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Why Are Names On Aircraft Always In English?  
User currently offlineYanksn4 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1404 posts, RR: 12
Posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9587 times:

I've always wondered why airlines from foreign countries have their name on their aircraft always in english. I mean airlines that don't fly to the United States or United Kingdom have english subtitles. Is this because English is the biggest language in the world? And if another language were to have more people speak it than english, would this mean airlines would have to change it to that language?


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73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMrwayne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9506 times:

English is the national language of the airline/aviation industry - ATC



User currently offlineRussophile From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9430 times:

And if another language were to have more people speak it than english, would this mean airlines would have to change it to that language?

Not at all -- there are more Mandarin and Spanish speakers in the world than English -- although the gap between Spanish and English would surely be narrowing -- but would still be some 500 million people behind Mandarin.

English is the national language of the airline/aviation industry - ATC

Correction. English is a "national" language of the airline/aviation industry. There are several official languages of the ICAO, including Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic.

It would have more to do with English being the international language of business


User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9399 times:

More people speak Mandarin on earth than English but the latter is the most globally understood language. Unless China one day becomes like the present-day US, we wont see any Chinese subtitles anytime soon, so English is here to stay. That's why even Chinese aircrafts have English subtitles, although the Chinese writings are more prominent. I love Aer Lingus and Lufthansa (& others) for not following the trend of naming their airlines in English (or partially English).

User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12877 posts, RR: 46
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9388 times:
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Many non English airlines have titles in their national language on one side and English on the other. Some airlines have the airline name in their own language on the aircraft and English on the tail. There are many variations of this:


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User currently offlineSammyhostie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9383 times:

And the fact that they want our western money!

User currently offlineRussophile From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9381 times:

I will add also, that I am aware that the ICAO has said that English will be the language of ATC -- however, the Russians are soon expected to introduce measures which will see all foreign airlines operating to Russia being required to have at least one Russian speaking crew member on board.

User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9299 times:

Most Arab airlines have the names in English and Arabic. Not sure if this is the case with other airlines.


EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9230 times:

Unless the airline comes from a country where the national language (or principal foreign language) is either french / spanish / portuguese, the airline name subtitle will always be in English. And many carriers already has an English name already like MEA so even a subtitle is not needed.

Malaysia Airlines is known as "Penerbangan Malaysia" in Malay but this is only used during formal annoucements at the airport or in the aircraft. Even when speaking in Malay, nobody use the Malay name - we just call it MAS.

[Edited 2004-03-13 18:15:20]

User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9214 times:

There are air routes in Russia which require a Russian speaking radio-navigator aboard for the flight.
There are many "Russian language only" airways/airports, east of the Urals.
Certain routes, i.e. to Moscow from Western Europe, Russian ATC speaks very good English.
Same for routes from Khabarovsk to Alaska, in Eastern Siberia. Good English.
xxx
Even if Russia wants to require Yakutsk language, they sure can do so, ICAO has no authority.
At the AEP downtown Buenos Aires, all ATC is in Spanish, tough luck if you speak only English.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineRussophile From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9192 times:

Sammyhostie -- I am merely providing information I have seen with my own 2 eyes -- it had already been endorsed by several airline CEOs -- Skuratov has been quite vocal on this point -- and it is being discussed by the GSGA and MAK for introduction into law.

User currently offlineAviationman From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9165 times:

Because English is an "Imperialist" language. People believe that English is the only language that should be used.

User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9118 times:

I shall say again, quoting ICAO...
xxx
English is the RECOMMENDED language of aviation communications.
It is NOT - I say again N-O-T (November Oscar Tango) COMPULSORY.
Each ICAO member state in ENCOURAGED to use English besides their own.
Who started that legend that English is required...? - Bravo Sierra...
xxx
Happy contrails  Big grin
(s) Skipper


[Edited 2004-03-13 18:47:16]

User currently offlineSammyhostie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9094 times:

Aviationman,

Of course it should be, English is a language that most people understand and use throughout their life, and indeed aspire to use.

If they dont speak it, they should learn how to!

English is the language of the world, because it is the money of the world.

America and the UK together are the biggest stockbrokers/financiers in the world.



