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  • [Question] Language Barrier

    I am going to DLRP for the first time in a few months. I was wondering how much of a language barrier there will be, as I speak no french. Do most CMs also speak english? Are there any shows of attractions exclusively in french?

  • #2
    Re: Language Barrier

    There is practically no barrier at all. Lots of CMs speak English...and spanish, german, italian etc. etc for that matter.

    A lot of shows are english/french combo.

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    • #3
      Re: Language Barrier

      ALL CMs have at least a limited grasp of English. As a typical Englishman abroad, I speak only English (or speak louder if I'm not understood!) and have never come across a problem on the Resort. Now outside the resort is a whole different kettle of fish...
      WDW - 1987 & 1991
      DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
      DLR - October 2011




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      • #4
        Re: Language Barrier

        It's Europe... Only the British are monolingual, haha. It will never be an insurmountable problem, even outside Disney property, although you will obviously encounter French signage, French intercom messages, French menus... Just look at it as a learning opportunity.

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        • #5
          Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

          Tom Chaney Memorial Debate Lounge Quote of the Week:

          [None]
          The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough - Randy Pausch

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          • #6
            Re: Language Barrier

            It's actually quite a good place to practise if you're not incredibly confident cos if you muck up there's a safety net hehe. Of course sometimes I ask in Frenhc and get a response in English...then I just feel stupid...

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            • #7
              Re: Language Barrier

              Originally posted by fizzog View Post
              Of course sometimes I ask in French and get a response in English...then I just feel stupid...
              this is all too common unfortunately, fair enough they realise you're (i mean me :-) english and want to make it easy for you(well actually them), but usually it's accompanied by a mocking sarcasm which i find horrible.

              you won't have any problems henry but be prepared for some xenophobia!

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              • #8
                Re: Language Barrier

                Originally posted by fizzog View Post
                It's actually quite a good place to practise if you're not incredibly confident cos if you muck up there's a safety net hehe. Of course sometimes I ask in Frenhc and get a response in English...then I just feel stupid...
                That's why I general started with "bonjour" and, after they responded, would immediately follow with "parlez-vous Anglais?" Usually their English was much better than my French.
                Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

                Tom Chaney Memorial Debate Lounge Quote of the Week:

                [None]
                The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough - Randy Pausch

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                • #9
                  Re: Language Barrier

                  Originally posted by steamboatpete View Post
                  That's why I general started with "bonjour" and, after they responded, would immediately follow with "parlez-vous Anglais?"
                  Outside the resort the usual answer to that question is "non, parlez-vous Francais?"
                  WDW - 1987 & 1991
                  DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
                  DLR - October 2011




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                  • #10
                    Re: Language Barrier

                    As everyone has pointed, the vast majority of CMs speak better English than most English people can speak French. They do appreciate any attempts at speaking their language (even if you just start with "bonjour" and then launch into you English) so if all you know are the absolute basics the you should still try to use them.

                    As for attractions, the Fantasyland dark rides are all in French, but most are bi-lingual.
                    Shows are either that odd but effective Franglish where the performers speak both languages and convey their message by repeating each other in the opposite language - "Why yes, I do think Goofy is very silly!" - or published as being the French show or the English show at certain times.

                    The language barrier is not as big an issue as many first timers worry it's going to be. Have fun!


                    "I'm gettin' kind of fond of you, kid.
                    Not that I want to pick out curtains or anything."

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                    • #11
                      Re: Language Barrier

                      In fact I'd say the bi-linguality adds a certain charm to the place, but I know that's a rather optimistic statement hehe. Somehow seems more classy than plain old English!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Language Barrier

                        Originally posted by fizzog View Post
                        In fact I'd say the bi-linguality adds a certain charm to the place, but I know that's a rather optimistic statement hehe. Somehow seems more classy than plain old English!
                        I tend to agree but certain language decisions that are made at DLP are just plain stupid. Roy Disney being dubbed into French and given English subtitles in The Art of Animation? Mad!

                        Otherwise, it is interesting to meet and see familiar characters with different voices/speaking different languages/having different names. Although I would prefer if even some of Phantom Manor's Ghost Host was in English.
                        WDW - 1987 & 1991
                        DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
                        DLR - October 2011




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                        • #13
                          Re: Language Barrier

                          A Tower O' Terror style thing on PM would perhaps be a good idea, but then it's not as important I guess. The narration doesn't actually say anything about the story, just creepy spiel.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Language Barrier

                            Originally posted by PeaJay18 View Post
                            As everyone has pointed, the vast majority of CMs speak better English than most English people can speak French. They do appreciate any attempts at speaking their language (even if you just start with "bonjour" and then launch into you English) so if all you know are the absolute basics the you should still try to use them.
                            That's what I've heard. At least if you try to speak a little French, they'll appreciate it and maybe even respect you a little more for it (but probably not by much). As long as you have the basics down, you should be fine.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Language Barrier

                              We just got back from our first trip to Disneyland Paris and France. I checked out a Pimzler basic language course from the local library - give yourself 30 days - it really works. We knew just basic, basic French. Most everyone was friendly and accommodating. Typically I found that we'd start off in French, and they would respond in English. Of course it helped that we were in mostly touristy areas, but we only had a couple of days.

                              My favorite was when I went into City Hall to make reservations for Walt's. I got a little tongue tied and asked if he could write down what he said (I struggle with times and numbers for some reason). He responded, "Oh, I just figured you wanted to practice your French. I can talk to you in English instead." DW said she could see me visibly blush from behind! :blush:

                              Start off everything w/ a hearty "Bonjour!" and you'll do fine.

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