Actually, My friend got a Wii from Taiwan, and it plays American games just fine. Seriously not making this up.
As for the language thing, it doesn't work. There's only two options and i'm pretty sure it's Japanese and Chinese so you're pretty much stuck with an options menu you can't read. it's irritating especially since it took me 30 minutes to figure out how to fix my friend's sensor bar.
But the fact that her Wii could play American Wii games made me real happy.