup, respectively.
A special Pokémon card of Ash's Pikachu was given out for two days to some people who saw the English and Brazilian Portuguese dubs in theaters.
- Main article: Pocket Monsters the Movie: I Choose You! Remix
- Main article: I Choose You! (manga)
A short promotion manga was included with the May 2017 issue of CoroCoro. Another tie-in manga called Get Fired Up, Marshadow! was included with the July 2017 issue of CoroCoro, this manga takes place before Marshadow meets Ash and his friends in the movie. An third manga called The Rainbow Hero was included with the August 2017 issue of CoroCoro. These three promotion manga were collected into Pocket Monsters the Movie: I Choose You! Remix together with Pikachu and Satoshi's Hat.
A separate manga adaptation started serializing on July 2, 2017 in MangaONE, a Japanese manga smartphone app by Shogakukan.
- This movie was released between Big Sky, Small Fry! and A Crowning Moment of Truth! in Japan.
- This is the first Pokémon movie not to take place during the timeframe of the anime series airing at the time, although the one-shot manga indicates it was a flashback that occurred after Ash won the final trial with Pikachu.
- Because of this, this is also the first movie to feature no human characters introduced in the anime series airing at the time of the movie.
- As of this movie, all of the Legendary and Mythical Pokémon from Generation II have had a starring role in a Pokémon movie.
- This is Professor Oak's first appearance in a movie since the fourth movie and Delia's first movie appearance since the cameo in the credits of the eleventh movie. Delia's previous speaking movie appearance was in the third movie.
- This is the first movie to feature a Pokémon release, with Ash releasing his Butterfree after saving the Pink Butterfree.
- This is Gary's first physical appearance since The Battle Finale of Legend!, over seven years ago, although his appearance is only in the form of a brief flashback.
- Movie editor Kunihiko Yuyama revealed some trivia about the movie in interviews:
- The movie is set in a parallel world that is split off from the main series, showing what would have happened had Ash received the Rainbow Wing from Ho-Oh.
- The number of Spearow that chase Ash was increased twenty-fold, from fifty to one thousand.
- The Ash in this movie is more fashionable than the Ash from the series and influenced by the design created by Ken Sugimori.
- Shōko Nakagawa was responsible for being the symbol of twenty years of Pokémon, with the role of Nurse Joy. She grew up playing the first generation of games, which is why she represents Pokémon 20th Anniversary by voice acting an "older sister" kind of role in the movie.
- Ash does not age. Yuyama said that "time has not passed since the start of the journey. Ash is eternally 10 years old".
- The Trainers from the opening scene are Neesha and Corey from Mewtwo Strikes Back.
- Ash's dream about being in a regular classroom without any Pokémon was taken from a concept from The Rise of Darkrai, where Ash, under the influence of Dark Void, had a nightmare about Pokémon not existing.
- Verity's mother isn't Sinnoh Champion Cynthia, despite her bearing a remarkable resemblance to Cynthia.
- This movie features all of Ash's traveling companions prior to the Sun & Moon series making cameo appearances during the ending credits, making it the largest amount of appearances of Ash's friends to date.
- Brock, Misty, May, and Serena all wear their original outfits during the credits.
- His appearance in the credits marks Brock's first appearance in a movie since his retirement from the main cast.
- Although Pikachu has had his statements translated via subtitles before, this is the first time Pikachu has actually talked.
- For the dub, this is the first movie that Kayzie Rogers had no part in voice acting in. She had at least one role in the past nineteen movies before her retirement.
- This was the first movie to be in 4K (specifically Sony Pictures 4K) quality due to the fact it was shown in theaters in the USA.
- This is the fourth movie in which Ash temporarily dies.
- This movie marks the first time the anime has shown a dead Pokémon (Luxray) which wasn't later revived in some form.
- Although Ash's hat has a unique symbol in this movie, the symbol that appeared on the original hat can be seen on Ash's backpack.
- In American theaters, the movie was preceded by Pokémon Generations episodes and a music video for this movie's version of Pokémon Theme utilizing clips from most of the Pokémon movies. Movies four through seven were skipped, however, presumably because they are owned by Miramax.
