snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Disney » Rude French at EuroDisney (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4   
Author Topic: Rude French at EuroDisney
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 108 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Comment: We've heard that when Disney opened Eurodisney, they had to have
an extensive training course to teach the French workers how to "be
polite", something that they weren't used to.

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
shifty rob
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for shifty rob     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, because the Fench are so new to this whole "tourism" thing...

--------------------
"They got a name for the winners in the world; I want a name when I lose" -Steely Dan

Posts: 480 | From: Tampa Bay, FL | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Doug4.7   E-mail Doug4.7   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My experience with the French (YMMV) is that even if you butcher their language, they are willing to work with you (as long as you TRY to use their language).

When I was in France (as a tourist), I saw lots of very UNrude French peoples...

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ariadne
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ariadne   E-mail Ariadne   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
My experience with the French (YMMV) is that even if you butcher their language, they are willing to work with you (as long as you TRY to use their language).

When I was in France (as a tourist), I saw lots of very UNrude French peoples...

Despite many warnings about French rudeness from friends and colleagues, I met not a single rude person during a stay in Paris. I was only there for three days, but still, there was no one I considered rude at all, and some were quite delightful.

--------------------
saxea ut effigies bacchantis prospicit eheu | prospicit et magnis curarum fluctuat undis
-Catullus

Posts: 435 | From: Iowa | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Christie     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
We went to Disneyland Paris back in 1998 and had a wonderful time. The people who worked there were definitely unrude (great word Doug). We've also had a chance to visit Paris and Normandy on different trips and were treated extremely well.

It definitely helped that we at least made an effort to speak French and that we didn't go with any expectation that we would be treated badly. I have a feeling people often go out of their way to find what they are seeking. And if what you are seeking is rudeness, well, your attitude may just invite it.

--------------------
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

Posts: 18428 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganzfeld     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I'll add the fourth good report about the French. I didn't speak any French (I wasn't even expecting to end up there) but found people very friendly and helpful. (I've posted this comment before but only one man was funny. He came to me and asked me for directions or a cigarette or something. After I said I don't speak French, he looked at me with wide eyes, mouth agape, and repeated what I had said, but in French. I believe that I was the first person he ever met who did not speak French! But he wasn't rude.)
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise   Author's Homepage   E-mail Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've met a few rude French people in America, but no non-French person I know who has actually been to France has ever said the stereotypes were even close to being true.

--------------------
Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
But just now it's enough to be walking with you
Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

Posts: 2669 | From: Jouy en Josas, France | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 87 posted      Profile for Astra     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've never been to Disneyland Paris, but the only bad encounter I've had with French citizens were the obnoxious girls working at the French pavilion at EPCOT several years ago. I dared to make an order at the crepe stand and apparently interrupted their conversation, getting me a dirty look to start off with. I then made a mistake ordering (a line of text on the menu was scraped off, so I thought the crepes came with chocolate, not seeing that the "chocolate" actually referred to ice cream flavors), which was greeted with eye-rolling and words exchanged in French between the two workers. On a different day (same trip) I went to the store in the pavilion to have a passport stamped for my little sister. She couldn't make the trip, so I thought it would make a nice gift for her. Again, the two workers at the perfume shop in the French pavilion were the only people who had a problem with this - they chewed me out because the passports were meant for little kids, and completely ignored me when I attempted to explain it WAS for a kid! There was nobody else in the store, and yet I felt like asking for the stamp was a major intrusion upon their business.

I felt bad for anybody who visited the pavilion during that time - the people working there during that period certainly weren't doing much to fight that whole stereotype about the French being rude. Only time I've ever had that kind of crappy experience at Disney though, must just have had bad luck to stumble into the handful of cranky castmembers [Smile]

--------------------
This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

Posts: 6105 | From: Mississippi | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
mags
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for mags     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
When I visited France, I only encountered rudeness a couple of times.