User currently offlineKEno From Malaysia, joined Feb 2004, 1842 posts, RR: 27
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9033 times:

Sammyhostie,
Not everybody in the world needs to speak English in their day-to-day life so why bother learning them? However, those who deal with international affairs should at least learn some English, not because to please the anglophone americans & british, but to ease communications from people from other countries too. English is by far the most preferred foreign language in most countries including world's largest country, China. So it's not just about communicating with the rich anglophones, but to the whole world too.


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8984 times:

As we discuss how many people speak what language, has anyone bothered to measure how many passengers speak what language? I would suspect that English-speaking passengers easily are #1.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineSpike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1170 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8929 times:

I think having both English (Roman script) and another script (Arabic, Indian, Thai, etc.) together looks really good. They are always thwe interesting ones to spot. I can't think of one national airline with their own script that doesn't do this in fact.

User currently offlineAviationman From Canada, joined Dec 1999, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8877 times:

Sammyhostie, LOL...... You are confirming what I wrote/said.

[Edited 2004-03-13 19:12:51]

User currently offlineSammyhostie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8845 times:

I know Aviationman,

That was the point mate.

I am imperialist and elitst! I freely admit it!


User currently offlineSA006 From South Africa, joined Sep 2003, 1883 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8806 times:

SAA have Zulu names
ZS-SAY "Vulindlila"
767 Siyaya
ZS-SAJ "Ndizani"
"Imonti"
Then Afrikaans
732's are mostly Afrikaans rivers
Olifants, Vaal etc

Rgds
SA006



Proudly South African
User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8778 times:

You'd be surprised about little English spoken in South America, in countries South of the Equator...
In Buenos Aires, some English is used, but mostly by businessmen and tourists. Outside of the capital... no English, except touristy areas.
For passengers. yes, more people do...
A guess here, for the Southern part of South America...
xxx
Domestic flights, maybe 25% of the passengers can speak (at least some) English.
International (inside South America), maybe 40% can speak (at least some) English.
International (to USA, Europe etc.), maybe 75% can speak (at least some) English.
This is an estimate for my airline.
Remember, we have to deal with Portuguese language too (Brazil).
xxx
A USA airline obviously would have a higher ratio on routes to Argentina.
We always have at least 1 F/A able to speak English on domestic flights.
English is required for all F/As working international flights, except trainees.
Language classes are organized by the company.
xxx
We have a few pilots who only speak Spanish (737 and MD80), this prevents them from transfer to the 747 or 340... Their radio operator's licence has a limitation to that effect.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6594 posts, RR: 35
Reply 21, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8768 times:
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A generation or two ago, the language everybody learnt was French. English was learnt only by the visionaries who saw French declining.

Learning English is also practical as a communications tool between people whose native language is different, as somebody already said. This is helped by the fact that English is very easy to learn and study.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 22, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 8735 times:

Sammyhostie said:
Of course it should be, English is a language that most people understand and use throughout their life, and indeed aspire to use.
If they dont speak it, they should learn how to!
English is the language of the world, because it is the money of the world.
America and the UK together are the biggest stockbrokers/financiers in the world.



The economies of Japan and China are almost as big (individually) as the US economy. So is that of the EU if you want to treat the place as one country. And if you want to do biz in these countries, you need to speak the lingo. This is to a large extent also true in France, Italy and Germany. The money of the world has no language  Big grin But the majority is held by people who speak English, Arabic, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Russian (I'm sure that I've missed a few). I'm sure there's a ranking in there somewhere, but English is certainly not dominant.

I think that English will still be very important, but who knows what the future holds. Spanish is overtaking English, even in the US, in terms of people who speak it as a first language. A few hundred years ago, the global language was French, and before than Latin.

If you want proof that English is not as important as you seem to think, go to Beijing or Tokyo and ask for directions from random people in English.

Most people do not speak English at all, even as a second language. The need to learn English is primarily driven by economics. If China's economy continues to grow at the current rate, the two Chinese languages may well become dominant in this century. This will probably not, however, change the importance of English in Aviation. It's a hard thing to change, given the importance of clear communications. But maybe in 50 years we'll have computers to translate for us  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 23, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8595 times:

Sammyhostie: I think you misinterpreted some of what I said. Sorry if you feel that I am a prat but these are my opinions. I disagreed with you on some points, but I don't feel that my language was offensive.


