It's common knowledge by now that the Galar region in Pokémon Sword and Shield is based upon Great Britain. The trainer's mom is endearingly referred to as "Mum", their friend and rival Hop refers to the trainer fondly as "Mate", the rolling landscape of the hometown wholly embodies quaint and picturesque British farmland, and somehow it always manages to be raining in at least one section of the Wild Area. But these are just the more obvious implementations of the British culture present throughout Galar, so let's crack on with some of the more obscure locales, customs, and slang.
The first train station trainer encounter is the one in Wedgehurst, neighboring their hometown. While it's no Kings Cross, it introduces players to the expansive railway system that connects Galar's various provinces. This is a nod to Britain's history regarding the Industrial Revolution and the massive railway culture that ensued.
The Gym Stadiums in Galar, with the exception of Spikemuth, are essentially re-purposed football stadiums- that's soccer to Americans and Canadians. The parallels are spot on from the massive manicured turf, to the blinding spotlights and open-domed ceiling. Attention was paid to detail right down to the tiered stands, packed full of ravenous fans and a jumbotron screen to televise the events. Not to mention the mandatory Gym uniform is verbatim a set of soccer silks.
The pokémon in Galar have even begun to adopt the local customs and regional pastimes. The starter pokémon Scorbunny practices it's kicks and Footy (football) skills throughout its adventures. It's long hours of practice cause its final evolution Cinderace to manifest into a star player. Just look at its likeness to this Manchester United player, Cinderace is basically an honorary member of the team.
Battle Cafés represent Costas, the leading coffeehouse chain in Great Britain. The atmosphere is eerily similar, more so than just walking into another generic coffee joint. These little shops scream Costa through and through, from the placement of the tables and booths to the color scheme and aesthetics, right down to the menu and pastry displays. Blimey, the Battle Café logo is so reminiscent to Costa's, Game Freak could be at risk of copyright infringement!
Wyndon and Its Cultural Landmarks
The city of Wyndon is the equivalent of Great Britain's London and like the Battle Cafe's mentioned before, it's a near copy and paste of Britain's main hub. As such, Wyndon hosts huge cultural landmarks, the same ones seen in the real-life London. The iconic London Eye Ferris Wheel and the Big Ben Clock Tower can be spotted in Wyndon. Not only do they draw direct parallels between the fictional and real-life cities, but they're positioning in the game is nigh identical to the landmarks' actual geographical location within London.
Route 9 embodies the harsh Northern Britain coastal life with frigid shores, mounds of snow and chunks of floating ice. Despite some who might consider these frosty conditions uninhabitable, players will still run into plenty of undeterred locals, just as one might when venturing out to these real-life locations. It's not unheard of for British locals to enjoy a bone-chilling surf up in areas such as Redcar. Game Freak has recognized this within Galar by placing a trainer couple, native to the Circhester region, on a secret beach. Players eager to get off of the frigid waves may never happen upon these artic love birds and that's how they like it. The girl mentions they have the beach all to themselves because it's too cold for most travelers to enjoy.
Sling Slang Like a Local
The British-isms don't stop with iconic locales and regional customs. There're tons of British slang peppered into the dialogue as well.
Hop in particular uses tons of common British terminology, though they likely sound like a bunch of poppycock to non-British players. One of the first phrases he baffles us with is when he exclaims his brother is "pants with directions." In this context, Hop means his brother has a horrible sense of direction, so much so that Hop fears his brother will get lost on the straight shot from the train station to their home.
Another term Hop throws out in a moment of self-doubt is "It's all gone to pot!" The term originates from families scraping leftovers into a pot to make another meal- typically a stew- at a later point. The term refers to something of low quality or that has been ruined, like a plan that is failing miserably.
"Having a chin-wag." The Professor's granddaughter Sonia says this to the trainer after discussing her investigation into the Darkest Day. "Chin-wag" refers to an informal chat or bout of gossip and pertains to a person's chin appearing to wag while engaged in conversation.
The term "scrummy" gets thrown out a couple of times regarding the dining options in Galar. Contrary to the similar-sounding word "scummy" which holds a dirty, yucky sort of connotation, "scrummy" refers to a dish that is impeccably delicious.
Inconsistencies with terminology and dialect start cropping up when rival Marnie's roughened accent, reminiscent of a Yorkshire dialect starts coming out once inside her hometown of Spikemuth. Though the city itself isn't based on the real-life region, Marnie adopts a thick local accent while Team Yell upholds their gruff tones all throughout Galar.
Some cities seem to be direct parallels to real-life locations, however, on a whole the game mashes up Britain's many regional accents, not correlating them to any specific region. Though Marnie and Team Yell hail from the same town, Marnie has the take-no-guff tone of a Yorkshire local while Team Yell members use dialogue and punctuation more akin to the hardly discernable Cockney accent.
Galar has really made a giganta-melting pot of classic British-isms. Not much can be said for the consistency throughout, or lack thereof. However, there are countless bits of rich British culture sprinkled throughout the large island of Galar.