flyguy89
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Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:31 pm

Because I work at the airport, I have worked near the gate many times where DL's CVG-CDG flight departs. Every occasion that I've witnessed or overheard the boarding of the flight, I have never heard bi-lingual announcements made. I know the automated announcement system can make announcements in both English and Spanish, but I've never heard it in French for this flight nor any of the gate agents make announcements in French. I realize with the down-sizing of the hub, multilingual speakers might be scarce and there may not be anymore based at CVG, but couldn't they at least have one of the FA's make a couple announcements for the French-speakers out of courtesy? Or at the very least play some of the automated announcements in French?

Is this normal at all for a lot of international flights to non English-speaking countries or is this just a CVG thing? It just doesn't seem like good customer service to me. Let me know your thoughts, thanks in advance!
 
Jonathanxxxx
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:33 pm

I know it just depends on the area. MIA for example usually has the announcements in both English and Spanish for no matter where your going. On flights I've taken to DFW, MCO, JFK, and LAX they all came on in both English and Spanish.
 
flymia
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:40 pm

Quoting flyguy89 (Thread starter):
Is this normal at all for a lot of international flights to non English-speaking countries or is this just a CVG thing? It just doesn't seem like good customer service to me. Let me know your thoughts, thanks in advance!

That is not normal but since CVG is not longer a big hub anymore and since it is CVG the amount of French only speakers is probably pretty low.

Quoting jonathanxxxx (Reply 1):
I know it just depends on the area. MIA for example usually has the announcements in both English and Spanish for no matter where your going. On flights I've taken to DFW, MCO, JFK, and LAX they all came on in both English and Spanish.

Yes, even domestic flights will have English and Spanish going to and coming from MIA. Anyone know if this happens anywhere else? LAX or JFK? I dont remember spanish annoucements when I flew IAD-LAX-IAD.

I always thought it was interesting that English is almost always spoken at least on any flight I have been on.
Even BCN-MAD-BCN everything was said in Spanish and English. BCN-PRG or BCN-FCO Spanish, English, (country Language)
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goldorak
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting flyguy89 (Thread starter):
I have worked near the gate many times where DL's CVG-CDG flight departs. Every occasion that I've witnessed or overheard the boarding of the flight, I have never heard bi-lingual announcements made. I know the automated announcement system can make announcements in both English and Spanish, but I've never heard it in French for this flight nor any of the gate agents make announcements in French. I realize with the down-sizing of the hub, multilingual speakers might be scarce and there may not be anymore based at CVG, but couldn't they at least have one of the FA's make a couple announcements for the French-speakers out of courtesy? Or at the very least play some of the automated announcements in French?

Last time I took this flight was last April and I'm pretty sure there were boarding announcements in French (non-automated). But, as you said, with the downsizing of CVG, they may have very few French-speaking employees.
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:24 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
Yes, even domestic flights will have English and Spanish going to and coming from MIA. Anyone know if this happens anywhere else? LAX or JFK? I dont remember spanish annoucements when I flew IAD-LAX-IAD.

For B6 at JFK (B6 is the only airline at T5), the computerized boarding announcements are in English only for domestic flights and non-Spanish speaking Caribbean flights (SXM, BGI, AUA, etc.), but are in English and Spanish for our Spanish-speaking destinations (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, BOG, etc.).
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
flyguy89
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:33 am

Quoting jonathanxxxx (Reply 1):
I know it just depends on the area. MIA for example usually has the announcements in both English and Spanish for no matter where your going. On flights I've taken to DFW, MCO, JFK, and LAX they all came on in both English and Spanish.
Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
Yes, even domestic flights will have English and Spanish going to and coming from MIA. Anyone know if this happens anywhere else? LAX or JFK? I dont remember spanish annoucements when I flew IAD-LAX-IAD.

I'm pretty sure MIA is almost the exception. Even the Eagle flights to MIA from the likes of CVG and SDF will have announcements made in Spanish and English. Almost everyone on those Eagle flights are connecting on to Spanish-speaking destinations and there's a fair abundance of Spanish-speakers in the US so it only makes sense.

Quoting goldorak (Reply 3):
Last time I took this flight was last April and I'm pretty sure there were boarding announcements in French (non-automated). But, as you said, with the downsizing of CVG, they may have very few French-speaking employees.

Interesting. The hub size really hasn't changed much since April but yeah I've been working there for a while and just never heard it. Selfishly I was frustrated because French is my second language and I'm just curious if I'd understand it, but otherwise I just thought it was rude that DL kind of snubbed the francophones. I heard a snippet of a French announcement for the YUL flight once but that was it.
 
UAL747
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:46 am

Airlines aren't required to have multi-lingual announcements (I don't think, please correct me if I'm wrong), but it is most airlines protocol to have the country of origin and country of destination's language on board. Ultimately, it would also be helpful to have gate staff at least capable of reading the announcements. I do know that airlines have a preference to hiring mutli-lingual staff.

Also remember that many people who speak, say french, can also easily read and comprehend languages such as Italian, Spanish, and to some extent, Portuguese.

When I flew Korean Air some years ago, the DFW-ICN flight as well as the ICN-PEK flight I took was done in English, Korean, and Mandarin.

