The FUNimation dub censors all profanity from the dialogue, even in the uncut version.
Some of the other name changes made in the English dubs include: "Son Goku/Goku" ("Son" is dropped from Goku's name altogether), "Son Gohan/Gohan" (the same thing happens with Gohan), "Son Goten/Goten" (ditto for Goten), "Tenshinhan/Tein", "Lunch/Launch", "Karin/Korin", "Haiya Dragon/Icarus", "Heavenly Realm/Kami's Lookout", "Makkenakosappo/Special Beam Cannon", and "Kienzan/Destructo Disc".
The French version, which has been distributed over most of Europe, had name-changes of its own. These include:
- All of the male Son family members (Son Goku, Son Gohan and Son Goten) have their last and first names combined (Songoku, Songohan, Songoten). "Son-" is sometimes spelled as "San-".
- The Saiyan race is Guerriers de l'espace ("Space Warriors"). The Super Saiyan stages are called Super Warrior, Hyper Warrior and Mega Warrior.
- Son Goku's birth-name Kakarot is only mentioned in one episode, translated as "Cachalote". It is never made clear that this name refers to Goku.
- Kamesennin (Master Roshi in the English version) is called Tortue Géniale ("Turtle Genius" or "Genius Turtle").
- Piccolo is Satan Petit-Coeur Junior ("Satan's Little Heart Junior" or "Little-Hearted Satan Junior"), but most of the time he's simply called Petit-Coeur ("Little Heart") or sometimes just Satan. This strange name comes from the French name of his father, Great Demon King Piccolo, who was called "Little-Hearted Satan" in French. The title "Great Demon King" got translated as "Satan" and this became his name instead of Piccolo. In the infamous English dub based on this French version, Piccolo was renamed to "Big Green", probably because the name Satan was unsuitable for a children's show and Little Heart sounded too silly.
- Frieza became Freezer. His father King Cold is called Cord.
- Tenshinhan is Tenshin Han.
- Trunks is Trunk.
- Pikkon is called Paul Kuhan, an erroneous transcription of his original Japanese name Paikuhan.
- Buu's name is changed to Boubou.
- Mr. Satan is called Hercule to avoid confusion with Piccolo's French name.
- Supreme Kai is called Neptune. Interestingly, at one point King Kai also states that his formal name is "King Neptune".
- Vegeto, the fusion between Vegeta and Goku, is called Vegeku.
- Gotenks, the fusion of Goten and Trunks, is called Gotrunk.
- Kibito Kai, the fusion between Kibito and Supreme Kai, is called Shibito, in reference to Supreme Kai's alias name Shin.
- The Ginyu Force are simple referred to as Special Forces or Secret Army.
- Shen Long (or Shenron) the Eternal Dragon is called Sheron the Holy Dragon.
- The titular Dragon Balls are called Crystal Balls
- The Flying Nimbus, Power Pole and Sensu Beans are called Magic Cloud, Magic Batton/Stick and Magic Beans, respectively.
- The Kamehameha attack is inconsistently called "Fireball", "Higher Powers", "Lightning", or sometimes "Personality Wave".
- Numerous other characters were also renamed, but some (like Cui, Recoome, Guldo, Burter and many others) are never named at all. The French version of the series was aimed at very young children, and they probably thought that all the weird names would confuse kids. For this reason, most of the evil characters during the Saiyan and Namek Sagas are only referred to as "the enemy", "the monster" or "the tyrant". Furthermore, most of the attack names were abandoned and replaced with random trash-talk. The French dub is notorious for its careless and error-filled translation work and irritating, childish voice acting, which was sadly carried over to all other dubs that used it as a basis.
In France, the first half of the series was subjected to major and very inconsistent censorship. Many violent scenes got removed altogether, thus messing up the pacing and leading to plot holes. The death of several characters got cut either partially or entirely, though on numerous occasions, episode recaps and flashbacks still showed these scenes unedited. However, none of Gohan's nudity or any references to Hell, religious figures, and talk of death got removed, because these were still seen as suitable for young children, the target audience of the French version. After the Frieza Saga, the censorship radically decreased, and no material was cut from the entirety of the Buu Saga, including gore, sexual references and character's flipping off others. Instead, the dialogue was rewritten to sound more childish and easy to understand, and in particular, Master Roshi's lines were changed to remove all sexual references (even when the animation clearly showed what he was really talking about).
