Language is an option found in the Options menu on the PAL version of Super Smash Bros., all versions of Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and determined by system settings in the PAL version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and all versions of Super Smash Bros. 4. As the name suggests, the player can adjust the language of their copy of the game.
Main article: List of regional version differences (SSB)
The original Super Smash Bros. is available in Japanese, English, French, German, and Simplified Chinese.
Language can only be adjusted in the European version of SSB (uniquely, SSB has separate PAL versions for Europe and Australia). The language can be set to English, French, or German through an extra section on the options menu. When the player hovers over a menu item with the language set to either French or German, a white box with its corresponding translation will display at the bottom of the screen. The announcer is dubbed in both languages; however, the German version does not have unique voice clips for "Captain Falcon", "Computer Player" or "Team Battle", using the English clips instead.
The Simplified Chinese version of the game is only available on the iQue Player, the Chinese export of the Nintendo 64. While the game is fully translated, almost all voice acting is reused from the English version of the game. Jigglypuff and most non-playable Pokémon, however, receive new voice clips.
Main article: List of regional version differences (SSBM)
Super Smash Bros. Melee is available in Japanese, English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. Spanish and Italian are new to the series, while Simplified Chinese is no longer available, likely due to the game never being officially released in mainland China.
In the NTSC versions of Melee, the player can switch between Japanese and American English for their languages. Changing the languages has little to no effect on actual gameplay; almost all changes in the game are cosmetic when languages are switched.
Interestingly, when the English language setting is active, the "Language" option is written in Japanese. The opposite occurs if Japanese is set as the language instead.
List of differences in the Japanese version versus the American English version
In PAL versions of Melee, the player can choose between five different languages in the game, reflecting the multiple areas of the European Union. They are:
The quality of the European localization is questionable; while most of the "simple" text is translated, a majority of the game's text, notably of game modes and menu options, remain in English. Furthermore, despite the presence of the British flag on the English option, the text is largely unchanged compared to the NTSC's English language setting, and does not take certain regional differences into account, such as the use of "color" over "colour". Additionally, the announcer voice clips are reused from English for all languages (other than Jigglypuff's foreign names, resulting in a disparity between voices).
Similar to the NTSC version, changing the language causes some minor changes in the game.
Main article: List of regional version differences (SSBB)
Super Smash Bros. Brawl is available in seven languages: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Korean. Korean is new to the series.
Players no longer have the option to choose between Japanese and American English in Brawl.
In PAL versions of Brawl, the player can choose between five different languages, like in Melee. The choices remain the same, and like before, aspects of the game can change. However, the language cannot be changed in-game, as the language for Wii games is decided based on what language the console is set to.
Compared to Melee, all text is translated to the language of choice, and the announcer is fully dubbed into each language.
Main article: List of regional version differences (SSB4)
Both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4 are available in nine languages: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian, with the last three being new to the series. While Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is available in Korean, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U lacks the option, because the Wii U console was never officially released in South Korea. Additionally, the Korean version borrows the announcer's voice clips from the Japanese version of the game, rather than recording new Korean voice clips.
The American version of both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions support three languages: English, French and Spanish. The language used by the game depends on the language set on the system itself, and cannot be changed in-game.
The European/Australian version of both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions support eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Russian. The language used by the game depends on the language set on the system itself, and cannot be changed in-game.
While the five languages from Melee and Brawl continue to localize the announcer and a small number of character voices, the three new languages (Dutch, Portuguese and Russian) borrow their voice clips from the English language version.
Ultimate supports 11 languages regardless of region: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese is available for the first time since the original Super Smash Bros., and Traditional Chinese is entirely new to the series. However, Portuguese, which was present in Smash 4, is no longer available, despite the Nintendo Switch being released in Portuguese. For the first time since Melee, language selection is available from an in-game menu rather than being automatically selected based on the system's region and language settings.
For characters who are only voiced in English and Japanese, Asian language localizations typically use the Japanese voices, whereas Western language localizations use the English voices. As in previous titles, a small number of characters are also voiced in French, Spanish, German and Italian. The English/Japanese announcer, Xander Mobus, provides unique voice clips for the Korean version, while a mixture of his voice clips from both the English and Japanese versions are reused for both Chinese languages. New announcers also provide voice clips for the Dutch and Russian languages.
English, French and Spanish each have two different variants: an NTSC variant (American English, Canadian French and Latin American Spanish) and a PAL variant (Commonwealth English, European French and Castilian Spanish). The difference is affected by the system's region and language. The NTSC variants are used if the region is set to "The Americas", "Japan" or "Hong Kong/Taiwan/South Korea", or if the language is set to Japanese, Korean or Chinese; the PAL variants are used if the region is set to "Europe" or "Australia/New Zealand", or if the language is set to German, Dutch, Italian, Russian or Portuguese. In these cases, the system's language takes priority over its region. This effectively gives Ultimate a total of 14 language choices compared to the 11 selectable in the menu. Some regional differences are still present, such as the name "Duck Hunt Duo" for Duck Hunt in PAL languages, while other former differences such as Boxing Ring character titles have been standardized between English regional versions. The two Spanish and French versions, however, continue to exhibit significant text and character name differences.
Unlike previous games, changing language settings in Ultimate reboots the game. As such, changing the language can be used as an alternate method (besides closing and reopening the game) to unlock characters in Smash battles more quickly by bypassing the ten-minute cooldown timer between challengers, particularly when using controllers that lack a HOME button.
Despite the game not being available in Portuguese and the official site lacking a Portuguese translation, official promotional content such as the Mr. Sakurai Presents series have full Portuguese subtitles available on Nintendo's Portuguese YouTube channel.