The most blatant of rudeness on that trip came when we stopped for lunch in Italy. Upon leaving the restaurant, a group of young italian men in a car leaving the parking lot yelled something to one of the girls from our group. Upon asking our guide, we learned it meant "whore." She hadn't done anything, and wasn't dressed scantily, or anything.

I did have some old pervert try to feel up my leg in a very crowded subway car in Paris, but I grabbed his hand and shoved it back at him, and managed to scooch around behind a different guy, who figured out what was going on and glared at the pervert for me. I don't think it had anything to do with him being French tho, there are perverts everywhere.

I wonder if the people working at the French pavillion in Epcot were actually from France, or French-Canadian.

Posts: 550 | From: Springboro, OH | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganzfeld     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mags:
When I visited France, I only encountered rudeness a couple of times.

The most blatant of rudeness on that trip came when we stopped for lunch in Italy. Upon leaving the restaurant, a group of young italian men in a car leaving the parking lot yelled something to one of the girls from our group. Upon asking our guide, we learned it meant "whore." She hadn't done anything, and wasn't dressed scantily, or anything.

I don't know whether to post [lol] or [Confused] , mags. I didn't encounter any rudeness in the Italian part of Napoleon's empire either.
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


Icon 87 posted      Profile for Astra     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mags:
I wonder if the people working at the French pavillion in Epcot were actually from France, or French-Canadian.

Forgot to include that bit - according to their nametags, all were French (from France, not Canada).

--------------------
This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

Posts: 6105 | From: Mississippi | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Doug4.7   E-mail Doug4.7   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
As for French rudeness, we ran an experiment (on accident). Here is how it works:

Hypothesis 1: The French are only rude to Americans.

Hypothesis 2: The French are rude to those who do not attempt their language.

Hypothesis 3: The French are rude only to those who are rude to them.

Experimental setup: Take two identical male subjects, both obviously American, both friendly and have each ask a French ticket agent for train tickets to Paris. One attempts French, the other uses only English.

Results: The friendly American who attempted French got his tickets and answers to his questions IN ENGLISH while the one who only spoke English was waved off with a somewhat rude gesture. Both questioners were obviously American, both were friendly, both were about the same size, the only difference was #1 asked his questions in English without a greeting in French, while #2 first greeted the ticket agent in French and then asked if the agent spoke English.

Conclusions: Hypothesis #2 is supported, while #1 & #3 were not.

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for DemonWolf     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Doug, did you actually perform this experiment?

Also, you forgot hypothisis 4: There are rude people everywhere, it just so happens that when a French person is rude, we assume that the reason is that the person is French.

--------------------
Friends are like skittles: they come in many colors, and some are fruity!

IMJW-052804

Posts: 7224 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 203 posted      Profile for Doug4.7   E-mail Doug4.7   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
Doug, did you actually perform this experiment?

Also, you forgot hypothisis 4: There are rude people everywhere, it just so happens that when a French person is rude, we assume that the reason is that the person is French.

We actually DID the experiment (actually, I think the correct term is single case study, but anyway...) by accident. I was in a group of about 4 scientist types and we needed to get from Versailles (sp) to Paris on the train. One of us (who is alot like me, only he didn't even try French) went up to the ticket guy (I didn't notice) and asked in English how to get to Paris. The guy in the ticket window brushed him off with a hand gesture. I went over about 5 minutes later and used all the French I knew ("Bonjour!", "Parle vu Engles?") and the guy asked me (in English) what I wanted. I said "Merci" and then told him I needed 4 tickets to Paris. We finished the transaction, I gave him my CC, and I had my four tickets. No problem.

The others in my group were astounded.

That was my experience all over Paris & Versailles. A little French went a long way.

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Communication Attempt
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Communication Attempt   E-mail Communication Attempt       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I haven't met any rude people in France.Quite the contrary they were quite patient with me,despite my speaking Canadian french wich is quite different from French french.I also has a hard time understanding the local jargon but they patiently explained any words I did not understand

--------------------
"I love God,he's so deliciously evil!" -Stewie,Family Guy

The fun thing about standards is that they come in so many varieties.

