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How Important Is French For Canadian Pilots?  
User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3707 times:

How important is fluent knowledge of French to prospective pilots in Canada? I know it is important for FAs since Canada is officially a bi-lingual country. How big of a deciding factor is an individuals knowledge of French when a Canadian airline is deciding weather to hire an this person or not?


10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGmonney From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2160 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3666 times:

You do not need any French what so ever. If you have it or another language its an asset. The only communication that you will have as a pilot that is not in english is with passengers. I know that all airtraffic controllers have to speak english. Its the standard language around the world. A good friend of my mom has a brother that was in the middle east doing ATC, they liked him because of his perfect "Canadian" english.

No worries my friend, good luck and keep it in the sky,


Drive it like you stole it!
User currently offlineQB001 From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2053 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3656 times:

You don't need to know french at all to be a pilot. And many FA don't speak a single word of french. Canada is officially a bilingual country, but don't propagate myths : Canada is NOT bilingual in practice.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3637 times:

It would be kind of cool for the captain (should you end up one) to do the in-flight announcements in english and french.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineNEFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3624 times:

I believe you have to be able to speak English and French to fly for Air Canada. This also applies to Flight Attendants, as far as I know.

User currently offlineRed Panda From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2000, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3625 times:

I was on a SkyService A320 back in the Christmas. The pilots speak fluent French (I believe), and English ( just a little accents).

I don't think it is a legal requirement for pilots to speak both English and French, but some airlines just add French as a standard requirement.

r panda

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3605 times:

ANY Lufthansa employee has to be fluent in German. I guess most airlines have similar requirements concerning their country´s official language(s).
Daniel Smile

User currently offlineAirafrique From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3602 times:

You must speak fluent french to be pilote or flight attendants at Air Afrique.

the pilotes doing the US and any English spoken Country must speak English.

Most of the time ATC at LSS of Dakar ( GOOY ) is in french.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3589 times:

English is the "official" language of aviation. As far as I know, there is no place where you can't legally fly if you don't speak the native language. Local pilots flying in local airspace can and do speak the local language, but when they enter a new area where another language is spoken they must speak english. Personally, I fly into Quebec City and Montreal at least once a month and it is common to hear ATC in both english and french. From an operational point of view, the problem with having english as the official language is that one contry's definition of fluency may not be the same as anothers. I've seldom had a problem understanding western european controllers, but eastern european, asian, and Boston Center  Big grin controllers can sometimes be quite challenging. I am (or used to be  Sad) fluent in spanish. When operating in latin and south america I have been known to speak spanish to the controllers when their english was just too dificult to understand. I hated doing it because it effectively put the other pilot "out of the loop", but better 2 out of 3 than no one. This past year we spent a week operating into a few "domestic" Brazilian airports. We found it easier to find an airline employee who spoke excellent english and pay him to fly with us for a few days. It sure made things easier.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 3566 times:

The reason Russian airliners had a radio operator's position isn't cos the aircraft couldn't be operated technically, but it was more efficient to train carry an additional crew member who was very fluent in English than teach all captains and first officers a second language. Plus saving on manpower wasn't really a priority in those days in the Soviet Union.

fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineJAT From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1101 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (15 years 2 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3551 times:

I was reading Air Canada's web page and they say that French is not a requirement for pilots but it is an assett. How much of a deciding factor is it when airlines in Canada are hiring pilots? I assume the actual flying would be the most important. What I mean is would the airline take a pilot with less hours who speaks French over one with more hours who does not?

I do speak Serbo-Croatian (yes, Serbian and Coratian are almost one and the same and no politician/nationalist can convince me they are different languages so I elect to call it Serbo-Croatian). I don't think that is much of an assett, unless Air Canada starts flying to Belgrade or Zagreb and I'm one of the pilots. I could make the announcement in English and Serbo-Croatian (I'd leave the French to somone else). Big grin

Ha ha ha talk about wishfull thinking..................

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