- As a modern adaptation of the original series, the movie integrates a few details from the newer games:
- Pink Butterfree's oval scales on its lower wings are colored black in this movie, confirming its gender to be female. This is unlike how it appears in the main series, where it has the same wing pattern as a male Butterfree due to it appearing before gender differences were introduced.
- Erika's design in the movie is based on her design from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, complete with black hair and a kimono. This is a contrast to her main series counterpart, who has blue hair and a plain dress.
- Team Rocket's appearance in the credits is identical to their appearance in the previous movie's credits: Watching Ash and his friends (Ash and Pikachu being alone this time) from their balloon, as Wobbuffet pops out of his Poké Ball from below Meowth and causing him to nearly fall off the balloon, being saved by both Jessie and James.
- After Ash's death, his hat briefly falls on Pikachu's head. This is likely a reference to the Pikachu in a cap released later that year for Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
- This movie holds a score of 43% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Despite this score being considered "Rotten", it is still the highest-rated Pokémon movie on the site; the previous record-holder was Spell of the Unown: Entei, which holds a score of 22%.
Differences from the main series
With this film taking place in an alternate timeline, there are many differences between events that happen in the main series and in the movie.
- Cross is Charmander's original Trainer instead of Damian.
- Brock and Misty do not accompany Ash on his journey, as they make no appearance except in cameos during the film's ending credits.
- Pikachu knows Iron Tail, a move he doesn't learn until the Advanced Generation series.
- Charizard knows Slash, a move he doesn't learn until the Best Wishes series. As a Charmeleon, it was able to use Seismic Toss, a move it didn't learn until evolving into a Charizard.
- Butterfree knows Gust, a move he doesn't learn at all in the main anime.
- In the beginning of the film, Ash Ketchum is watching a battle between Neesha and Corey on TV instead of the two unidentified Trainers from the first episode.
- Ash is watching the battle in his whole outfit in the original episode, but in the movie, he is just wearing his T-shirt and pants without his hat, jacket, or gloves.
- The Pokémon-themed merchandise in Ash's room is completely different.
- The poster of the Kanto starter Pokémon in Ash's room are displayed differently with Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur being in different poses and positions. The background of the poster is slightly different as well.
- Unlike in the first episode, where Ash's alarm clock falls into his hands while he is asleep, Ash grabs the alarm clock in his sleep.
- Delia wakes Ash up instead of Ash waking up himself.
- Ash runs to Professor Oak's Laboratory barefoot with his pajamas, unlike the original episode where he is wearing shoes with his pajamas.
- Ash finds Professor Oak watering Bellsprout and Oddish outside the lab. In the first episode, Oak was the one to find Ash after his brief encounter with Gary.
- Gary has no interactions with Ash in the movie and only makes a brief cameo in a flashback, in which he receives his Squirtle. His cheerleaders don't make an appearance in the film either, nor do his crowd of supporters.
- The Pokémon weren't in their Poké Balls sitting on a pedestal like in the original episode. Instead, they were displayed on a tray with beds and bowls for each of the starters before the new Trainers picked them out.
- The Trainers who received their starter Pokémon from Professor Oak on the day Ash met Pikachu are shown as Gary, Tierno, and Marina. Notably, Tierno is shown in different clothing than his usual design and chooses Charmander instead of Squirtle.
- A map of the Johto, Hoenn, and Unova regions are visible in the background of a couple of scenes at Professor Oak's lab.
- Ash and Pikachu's first encounter is different from the series. In the main series, Professor Oak sends out Pikachu from his Poké Ball. In the movie, Pikachu was already wandering around in Professor Oak's lab before Ash finds him.
- Professor Oak wasn't shown giving Ash a Pokédex. However, it’s possible that Ash receives his off-screen. If that’s the case, then Ash was never seen using the Pokédex in the movie.
- Delia never enters Professor Oak's lab in the original episode. Because of this, the original scene with Ash trying to get Pikachu in his ball takes place inside the lab instead.
- Also, Delia arrives alone, while in the episode, a group of supporters arrived to see Ash off
- Ash changes into his clothes in Oak's lab instead of changing shortly after setting out on his journey.