Posts: 510 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ULTRAGLORIA
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for ULTRAGLORIA     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My sister (who spent a year in France while in University) and I went to visit some friends of hers in Brittany. We went to a birthday party while there. One stereotype of the French, at least back then (early 90s), is that they certainly SMOKE a lot more than Americans. At this party, there was hardly any breathable air. I went outside to sit on a bench in the drizzle because I was getting sick from the smoke.

After about 10 minutes, three or four people who spoke English joined me. They stood down wind (still with cigarettes!), in the drizzle, talking to me and making sure I felt welcome and included.

Evidently they asked my sister why I was sitting outside in the drizzle and she told them I was feeling ill from the smoke. So some of them who could speak English (I have no French) went out of their way to make sure I felt welcome.

I never had a problem in France. But the only time I was there was with a fluent French speaker.

ULTRA "non parle Frances' GOTHA

--------------------
A Lie can run around the world before the Truth can get its boots on. - Terry Pratchett

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts. - Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Posts: 2495 | From: Connecticut | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Hero_Mike         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The French in France are rude to each other - not just english-speakers. They push you to move forward when standing in a crowd (like trying to get off an airplane), or invade your personal space when reaching for items at the grocery store.

However, the French in France were *not* rude when engaging them in conversation - particularly for commerce - in english. If "americans" have perceived the French to be rude, it is because they are demanding and brusque. In one of the many threads on tipping in restaurants, some people said that jiggling an empty glass of ice is how you get your server's attention that your drink needs to be topped up. Most people think it is rude, even in the US. But if it rates 5 out of 10 on the rudeness scale here, it's about 13 out of 10 in France. Some things just aren't perceived the same way here and there.

There are many francophones in Quebec who are very rude to people who speak english (including fellow Quebecers) because French language and culture has been turned into a political issue, much to the detriment of Quebecers as a whole. I have found this to be true even in areas of tourism, where it would benefit people to be as patient and accepting as possible, of anyone, because anglophones have money which is just as valuable, as francophones. Montreal used to be the centre of commerce and culture for Canada, but with the threats of referendums on sovereignty and even separation, many companies have moved out of Montreal or don't do business in Quebec because of the uncertainty. And that, is very rude.

--------------------
"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

Posts: 1587 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Andrew of Ware, England   Author's Homepage   E-mail Andrew of Ware, England   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I am sorry to say that, in Britain, French school parties have a dreadful reputation for being rude. I do not think it is entirely deserved.

Negative experience: I was in the London Planetarium and sitting behind me was a party of French school children. Just as we were passing Mars they began swearing in English and speaking to each other very loudly (in English) and still swearing. As we were approaching Sirius I turned round and asked them to be quiet. I received Gaullish shrugs and, 'Je ne parle l'Anglais.' (Pardon my French) I spoke to the teachers once we were back on Earth and they too shrugged and said there was nothing they could do.

Positive experiences: I was in Lavenham when a quiet French school party came past. They seemed totally disinterested in the beautiful medaeval architecture, but when a stretch limo (yuk!) came past, out came the cameras. I have also met a nice French school party at Dover Castle. In the Lake District I once met a French couple whose English was worse than my French. Could they get a coffee without milk. I taught them enough English to get some black coffee.

Conclusion: Some French are rude. Some are not. Mmmm. Much like the rest of the world I think.

--------------------
Andrew, Ware, England

Posts: 1709 | From: Ware, England | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Brad from Georgia   Author's Homepage   E-mail Brad from Georgia   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
We had an odd semi-encounter with a young French couple during our recent New York trip. We were in a restaurant on Lexington Avenue, and the French couple were seated just after we were, a couple of tables away. The young French man lit a cigarette, and a waiter asked him to extinguish it because no smoking was allowed. The young man shrugged and continued to puff. His wife or girlfriend translated the request into French, and he finally made a face and crushed out the smoke on the floor. As soon as the waiter had gone, he lit another cigarette, the girl spoke to him, and he slapped her across the face--hard!--and then got up, still smoking, and left the restaurant. The weeping girl followed him out, and that was the last we saw of them.

