I am using Bunpro SRS, and I came across the following sentence:


The translation provided is:

Pokémon is popular not only all over Japan, but throughout the world.

The verb 流行る is conjugated into the past tense 流行った. This contrasts with the translation stating that Pokemon is popular. I would have thought that the conjugation should be 流行っている. As a side note to this, I am also not sure if that should be ある or いる in this context, but that's best saved for another question.

Is there already an implication of "becoming" in the verb 流行る?

Does the past tense 流行った align more closely with the English word "popularised" — implying that it has become popular and now remains that way?

Or is the translation (or root sentence) incorrect somehow?

  • Does this answer your question? "太ってる猫" vs "太った猫" I seem to recall a nice answer given recently to a very similar question. The answer explained how in a modifying phrase the ている forms are not always used. Hopefully someone else can remember and link it.
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 15 at 21:28
  • Yes, it does. Thanks. In particular, the (not-accepted) answer states: "In relative clauses, past tense can be neutralized. There is no clear difference in meaning between 太っている猫 and 太った猫. To express that the cat was fat in the past, you say 太っていた猫." Aug 15 at 21:32
  • But I would understand 流行ったゲーム as a game that was popular at some point of time in the past. If it’s still popular, I would say 流行っているゲーム. 太った猫 is a fat cat, though.
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 15 at 23:58
  • This might not be adequate, but if we compare it to the English sense of the verb "popularise", when we turn it into past tense, it becomes "popularised". The implication of that verb is that it became popular. This is a close equivalent to 流行った. There doesn't seem to be any implication that it ceased being popular, just as there is no implication that the cat ceased being fat. If we wanted to say "was popular" (and is no longer), 流行っていた seems to fit the bill. Aug 16 at 5:20
  • 1
    流行っていたゲーム means “a game that was popular,” of course. No question about that. 流行ったゲーム may also mean “a game that has become popular” to describe a resulting, and still ongoing, state of a past (recent) change, but it does not refer to a static property of the modified object in the way 太った猫 does. I would say the translation is inaccurate.
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 16 at 7:16

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