- When Ash is dragging Pikachu out of Pallet Town, he isn't wearing pink rubber gloves, as he wasn't given any rubber gloves in the movie.
- Pikachu never goes up a tree to watch Ash try to catch a Pidgey like he did in the first episode. Instead, he just stands on a rock.
- A Rattata never shows up to steal Ash's food in the movie.
- The Spearow that got hit with a rock attacks Pikachu because it suspected that Pikachu hit it. In the main series, it attacked Pikachu simply because it was jealous of it.
- After Pikachu attacks Spearow, he flies into a tree full of other Spearow, where in the original episode he was calling out to them instead.
- As noted above, the number of Spearow that attack Ash and Pikachu is greatly increased.
- Ash doesn't steal Misty's (or anyone's) bike to escape the flock of Spearow, and tries to get away entirely on foot.
- Ash flips his hat while carrying Pikachu in the first episode. In the movie, he doesn't flip his hat until he confronts the flock of Spearow.
- After Pikachu defeats the flock of Spearow, the sky is sunny again after the rain clears up in the original episode. In the movie, it's a sunset instead.
- Ash's hat remains on his head after being knocked out in the episode, while his hat was knocked off in the movie.
- Ash doesn't get a Rainbow Wing from Ho-Oh in the original episode.
- Ash is shown with just three Pokémon under his ownership over the course of the movie – Pikachu, Butterfree, and Charizard – with no indication of him having caught Pidgeot, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or any of the Pokémon he had kept in rotation throughout his Kanto journey.
- Ash uses Pikachu to battle Caterpie before catching it, unlike in the original series where Ash just catches Caterpie without weakening it.
- Unlike in Ash Catches a Pokémon, Ash is awake with Pikachu and Caterpie gazing at the group of Butterfree in the sky. They are all sitting in a tree rather than standing on a rock.
- Erika was the third Gym Leader encountered rather than the fifth one, while the first two Gym Leaders were encountered off-screen.
- Unlike in the main series, Team Rocket doesn't interact with Ash at all in the movie, since they only follow him without making themselves noticeable throughout the film.
- Ash doesn't catch Charmander until after he has earned his third Gym Badge, whereas Ash obtained it between his second and third Badges in the main series.
- Charmander isn't holding a leaf while being in the rain, nor is he attacked by a flock of Spearow.
- Instead of taking Charmander to Nurse Joy, Ash takes him to a cave to heal him himself.
- Ash's Pokémon evolve in scenarios different from the original series:
- Caterpie evolves into Metapod from battling a Pinsir rather than from a battle against Team Rocket and then evolves into Butterfree during a fight with a pack of Primeape instead of a swarm of Beedrill.
- In the original series, Caterpie's Evolution process was similar to a real-life caterpillar's life cycle, going through metamorphosis and then emerging from its cocoon. In the movie, it is shown to evolve like any other Pokémon similar to how they do in later episodes.
- Charmander evolves into a Charmeleon from battling a Jigglypuff instead of stopping a herd of Exeggutor and then evolves into a Charizard during a rematch against Cross and his Incineroar instead of saving Ash from an Aerodactyl.
- Charmeleon (and later Charizard) consistently stays obedient to Ash after evolving. In the main series, Charizard rarely obeyed Ash until Charizard Chills.
- Butterfree and the Pink Butterfree are first encountered while it was being chased by a Fearow, since there was no celebration of mating season taking place until after Pink Butterfree was saved. Butterfree gather for mating season like in Bye Bye Butterfree, but there are no other trainers shown and are assumed to be wild Butterfree.
- Because Brock doesn't appear in the movie, Butterfree wasn't given a yellow scarf.
- Wobbuffet is shown with Team Rocket in the end credits, although it wasn't obtained until Johto. It is unknown how he was obtained in this timeline.
- I Choose You replaces Oración's Theme ~Let's Walk Together~ as the ending theme.
- The ending credits in the Disney XD version are significantly shortened to 30 seconds, played over a black screen, and utilize a short clip of the piano rendition of the Pokémon Theme portion of I Choose You for music.
- Most of Marshadow's cries have been edited out in the English dub.
In other languages