It’s already the third entry in the series of dissecting Japanese Pokedex entries, and the number for today is 463 – Lickilicky.
Lickilicky is the Gen IV evolution of a Gen I Pokemon, Lickitung. This Pokemon family has always… disturbed me, a little, for some reason.
Perhaps it’s something about the long, sticky tongue and paralyzing saliva. Yeah.
And on top of it all it can also learn Flamethrower
Lickilicky’s Japanese name, ベロベルト comes from, what a surprise ベロ (tongue). Its name is also used as a pun in the Rise of Darkrai movie, where, spoilers, Baron Alberto ends up transformed into a Lickilicky. Alberto and ベロベルト.
Anyway, let’s move on to the Pokedex entry!
Okay, this is a fun one.
Let’s start with the ぐんぐん伸びるベロ part. You should already know ベロ. It’s preceded by 伸びる – to stretch, to extend – and ぐんぐん, which is a rather funny sounding adjective. It can mean steadily, increasingly, or even rapidly.
By putting a verb in front of a noun like this, it can make the verb describe the noun. Kinda like the -ing form in English. Like the Running Shoes! Or… stretching tongue, I guess. Although it probably wouldn’t be used like this here in English.
Then we have the を particle, meaning that the tongue is the direct object of some verb that’s gonna come at the end of sentence, as Japanese verbs tend to do.
In this particular case, the verb is 巻きつける, which is actually made up from two verbs – 巻く (to wrap, to coil) and 付ける (to attach). So, naturally, all together, it means to wrap around, to coil around. So, Lickilicky “wraps its tongue around” something.
That “something” is 何にでも. Which is everything. Literally.
Aaalright. Let’s see what happens in the next sentence. You can already see that we have the familiar conditional with と in it.
うかつ means careless or thoughtless, and with the に particle it changes (evolves?) into an adverb – carelessly. 近寄る is quite easy to parse if you know that it sounds like 近い (near) and 寄る (to approach) mashed together. So yes, it means to approach, to draw near.
In other words, in this part of the sentence we have “if you approach carelessly…”
Remember how I said the で particle indicates the means by which something is done? Well, 唾液 is saliva. So, “with saliva…”
I have a bad feeling about this.
ベトベト is another funny sounding word. It kinda feels like it should be an onomatopoeia, but it actually just means sticky. Okay, it actually is considered an onomatopoeia, just… Japanese onomatopoeia can be weird sometimes.
As for されてしまう, let’s break it down:
されて is the te-form of される, which is the passive form of する. Which, if you have any knowledge of Japanese at all, you probably know means to do… But it’s not really used in this way here.
Generally, ～にされる is more of a set phrase that means “to make something into~”
So, putting it all together, we’ll get “make (something/someone) sticky”
At the end of it all, we have the ～しまう. It attaches to the te-form of verbs, and can be used in one of these three ways:
to show that an action has been completed
to show regret/surprise when what the speaker has done turned out to be bad to do
to show unintended action
In this particular case, the third use is the one we should take a look at (although I’m pretty sure there’s some regret in there as well.)
I’d say we’re about ready to translate the whole thing now.
“It wraps its stretchy tongue around everything. If you approach carelessly, you’ll be made sticky with saliva.”
And the official translation is:
“It wraps things with its extensible tongue. Getting too close to it will leave you soaked with drool.“
The first part is pretty similar, but there are some differences in the second part, like leaving out the “sticky” part, but it still gets the meaning across and is more concise than the literal translation.
By the way, this is the Diamond/Pearl Dex entry. Let me quote you the beginning of the one from Heart Gold, though…
“Its saliva can decompose anything.”
So… it wraps anything that gets close to it with its tongue, soaking everything with saliva. The saliva that can decompose anything. And I’m presuming that “anything that gets close to it” includes its trainer.
This guy gon’ get decomposed
Well, that’s entirely enough for this week. See you again next Saturday!
- ぐんぐん – steadily
- 伸びる（のびる） – to stretch; to extend
- ベロ – tongue
- 巻き付ける（まきつける） – to wrap around; to coil around
- うかつ – careless
- 近寄る（ちかよる） – to approach
- 唾液（だえき） – saliva
- べとべと – being sticky