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

Posts: 7581 | From: Gainesville, Georgia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganzfeld     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I have a hard time believing that we've stooped to the level of examining the diverse culture of a whole country by individual anecdotes, some of which seem to have nothing to do with the country or its people. Would we accept the same type of meandering in a thread about African Americans?
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Richard W   E-mail Richard W   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariadne:
Despite many warnings about French rudeness from friends and colleagues, I met not a single rude person during a stay in Paris. I was only there for three days, but still, there was no one I considered rude at all, and some were quite delightful.

Yes, my impression of Paris was that it was actually much more "polite" than London. And the reason that French people stereotype Parisians as rude is because in other areas people tend to be even more polite...
Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kathy B     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Back to the original post. I found a paper called Corporate Image and the Establishment of Euro Disney: Mickey Mouse and the French Press. Technical Communication Quarterly 7 (1998): 247-58

The author reviewed "a thick three-volume collection of French magazine and newspaper clippings on the building of Euro Disney—a theme park opened in April of that year about twenty miles outside of Paris—and on French perceptions and opinions of Disney and the theme park." The author discusses the inital training program. I'm just focussing on the "rudeness" part, not other issue.
quote:
The expectation that Disney’s Anaheim and Orlando rules of conduct would pass invisibly into the French system was naive and resulted in significant reaction in the French press. What seems to have bothered—even enraged—prospective French employees the most were the rules of personal hygiene and conduct, as both the French and American press reported.
The French objected to the dress code, including hair styling , facial hair, and jewelery. A French reporter disgused herhelf as a prospective employee. She described the rules and selction process as "draconian" and "quasi-stalinist."
quote:
In addition, her training introduced her to a set of Disney taboos: it is forbidden to smoke, eat, or drink in front of visitors and, especially, to argue with them or to use foul language for which immediate dismissal can be the consequence. .... Another new French recruit, asked about the requirement to smile at the tourists, remarked, ‘The foreigners are used to being smiled at, but the French don’t understand it. They think they are being taken for idiots’
The press articles described it as a "struggle between French
individualism and American [corporate] conformism....The battle lines drawn in this fashion help explain the French outcry against Disney: its use of fantasy to stimulate spending, its disruption of the civilizing power of land cultivated for centuries, and its strict code of behavior and training methods that express corporate norms at the expense of the rights of individual employees."

--------------------
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

Posts: 4255 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
jessboo
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for jessboo     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think Hero Mike is spot on- "If "americans" have perceived the French to be rude, it is because they are demanding and brusque."

I go to France a couple of times a year, and I find that as long as you make an effort, they're ok (sweeping generalisation there!). for instance, if you attempt to speak to them in French, they will usually switch to English to help you out. if you just go in and don't even try to talk in their own language, they get annoyed. I've even annoyed a French shop assistant with 'parlez-vous Anglais?' before.

--------------------
Join me on Lost - www.lost.eu/edcf

Do you have any wine? All of this would go a lot smoother in an altered state of reality.

Posts: 779 | From: Southampton, England | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cat Grey
Happy Holly Days


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cat Grey   Author's Homepage     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My own (now severly out of date) experience in France was that Parisians tend to be more brusque than folks in other parts of the country... but certainly no more so than people in certain parts of the U.S. I knew maybe a dozen phrases of French (at the time - I'm down to about three, now), but was reasonably fluent in Spanish. So if I needed something more complex than my memorized phrases would cover, I'd start in Spanish and (if that failed, as it usually did) then switch to English.

This is still basically anecdotal, but over the course of a week and a half in various parts of France, I didn't have any trouble at all. No one was rude, nobody was dismissive, and at least two of the people I met enjoyed the chance to practice speaking Spanish.

So, I'd suggest a refinement of Doug 4.7's hypothesis:

Hypothesis 2a: The French are only rude to monolinguists who insist that everyone should speak their language.

