Language is a setting in Animal Crossing, Wild World, and City Folk that determines the sound of characters' voices in the game when the player interacts with them. In New Leaf, the player cannot change the setting.
Animalese is the default spoken language of villagers and other characters in the Animal Crossing series. Each letter spoken is stated to synthesize the basic sound of a letter, leading to mispronunciation of some words. (i.e. "Animal Crossing" would be pronounced "Ah-n-ih-m-ah-l c-r-o-s-s-ih-n-g".) When villagers say numbers, they will talk rather clearly, like when the player is typing a letter. The name of the player and the name of the town can be clearly discerned as well, although they may also be mispronounced depending on the way each letter of the word is said in Animalese. Laughing and similar sounds are also discernible. However, much of Animalese is completely unintelligible.
Different personalities (such as cranky or snooty), animals with jobs in the town (ex. Pelly, Tom Nook), and one-day visitors to the town (Gracie, Wendell, etc.), will have different pitches to Animalese. Cranky villagers have a lower, rougher pitch than a villager with a normal or peppy personality. Different characters will have higher or lower voices. If the text is sped up, the Animalese also speeds up, sounding more highpitched. Happy, sad, or angry villagers will have a different pitch to Animalese. The sound of Animalese differs slightly in each game.
It is interesting to note that K.K. Slider will always sing in Animalese, even if one of the two alternate languages has been chosen in the options.
In Japanese, Animalese is more clear and easy to understand as Japanese kana characters each represent one syllable from Japanese speech. For each symbol, the corresponding syllable sound is played, whereas in English Animalese consists of spellings of each letter as each letter can be pronounced differently in the English language.
Bebebese or Silence could once be spoken as an alternate language in the options, but both were removed in New Leaf. Interestingly, in the English language version of New Leaf, the player's keyboard is spoken in Animalese rather than clear English.
Depending on the villager's mood, their voice will change pitch or volume. Sad villagers speak with a low tone of voice, happy ones with a higher pitched voice and angry or annoyed villagers will speak with a louder voice.
Bebebese is variety of spoken language for villagers in both Wild World and City Folk. It sounds like a series of 'beep' noises. When a player catches a fish or an insect, finds a fossil, or talks on any other occasion, Bebebese will play. The player and snowmen are thus the only characters who always speaks in Bebebese regardless of the vocalization selected. Punctuation does not have an Animalese variation, so it will always be spoken in Bebebese. The word "Bebebese" is a combination of the language suffix "-ese" and the onomatopoeia "bebe", referring to the repeated blip sounds made when Bebebese is being spoken.Occasionally, animals will speak in Bebebese, even if Animalese is the chosen language. This is portrayed by faded gray text, and signifies muttered or whispered speech. Prime examples of this would be when Phyllis or Redd add extra comments to what they have stated to the player. Animalese or Silence also can be chosen as alternatives.
Silence is the third of the three spoken languages in Animal Crossing series. True to its name, the villagers and other animals do not make a sound when talking to the player. However, the player's town tune still plays while talking to an animal.
To change the language, the player must walk up to the attic and answer the phone. The other two languages are Animalese and Bebebese. Despite the other two languages being in City Folk and Wild World, silence is not a language in those two games.
As of New Leaf, it is no longer selectable.
- Although all animals speak Animalese, some of K.K. Slider's album covers have English words on them.
- When slowed down, Animalese sounds very close to English. However, Cranky villagers have very low voices, which makes understanding them more difficult without reading the words.