Theme park cast member stories: Hablamos Español... Sorta
Laurie and I went out for dinner in Austin, Texas a couple weeks ago with a mutual friends from college, who'd married a lawyer from Argentina. They're fluent in Spanish, so Laurie was practicing her Español
, as she likes to do with native and fluent speakers.
Our friend asked if I knew Spanish, too, and I replied that I know a few phrases.
Laurie rolled her eyes. "Go ahead," she said. So I rattled off my best Spanish, as our friend arched her eyebrow higher with each phrase:
"Cuatro personas por fila, por favor"*
"No más de veinticuatro personas por barco"**
"Permanezcan sentados, por favor"***
"Mantenga las manos y los brazos dentro del barco"****
"No tomar fotografías con flash"*****
I could tell she was struggling to find some context for these seemingly random phrases, but her blank stare turned to understanding once Laurie explained....
"He learned to speak Spanish working at Pirates of the Caribbean."
*Four people per row, please
**No more than 24 people per boat
***Remain seated, please
****Keep your hands and arms inside the boat
*****No flash photography
Please Stand Clear of the Doors!
Delightful story, Robert. Reminds me of what little French I recall from high school. (Even more random than you.) The two I can still rattle off (but not necessarily spell in French so I won't try): "May I sharpen my pencil." & "Pull the drapes please, I can't see the blackboard." (Yes, the room actually had drapes and if you were on the opposite side of the room at the correct angle, the blackboard [actually green board] just disappeared into a sea of white.)
I used to be able to say "Get down off of the rocks" in at least 20 different languages after nearly five years at Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground!
How 'bout "don't drink the water"?
lol @ Anthony. I took a trip around Disney the other day and repeatedly heard that phrase on the Monorail too.
Anthony beat me to it LOL but I got one up on him here, Cafe Press has a shirt you can buy with the saying on it and a monorial sign:
Disney sells it too!
I really enjoy practicing my German with the German pavilion CMs at Epcot's World Showcase. I only studied the language for two semesters in college, picked up some from my grandfather and some other informal means (including a friend's foul-mouthed exchange student) and have only been to Germany once, so I enjoy the chance to practice what little German I do know. Now in most other places, if you speak in a foreign language to a native speaker they'll assume you're fluent and will go off light-speed in full conversation. At Epcot, the CMs so far have always realized my German, while pretty good, is very limited in scope. They'll engage in very simple, clear conversation, speak more complex sentences in English, and will generally make you feel like a champ. Hats off to them. I'm not sure if Disney teaches this courtesy, but I just love being able to engage the CMs in a foreign language without getting in over my head. I did have this backfire a bit when a German CM started flirting (with a very not-subtle wink too) when I started speaking in German, with my wife right by my side, but other than that they've been great. (And to be honest, I didn't really mind the flirting. She was fairly attractive...)
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