The Pokémon Translator, more commonly known as the PokéTrans, is a small electronic device which comes in a variety of forms. Cheaper version are shaped to look like tags which may then be put onto an individual Pokémon, and is usually calibrated to translate for that Pokémon and its evolutionary line only. Expensive versions of the PokéTrans are designed to directly attach to a human, and often come in a variety of forms modelled after jewelry.
The PokéTrans is a relatively recent development in the Pokémon World, and has only been available for commercial purchase in the past ten years. Despite this, most PokéTrans are exremely limited in their functions, with the sale of more powerful PokéTrans being highly regulated by the International Pokémon League.
The functions of the PokéTrans will vary according to the different types. Currently, there is no one translator which may translate all forms of Pokémon communication. This may be achieved through the use of several PokéTrans at once. Similarly, PokéTrans may also be calibrated to translate the different languages among humans. As most regions of the world now speak Basic, this is not often done for any reason beyond novelty.
The primary use of a PokéTrans is for the interpretation of Pokémon language in all of its forms. To complete this goal, a varied range of Translators exist which deal with a different form of communication.
This is the most common function of most PokéTrans. This version directly translates the speech of a Pokémon and converts it into the language of the Trainer. Cheaper versions will commonly come in the form of tags which may then be attached to a collar and place upon a chosen Pokémon. These are often severely limited, and will only translate for that Pokémon species once calibrated to the individual Pokémon. For humans, these may come in the form of earbuds, and are calibrated to translate for up to ten different Pokémon species.
More expensive versions may retain the same form, a tag on a collar or earbud, but may also come in the form of collars or earrings. These versions will, respectively, allow for the removal of the PokéTrans from a chosen Pokémon for transference to another, or allow for the complete translation for all known Pokémon languages.
Devices tend to range in power and application between these two extremes, with sales of region-specific Auditory PokéTrans being extremely popular presents to beginning trainers.
More uncommon than the auditory translators, kinaesthetic translators are reserved for humans and humanoid Pokémon. Their purpose is to translate the physical movements of a Pokémon species and translate the information into a form that can be understood, usually sound or words. Cheaper versions tend to be automatically built into Pokédexes, and will translate basic messages. More expensive versions come in the form of specialised contact lenses which display the translation in the form of words only the user can see. Middling versions, usually in the form of glasses and similar items, may also be used, with rarer varieties being in the form of rings.
An uncommon variety of PokéTrans, the Olfactory Translators are specialised to interpret and translate messages transmitted via smell by sampling the hormones and chemicals released by many kinds of Pokémon. Cheaper versions of this machine may come in the form of nosebuds or gauze which may be stretched over the nostrils, while more expensive versions may come in the form of nose studs or other jewelry. This information is then transmitted to the Trainer in the form of psychic signals which ae directly attuned to the speech centres of the brain.
In addition to their roles as basic translators, PokéTrans have also been regarded as a symbol of a diplomat. Due to an agreement negotiated between Pokémon and humans in the Pokémon Agreements, the sale and use of particularly powerful PokéTrans is restricted by the International Pokémon League. In exchange for the right to purchase and use high level PokéTrans, a Trainer must also agree to fulfilling a diplomatic role between humans and Pokémon when required. Failure to do so may result in the revoking of their right to own a Pokémon Translator.
In order to earn the right to own a high level Pokémon Translator, an individual must fulfil certain criteria, which are as follows:
- Recommendation by two government officials. One of these must be employed in a profession which involves regular interaction with Pokémon.
- Completion of a interview with a Psychic type Pokémon.
- Completion of compulsary Pokémon Care and Treatment classes.
- Completion of a psychological assessment.
Despite these restrictions, most humans applying for a PokéTrans Ownership Lisence will pass. The most difficult criteria to fulfil is often the first one, knowing two government employees. However, given the relatively lax standards of who is considered a government employee, this is often negligable. Government employees include, but are not limited to: Gym Leaders, Elite Four, Champions, regional Pokémon Professors, employees at any Pokémon Center or PokéMart, police officers, etc.
- The Pokémon Translator initially appeared in Topaz Soarhire's story, 'The Wings of Council', as a collar which may be worn by a Pokémon. It was indicated that the PokéTrans would also alter the voice of a Pokémon and give them accents similar to humans.
- The Pokémon Translator was later featured in Articunomew's story, 'Beginnings of a Master'. Here it was depicted as also coming in the form of an ear stud, though the other varieties of PokéTrans have yet to appear.
- It was also revealed in 'Beginnings of a Master' that the PokéTrans was originally developed by Silph Co., in Kanto.