Update [Mon 12th June, 2023 10:00 BST]: Eireannnorudeigin has now released their fan translation patches for Pokémon Red and Blue. You can download the patches from their romhacking.net page here.
Original Article [Wed 17th May, 2023 10:35 BST]: Pokémon Red & Blue have obviously been translated into a wealth of different languages over the years, a byproduct of their phenomenal success and global impact on players. One of the languages, however, that the games have never been properly translated into is Irish, also known as Gaelic. That is, until now.
As spotted by the Irish entertainment journalist and current franchise & lore designer at CD Projekt Red Cian Maher, a user named Eireannnorudeigin recently announced on the r/Ireland subreddit that they had successfully completed an Irish translation patch of the original Pokémon games after six months of work.
In the post, Eireannnorudeigin claimed that they just needed to do some cleanup before they release the patch publicly and that they will be looking for feedback to iron out any potential errors in grammar. They also posted their worksheets to show how they arrived at the names for each of the Pokémon.
Interestingly, as Maher noted elsewhere in the thread about Eireannnorudeigin's patch, this isn't the first time that the Irish language and Pokémon have crossed paths. Roughly four years ago, Maher wrote an impressive article for Eurogamer about another player named Nathan Fox who translated the names of the original 151 Pokémon into Gaelic.
In that article, Maher began by documenting his own complicated relationship with the language, and why it's important to spotlight fanmade translation projects like this:
"In Ireland, it's compulsory to study Irish in secondary school. The language is integral to our cultural heritage, but it can be difficult to convince teens of its contemporary significance. I remember thinking, 'What's the point in learning a dead language? Nobody speaks it apart from us anyway.'
"I'm not of that opinion anymore, and I changed my mind about learning Irish early enough to have retained a decent amount of it. The same can't be said for everyone, however, which is why it's important to illuminate the people hoping to keep the language alive by conflating it with popular culture."
It will be interesting to see if Eireannnorudeigin's work encourages more people to pick up Irish or just to get a little more involved in their studies at school. Eireannnorudeigin said that once the patch is published, they will make another post on the r/Ireland subreddit. This will more than likely include instructions on how to download.