It's possible that they don't like Americans but consistently mistook me for a Spaniard... but I doubt it.

Cat "No good. I've known too many Spaniards." Grey

--------------------
"Beer assuages grief. No one tells you that." ~Arrow-Tech IV

Posts: 1612 | From: Darkest America (Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas) | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Alex Buchet
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alex Buchet   E-mail Alex Buchet       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
As a dual national, raised in both the French and American cultures, may I chip in my two centimes' worth?

A lot of the perception of rudeness comes from cultural differences.

--Americans are taught that smiling is polite, but in France it can be taken as a sign of lack of seriousness.

--The French would be appalled at the American waiter who introduces himself: "Hi, I'm Randy, and I'm your waiter for tonight!" It would be considered presumptuous. French courtesy privileges distance rather than intimacy.

-- In North American culture, a shop is considered a public area, almost an extension of the street. The French shopkeeper considers his shop to be his private domain. If you enter a French shop without saying 'Bonjour', you are likely to be treated frostily.

--Many Americans would take contradiction and argument from a stranger to be somewhat rude. In France, arguing is the great national sport--it's how they bond!

Now, there are also French misperceptions of Americans' rudeness that are due to cultural differences. Don't ask anybody about their salary or how much they paid for something. Don't act like a tourist: loud, dressed sloppily, blocking the sidewalks in clumps. Don't eat or drink in the street.And especially, DON'T let your kids run wild!

All that being said, there are too many of my compatriots who are unpardonably rude. I'm sure the ratio is much the same as in other countries.
Bear a few things in mind: we Parisians are famed among other Frenchmen for being rude, much as New Yorkers are in the States.

If you are in a touristy area such as the Riviera, there tends to be the sort of contempt from the locals you'll encounter elsewhere in similar localities.

And don't be afraid to stick up for yourself. You'll be respected for it.

Posts: 202 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Esprise Me     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Alex, I printed your post and stuck it in my Let's Go Europe book for the next time I find myself in France. Good to know, thanks.

At the risk of offending Ganzfeld, I'll throw in my experience as well. My college has a study abroad program in the Netherlands. Every semester, eighty of our (almost uniformly American) students spend three and a half months taking regular classes four days a week, and traveling on the weekends; there are also two weeklong travel breaks that begin with required excursions of a few days in duration. I was there two years ago, and I decided to take an introductory French course, since I had only studied Spanish in high school and figured it might come in handy. There were about fifteen people in that class, with an approximately equal gender distribution, and we were all beginners in French. The required excursion to Paris took place about three weeks into the course. When we returned, our teacher, a born-and-raised Parisian, asked how we'd liked the city and what we'd thought of the people. The responses were interesting: all the girls loved Paris and said everyone was extremely nice to them, even though they hardly spoke any French, while all the boys said all the French people they'd encountered were incredibly rude.

I've noticed this in other places as well. Women, especially pretty, young women (we were all between the ages of 19 and 21) receive better treatment from the locals. Local men tend to flirt with them--I got tons of compliments on my abysmal French, so-so Spanish, and three words of Dutch, and bartenders gave me free drinks--and local women don't perceive them as a threat, so they feel more inclined to help them out. (Of course, women are more likely to be victims of sexual assault, but there's a downside to everything.)

On the subject of Disney and culture clashes, I will say that this is a company whose standars are weird and extreme even within the culture from which they emerged. I never worked for Disney (though I believe there is at least one person on these boards who does--where is she?) but I grew up not too far from Anaheim, and Disneyland was always a "presence" in my life. In middle school, my friends and I all had annual passes, and we would visit several times a year. In high school, many of my friends got jobs there. We had dinner at the Blue Bayou, the restaurant you pass on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, before Winter Formal my freshman year. Having been to Europe twice (I know, that makes me such an expert) I can't imagine there wouldn't be conflicts no matter where on that continent Disney tried to set up shop. The smiling thing Alex mentioned is especially telling; I remember reading something similar once (I'll try to find it) about difficulties between American companies and their Japanese employees, who had to be specially trained to grin maniacally while speaking to a customer.

