Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Foreign Tower Communication In Other-than-English?  
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 3420 times:

Came up in another thread, but wanted to bring it to the forefront, while seeking some clarification for this by those in the know.

IINM, aren't most nations (particularly western Europe) supposed to conduct all tower communications in English?

Well, in THIS VIDEO, as you can plainly hear, they quite clearly are not. But then again, not only is it a domestic flight, it's just a ferry between two airports in the same metro.

Clarification on this please--- what are the int'l requirements for English communications, versus regional language?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7637 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 3404 times:

IIRC, English, Spanish, Russian, French and Chinese are official ATC languages which can be used for ATC communications in their respective countries. From what I've seen on documenatries, it has lead to confusion in the past such as airports as CDG.

Also, some airports and pilots in Germany such as on a VFR flight plan don't need to speak English. However (at least in Germany), when entering certain airspace classes or in IFR flight, you do need to use English.

[Edited 2008-11-24 16:13:25]


A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineRobffm2 From Germany, joined Dec 2006, 1109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 3383 times:



Quoting ConcordeBoy (Thread starter):
versus regional language?

I think this should not be "regional" rather than "national" language be.
And I believe that on national travel (pilot and tower speaking the national language), there shouldn't be a requirement to speak English.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24109 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 3348 times:

In Canada, both English and French can be used in regions with significant French-speaking populations (mainly the province of Quebec, plus Ottawa). The applicable regulation below.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/civilaviation/publications/tp14371/COM/AnnexA.htm


User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 794 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 3275 times:

I believe ICAO requires ATC to speak English when resquested. I have heard numerous stories of Chinese ATC speaking something other than English to local pilots. While I'm sure it's easier for ATC and the other pilot, it really cuts down on situational awareness for pilots who don't speak the local language.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31580 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

I feel standardization would be the best way out.....In India too Inspite of numerous languages spoken,Aviation communication is ONLY in English.Apart from the customary random "NAMASHKAR".
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 3934 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

ARN Tower speaks Swedish to tug drivers and local helicopters.

I was once in MAD in the flight deck of a Swedish registered Tristar. We were operated an ACMI charter for a Spanish airline, and had their flight number. We were taxying out and were transferred to the Tower frequency. The tower must have called us 5 times in Spanish to give us take off clearance, before they realised we did not understand them!


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8919 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 3239 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR



Quoting N353SK (Reply 4):
I have heard numerous stories of Chinese ATC speaking something other than English to local pilots. While I'm sure it's easier for ATC and the other pilot, it really cuts down on situational awareness for pilots who don't speak the local language.

Not only in China. As well in France, Brazil, Spain... etc etc. And I don't have a chance to know what's going on aroud me. I don't like that a lot, but I cannot do much about it.
It is possible to speak with all the towers in English. As long as you stay to the standard phrasiology. If you have some requests or questions which are beyond this, then communication is over. Some just don't understand you. They keep sayin: "say again", but their English is just not enough to understand you. And this can be indeed pretty difficult.

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineScooter01 From Norway, joined Nov 2006, 1186 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 3214 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Zis is apparently not only an aviation related problem...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOTpIVxji8


Scooter01   

[Edited 2008-11-25 01:51:10]


"We all have a girl and her name is nostalgia" - Hemingway
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 3162 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 5):
I feel standardization would be the best way out.....In India too Inspite of numerous languages spoken,Aviation communication is ONLY in English.Apart from the customary random "NAMASHKAR".

NOTE: The below is based on my admittedly imperfect understanding of India and the PRC. Please feel free to jump in and correct any inaccuracies.

India and the PRC are very different in this regard.

India has had English as a "lingua franca" for quite a while. Given the country's history, a very large proportion of the population, and certainly most of the people with a college education (say, pilots) speak English well. As I understand it, English is often the only common language between two Indians, who may "natively" speak wholly different languages. In addition, the Indian English accent (yes yes I'm generalizing) tends to be easily comprehensible to non-Indians due to its innate characteristics.

In China, on the other hand, even in a city like HK which until quite recently was a British colony, English is by no means a given, and when spoken by the local population is often quite hard to understand. Native Chinese (any Chinese) speakers seem ill equipped to pronounce English clearly if they learn it as a second language. I think this is due to many of the sounds being quite alien to them. This is particularly true on the phone, and I guess the same over the radio. Also unlike in India with disparate languages, pretty much anyone under a certain age in the PRC will speak Standard Mandarin Chinese (with regional accents, granted) due to it being the compulsory language of schooling.