The economics argument means (to me) that most people in the world do not need to learn English. As for rock stars, there are plenty of Japanese, Chinese and Spanish-speaking ones that we have never heard of, but that nevertheless sell as much as Britney and Fleetwood Mac.

I speak four languages fluently, and I have been sitting in villages in Italy or France where English will get you nowhere, despite it being taught in school and tourists coming through every summer.

This reminds me of the old joke:
"What's do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual.
What's do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual.
What's do you call someone who speaks one language? An Englishman."

My personal opinion is that the future will be multilingual, and that more and more people will want to (need to) learn several languages.


I did not know that the aviation chat existed until now! And I did not have to search the Internet to write that post, although I am viciously fast at Googling.


As for working in the airline industry, I'm doing quite well in the IT industry  Big grin

EDIT: I'm on the chat now. Where are you?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

EDIT 2: Hope we're ok now. Hope to chat you again soon.




[Edited 2004-03-13 19:57:51]

[Edited 2004-03-13 20:20:14]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8501 times:

Sammyhostie,
You are exactly right! English is used because that is where the money is and if any business person wants to be successful they will learn English. Now as far as aviation is concerned an airport that wants to make money will use English and an airline will do the same! Good job Sammy!



/// UNITED AIRLINES
25 Sammyhostie : Thanks UAL!! You a Respected User! Wow! English is the language of the world!
26 Yyz717 : English is the world language of commerce and travel. Moreover, some names are automatically bilingual such as Air France, Air Canada, Air Elbonia etc
27 Aviationman : Names are only in English beacause of the Imperialism of the English language and people. English is the language of commerce and travel....... Too ba
28 BoingGoingGone : English is the world language of commerce and travel. What he said. Imperialism... Dang... Harsh.
29 FraT : I don't understand the whole discussion. I think everybody agrees that there should be a common language in international aviation (Note: INTERNATIONA
30 Post contains images Kalakaua : Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the waves. Britons never never never will be slaves!
31 Maersk737 : I agree, English is the language of aviation. But please Sammyhostie, climb down from your high horse. Cheers Peter
32 Post contains images TheGreatChecko : Skipper, Just to bring this back to Aviation specifically. How does ATC in Spanish work? Is it basically the same commands but in Spanish, is it a ama
33 RonE : There are a few airlines that have the name of the airline in the language of it's country (non-English speaking countries). Off the top of my head I
34 Alitalia744 : Some airlines do not put their aircraft names in English. Alitalia for sure puts their names in Italian (exception being A320's, which are named after
35 Post contains links Starlionblue : I think that Japanese and the two Chinese languages are almost as large when it comes to capital ownership as English. However, most international tra
36 Post contains images B747Skipper : I am one of these old guys who learned a lot of unecessary things in schools... But a lot of culture, history, languages... and multilingual parents..
37 Aviationfreak : Mmm, what if Nieuw Amsterdam and other colonies in the new world were never exchanged for Suriname with the English and Nieuw Amsterdam never became N
38 Trident2e : If English is not THE international language, then why does nobody post in other languages on this forum? And let's remember that those of us who ARE
39 FraT : Skipper, although I agree with most of your points, I have to mention one point again. If you are a pilot for a major, you cannot learn the language o
40 FraT : Trident2e Look in the forum rules, then you will know, why it is in English. BTW it makes things a lot easier...
41 Post contains images BR715-A1-30 : however, the Russians are soon expected to introduce measures which will see all foreign airlines operating to Russia being required to have at least
42 Post contains images Bullpitt : I have to agree that English is now the dominant language specially in the economic field, but like some people have stated so was Latin, French and S
43 Post contains images B747Skipper : Dear FraT - xxx Not all these languages are required for them - With Spanish, you cover all of Spain and South America. With Spanish, you can understa
44 FraT : Sounds good. But again, you are saying, ATC English is very good in Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Then why can't the ATC staff in other co