--------------------
"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

Posts: 977 | From: Boston, MA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Alex Buchet
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alex Buchet   E-mail Alex Buchet       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Interesting. I believe your account of the unfortunate extra hostility towards American males-- part of that silly Latin machismo mindset.
Remember, also, that anti-Americans are likely to be ruder than the average...

To put Disney in perspective, without necessarily playing Devil's Advocate: I'm sure Disney expends a great deal of time, money and effort to bring Floridian teenagers-- as much as for French or Californian teenagers-- up to scratch!

Posts: 202 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
forceflow15
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 1 posted      Profile for forceflow15     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The smiling thing is reminiscent of the UL on snopes. Supposedly, when McDonald's opened its first Russian resturant in Moscow, they had to hire people to yell at customers via bullhorns. These people would tell the customers that they would be smiled at when they reached the counter and that this was ok. It seems that smiling at strangers in Russia means that you are making fun of them.

I also agree with Alex's claims that Americans suffer the same problems when working for Disney. It has been widely reported that Disney has draconian measures and why they have these rules in place.

--------------------
Forceflow

"There was Joye in the courtroom, but he slipped on a-peel." = Prof. Kutner

Posts: 101 | From: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet   E-mail Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
This thread just made me think of the Simpsons episode where an Itchy and Scratchy theme park is set up in Paris: the park is boycotted and there is a shot of an unwilling French mouseketeer in a booth (complete with stubble and cigarette) sighing at the situation and saying "Ma children need wahn!"

--------------------
I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

Posts: 4495 | From: Surrey, UK | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Toys for big boys.
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Toys for big boys.     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
French people are lovely. They seem to appreciate our attempts at speaking to them in their own language. Especially when we went to EuroDisney.

--------------------
I am not taking lectures on physics from a man in tights.

Posts: 236 | From: England | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
mediadave
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for mediadave   E-mail mediadave   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
These people would tell the customers that they would be smiled at when they reached the counter and that this was ok. It seems that smiling at strangers in Russia means that you are making fun of them.
When I did a Russian language class (from a georgian woman) i was told not to smile at random people on the street if i ever went to Russia. Guess there's some truth in this one.
Posts: 7 | From: Scotland | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
mediadave
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for mediadave   E-mail mediadave   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
These people would tell the customers that they would be smiled at when they reached the counter and that this was ok. It seems that smiling at strangers in Russia means that you are making fun of them.
When I did a Russian language class (from a georgian woman) i was told not to smile at random people on the street if i ever went to Russia. Guess there's some truth in this one.
Posts: 7 | From: Scotland | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
RubyMoon
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for RubyMoon   E-mail RubyMoon   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think Americans are the ones who are rude. We go to contries where we don't speak the language and expect everyone to cater to us and our money. Or we expect every thing to be an amusment park for us. ("Paris has some nice sights, but it's too crowded and has litter") Yeah, that's because it's a city where actual people live, and not an amusment park.

And on the matter of language -- some one comes from France to New York, and they walk into a store and say "Hello, do you speak French", they will know what rudeness is.

Posts: 280 | From: Maryland | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Andrew of Ware, England   Author's Homepage   E-mail Andrew of Ware, England   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I think you are being a bit hard on yourself Ruby Moon. I find Americans I meet in Britain to be absolutely charming. They try and fit in with British customs. For example, when writing dates they will usually write them the 'British' way (i.e. day/month/year). If there is a word that is different in American English from British English they are will usually use the British word (such as saying 'lift' instead of 'elevator').

In addition, when driving a hired car most Americans will drive on the left.

--------------------
Andrew, Ware, England

Posts: 1709 | From: Ware, England | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Alex Buchet
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alex Buchet   E-mail Alex Buchet       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Unfortunately, there is one domain where French manners ARE unspeakably rotten-- driving. The French themselves acknowledge it.
Posts: 202 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
  This topic comprises 4 pages: 1  2  3  4   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2