Standardization is great for English speakers, but for native Mandarin Chinese speaking pilots it may be a distant second when it comes to fluency. Perhaps overall there is ADDED safety in giving said pilots comms in Mandarin?



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4174 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 3155 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
Standardization is great for English speakers, but for native Mandarin Chinese speaking pilots it may be a distant second when it comes to fluency. Perhaps overall there is ADDED safety in giving said pilots comms in Mandarin?

Good point. Still kills me hearing Chinese or Japanese communicating that they're flying at Fright rleverl 340. !

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 7):
Not only in China. As well in France, Brazil, Spain... etc etc. And I don't have a chance to know what's going on aroud me. I don't like that a lot, but I cannot do much about it.

Be happy, Wilco737 as in the near future, these commmunications will be done through data link, so that nobody will have a clue on SA.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

I was speaking to a ATC controller in Finland recently and he told me that the captain of a domestic flight on approach can have the conversation in Swedish, Finnish or English as it's a multi-lingual country.

There is a new law that states that all pilots must be fully conversant in English to fly internationally. The test they have to sit is really good academically.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 3140 times:



Quoting Babybus (Reply 11):
There is a new law that states that all pilots must be fully conversant in English to fly internationally. The test they have to sit is really good academically.

Well, is this law only for the UK or EU?



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 794 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3012 times:



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Well, is this law only for the UK or EU?

I believe this is from ICAO. All new FAA certificates say "English Proficient" under the limitations section. Many pilots are unhappy about having to send in $2 to get a new "English Proficient" certificate.


User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3012 times:



Quoting N353SK (Reply 4):
I believe ICAO requires ATC to speak English when resquested. I have heard numerous stories of Chinese ATC speaking something other than English to local pilots. While I'm sure it's easier for ATC and the other pilot, it really cuts down on situational awareness for pilots who don't speak the local language.

 checkmark 

Exactly. You are required to know English to be a pilot or ATC, but there's no international law against using any language you want to communicate, as long as both the pilot and controller can do it.

And yes, it does take away from SA, but think of it this way...theoretically you don't need to be listening to any communication that's not to you and from the controller. If there is anything pertaining to your safety, the controller will tell you directly, not assuming that you're paying attention to what he's telling another aircraft nearby. Of course it never hurts to pay attention to the radio.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3008 times:



Quoting N353SK (Reply 13):
believe this is from ICAO. All new FAA certificates say "English Proficient" under the limitations section. Many pilots are unhappy about having to send in $2 to get a new "English Proficient" certificate.

I see. That is interesting.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 10):
Still kills me hearing Chinese or Japanese communicating that they're flying at Fright rleverl 340. !

 rotfl 

I had a captive audience in the form of my Cantonese tutor. His English is quite good by local standards but he has a very hard time with words like "probably" and "properly" (they sound the same to him. It took me a good five minutes to almost get him to mimic what I said, but it didn't stick very well. It seemed really really hard. The other way was easier. I had little difficulty pronouncing Cantonese quite close to the original. There is probably some interesting underlying language data there.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31580 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2926 times:



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
As I understand it, English is often the only common language between two Indians, who may "natively" speak wholly different languages

In fact the common Language between Indians is "Hinglish" which is a mixture of English & hindi words.
But true that English is recognised as the language that has preference.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Foreign Tower Communication In Other-than-English?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Can Pilots Of Foreign Airlines Jumpseat In USA posted Mon Jan 21 2008 10:22:59 by Luisca
About Static Loading Tests, Other Than Wings? posted Wed Mar 1 2006 02:02:06 by Lehpron
Federal "Victor" Airways In Other Airspaces posted Fri Sep 26 2003 22:25:08 by Meister808
Aircraft Manuals In Non English posted Sat Aug 23 2008 09:13:00 by HAWK21M
Q400 Main Cabin Door Higher Than Other Dash 8s? posted Thu Mar 8 2007 05:17:36 by Flyboy80
1 Different Engine Than Other Three posted Wed Mar 7 2007 06:58:14 by LASOctoberB6
More Than 2 Crew In The Cockpit? posted Thu Dec 22 2005 20:38:33 by Grimey
Zero To 60mph In A B747 Or Other? posted Sun Sep 25 2005 08:52:17 by Wardialer
Logging Flight Time In A Foreign Country posted Sat Jun 18 2005 10:18:58 by Tacoboeing
Flying In Canada: Foreign Licence Validation posted Thu May 1 2003 19:36:09 by PIA747

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format