The German dub of the series kept some of the profanities of the original Japanese dialogue, however the character Cell at one point shouts "Oh, shit!" in English.
The Portuguese version, based on the French edit, was a parody dub. The dialogue inserted lots of cultural references that only Portuguese people would understand, and most of the characters were given bizarre distortion effects to their voices to make them sound more alien. Some characters sang opera or made humorous girl-screams when they were supposed to be shouting, and changes in the dubbing cast were at times pointed out as well - for instance, after Vegeta's voice actor was recast, he says "I'm so mad that my voice has changed".
The Greek version added robotic distortion effects over the voices of evil or alien characters, even though none were present in the original version.
The Arabic version implemented drastic changes to the original series. The titular artifacts, the Dragon Balls, lost all connections to any dragons. Scenes of Shenron the dragon being summoned with the balls to grant wishes were removed, and it was explained that that the balls themselves had the power to bring characters back to life. All references towards evolutionary concepts have also been removed, thus it was explained that Goku's monkey-tail and the Saiyans were artificial. Instead of the Saiyans transforming into giant apes under the moonlight, the giant apes were regarded as separate entities who were merely summoned to the scene by the Saiyans. Also, Raditz was rewritten from Goku's evil brother to his friend, despite that the series had marked the first time that they met.
The French dub avoided naming characters for several episodes. Some examples are:
- Nappa, who is first named during his clash with the Z fighters
- Vegeta, who is named only when fighting Goku. He never announces his name, yet Goku somehow knows what he is called
- Yajirobe, who was a major recurring character during the early episodes, only gets named in the Android Saga, more than 120 episodes into the series. Up until then, he was only referred to as "him", "you", "the Tower's guard", "the savage" and the narrator only called him "someone"
- Cui: never gets named
- Recoome: never gets named. Instead of announcing his name, he shouts "Absolute Force!" On King Kai's planet, his shout changes to "Brutal Force!"
- Guldo: never gets named. Instead of announcing his name, he shouts "Feral Force!"
- Burter: never gets named. Instead of announcing his name, he shouts "Infernal Force!"
- Ginyu, despite being a major villain for several episodes, is first named by the narrator after his clash with Goku, although his name is changed to "Gineour", pronounced with a soft "G". Until that point, he was only known as "the captain" or "the leader". Instead of announcing his name, he shouts "Evil Force!"
- Jeice is also first named by the narrator at the same time as Ginyu. Even though none of the other characters have ever heard their names, Krillin somehow knows what they are called. Instead of announcing his name, Jeice normally shouts "Pure Force!"
- None of Garlic Jr.'s henchmen are named
In the Hungarian dubbed version, the characters Dodoria and Korin are female.
The Hungarian dub, based on the infamous French version, renamed some characters even further. The Saiyans came to be called "Starfighters". Piccolo was called "Young Satan". King Kai was called "Kaito" and his Kaio-Ken technique became "Kaito, empower me!" or "Come forward, Kaito!". Frieza was originally called Dermesztina (Freeze-Tina), but was rechristened Dermesztö (Freezer) later when the translator found out that he's male. Dabura was called "Devla", after the God of the Romani people. Pui-Pui and Yacon were simplified to "Pipi" and "Yaco". The Kamehameha attack was always spoken as "Kamehame". Most of these changes were then carried over into the dub of Dragon Ball GT, which was based on the original Japanese version.
The US version shown on Cartoon Network deletes strong violence, gore, nudity, and profanity. The violence/nudity is blocked out with rotoscoping. The profanity is edited out.
The English translation makes numerous changes to character and species names: "Saiyajin/Saiyan," "Tsfurujin/Tuffle," "Mr. Satan/Hercule" (to please the more sensitive parents), "Saichorou/Guru," "Kaiousama/King Kai" (an almost perfect translation), "Kaioushin/Supreme Kai" (another near-hit), and possibly others.
The original Saiyan-jin saga of DBZ contained 35 episodes, but in the American version, so much footage was cut out that some episodes had to be combined to make the episodes long enough. This was done so much that that 9 episodes worth of footage were cut out making the american "Saiyan" saga only have 26 episodes.