Tongue twisted: Disneyland Paris

Sticking Minnie Mouse in a Lanvin dress does not make her French. Disney is as American as apple pie.

Tarte tatin it is not.

Yet Disney’s European amusement park was sited in France. The fact that it’s close to Paris and is less than a four-hour drive for around 70 million people clinched it for the village of Marne-la-Vallée over its rivals.

However, to a British ear, there’s something about having Pluto greet you in French that is a little unexpected.

Which may explain why so many of the staff on the 19km2 site are British. Mind you, they’ll need to speak French and, let’s face it, the UK isn’t exactly a hotbed of language learning. A recent survey by TripAdvisor put the proportion of Brits who can speak another language at just 11%.

The subject came up at work, where one of my colleagues has just returned from celebrating his daughter’s third birthday at Disneyland Paris.

She didn’t seem to care that her favourite characters sounded more like Alfie Moon than Mickey Mouse. And when it comes down to it, that’s what matters.

This entry was published on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 at 08:02. It’s filed under Language and culture, Places and people and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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