45 LTBEWR : I would suggest that English is the dominate language in the airline business because: 1) that many airlines operate in and out of English language co
46 Post contains images KEno : LTBEWR, Brilliant post. Your comment is the best i've heard so far English is the most globally understood language, be it as a first or foreign langu
47 ANX4fishing : Long time ago, I used to fly between KRN-TOS on a full-blooded Norwegian carrier called NorVing (Northern Wings). No English there. The crew on these
48 HaanZ : This discussion has slid way off topic... but anyway: Us non-English speakers normally amuse ourselves with the fact that it seems to be statistically
49 Flymia : Russophile: Are u saying that there are Air Traffic Control Centers Towers Etc.. That don't speak English? Or just the airline employees? Well there i
50 Flyboy36y : IBERIA AEROLINEAS ARGENTNTINAS KLM LUFTHANSAH AER LINGUS to name a few that are not in english....
51 Thrust : Good post, LTBEWR, and KEno, you took the words from my mouth. English is the most common and understood language in the world, so that is why it is u
52 Russophile : BR715, seeing as it smells like bullshit, maybe you could do the forum a favour and translate this for these fine people. Госу
53 Russophile : Russophile: Are u saying that there are Air Traffic Control Centers Towers Etc.. That don't speak English? Or just the airline employees? No, internat
54 YYZUla : Don't forget LOT is also not in English.
55 AirframeAS : English is the national language of the airline/aviation industry - ATC Correction. English is a "national" language of the airline/aviation industry.
56 Jwenting : I will add also, that I am aware that the ICAO has said that English will be the language of ATC -- however, the Russians are soon expected to introdu
57 Russophile : Now the F.A.A. has required Aeroflot (not only Aeroflot, but other international airlines too) to have at least one cockpit crew member to speak Russi
58 Mrwayne : Russophile, Ask Starlionblue or 777236ER, they seem to know everything. That is if you can get them to take their head out of their own butts!
59 Backfire : Nothing to do with English being the 'aviation' language. It's simply because English - while not spoken by the most people - is the most broadly-spok
60 Starlionblue : Russophile, MrWayne: After briefly extricating my head from my butt, I remembered that I have no knowledge of this incident. Before I reinsert my head
61 Amwest25 : "Before I reinsert my head, it's worth mentioning that the USA has no national language. Just some trivia." Hopfully one day we will, there is talk ev
62 Post contains images Solnabo : For me english is okey, but my question is why we are using "miles, feet, gallon etc, etc" in aviation when a minority of country´s use it! USA/ UK/
63 Arsenal@LHR : Why is this even a question? English is the default language in the world of business, commerce, aviation, and finance. It's nothing to do with imperi
64 Scf158 : Okay ladies, lets all calm down now. We have determined the reason why many airlines have their logo's in english! Stop bickering and shut up already!
65 Post contains images B747Skipper : Dear Solnabo - xxx As to metric (which I prefer too) be aware that Russia, China, Mongolia, most of the CIS states have their airspaces levels, distan
66 Post contains images Solnabo : Skipper: It was really crazy driving in the 60´s here in Sweden, 1st of Oktober 1967 we changed to RH traffic Cheers Michael//SE
67 Starlionblue : Agreed, Scf158. There is no need to bicker. Just like most other things, economics is the key factor. If an airline feels that English works for marke
68 Bd1959 : Skipper: USA is the last country to have miles and gallons for cars Ah but Skipper, they would be US measurements, not Imperial miles and gallons. Con
69 Post contains images B747Skipper : Dear Bd1959 - xxx US gallons, yes, agreed, it was only the US... But miles, it was not only the US... the statute mile (1,609 meters) was everywhere.
70 Post contains links Starlionblue : ROFL. Some people have no sense of humor. Despite language and unit of measure difficulties, I think the world would be pretty boring if you could get
71 Marcopolo747 : RonE, KLM= Konninkljke Luchtvaart Maatsjapeij (not sure about the spelling), which means Royal Airline Company. A few more airlines that promote their
72 Post contains images B747Skipper : Sabena name was not in English. This grand lady of airlines name pronounces Sah-BAY-nah, not Sah-BEE-nah... xxx Société Belge d'Exploitation de la N
73 Bd1959 : Starlionblue: Maybe some people's sense of humour is a lot drier than others. BTW our company has a development shop (IT) in Manila; yes Tagalog is an
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