It's actually quite easy to find someone in a city the size of CVG that are fluent in other languages. Also remember that a person doesn't have to be completely fluent to get the point across, or to understand the conversation to get the job done. When I have flown to CDG in the past, not every agent was fluent in English to the extent that I am fluent in English.

UAL
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L1011Lover
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:53 am

At the time when CVG was still DL's 2nd largest hub with more international flights I remember that at least the FRA and ZRH flights always got bilingual boarding announcements in English and German. I can't comment on the CDG, AMS or FCO flights though, nor on SN's BRU flight. But I guess they all got bilingual announcements both on the ground and inflight.

In fact DL is/was one of the better US carriers when it comes to language qualified staff, having both language qualified FA's and ground staff. Even before they took over PA's international routes DL's international flights (of it's then growing international network) were served by staff able to assist non-English speaking pax. And when they took over PA of course on of the blessings was the huge number of language qualified staff they got with it.

Now with the NW merger they received a large number of staff qualified in Asian languages, but NW for instance totally neglected the language needs of the European market after they had fired all their European interpreters (either shortly before or after 9/11 - I don't remember).

DL should stick with their image of an international carrier willing to assist with the needs of non-English speaking customers, not only from their major hubs (ATL, DTW, JFK... ) but also every other hub/gateway they offer international flights from. They have a reputation for being a language-qaulified US airline.

Best regards

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etihad041
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:03 am

I am a flight attendant working both domestic and international flights. I am language qualified (English and French), yet my use of French is limited to on-board, scripted announcements that are simply provided as a courtesy. As far as boarding is concerned, it's despicable how international flights out of the USA tend only to have English boarding announcements. I have sometimes asked gate agents to let me help them board the airplane by providing French announcements, but I am usually turned away. That is, of course, until a gate agent needs me to help them translate something.

It's insulting not to cater for at least the LOD/O speakers during boarding. But, it is common practice in the United States. In PHL, for example, most overseas departures are handled in English (sometimes even MAD, BCN aren't afforded a Spanish speaking gate agent), except, inexplicably, TLV - where the gate agents frequently make announcements in Hebrew.

[Edited 2011-10-12 19:04:28]
 
USAirALB
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:05 am

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 6):
Also remember that a person doesn't have to be completely fluent to get the point across, or to understand the conversation to get the job done. When I have flown to CDG in the past, not every agent was fluent in English to the extent that I am fluent in English.

Exactly.

US Airways intercontinental flights have multilingual announcements onboard. I can't speak for the A333/B762/B752, but I can tell you that on the A332, automated announcements (usually) play over the PA, always in the foreign language, and usually in english as well. Whats weird about the automated announcements is that some are in female voices, and some are in male voices.

On all US video equipped aircraft, sans the A333, a board video is shown that includes automated announcements as well.
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Flaps
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:19 am

Quoting etihad041 (Reply 8):
It's insulting not to cater for at least the LOD/O speakers during boarding. But, it is common practice in the United States

Thats a two way street. I dont disagree at all with this sentiment but I personally would be satisfied just to get understandable english on a US domestic flight. I've noticed frequently, announcements being given in such heavily accented english that they are arent discernable. On a recent AA flight from ORD-PIT I had to constantly check the monitors because the agents spanish accent was unintelligble. I speak enough spanish to get by but what came out of this guy was neither of those languages. My favorite though is the asian lady for UA in PIT tat cant pronounce the letter z. Her boarding announcements always come out "no one now boarding....no one now boarding". Always generates a few stares, a little confusion and some humor.

As for the CVG-CDG issue, I have noticed the same thing with DL on PIT-CDG. English only.
 
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mats
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:28 am

I think this is up to the individual airline's policies as well as the staff available.

For example, when I've flown Delta from Atlanta to Tel Aviv, announcements at the gate were in Hebrew and in English. But on Continental from Newark to Tel Aviv, announcements were in English only. On board, of course, there were LOD "speakers" on both airlines.

When I flew United from San Francisco to Frankfurt this past year, gate announcements were only in English. But on Continental from Newark to Geneva, gate announcements were in English and French.

The most unusual circumstance was on Northwest from Detroit to Paris. The gate announcements were in English and French (by native French speaker), but there were no LOD "speaker" flight attendants on board the flight.

I know that Continental has speakers for almost every country except for the Netherlands and Scandinavian destinations. Delta has always had Swedish-speakers on its flights to Stockholm. Most Swedes speak English, but I think it is both courteous and appropriate to use both languages.

Years ago, I remember being amazed on a Pan Am flight from JFK to Honolulu via Los Angeles. Announcements were in Japanese and English, but the flight did not continue on to Japan.

I've also flown on domestic portions of international flights, which included foreign-language announcements. These included German on JFK-CVG and JFK-IAD (Delta) and SFO-EWR (Continental).
 
steex
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:03 am

Quoting Flaps (Reply 10):
My favorite though is the asian lady for UA in PIT tat cant pronounce the letter z. Her boarding announcements always come out "no one now boarding....no one now boarding". Always generates a few stares, a little confusion and some humor.

Should you ever have the opportunity, wander over to the low G gates at MSP in the early evening. They generally have one Japanese-speaking agent on hand for the NRT flight, but often times that agent will continue to work the low G area for the remainder of his/her shift. It's amusing to hear an agent with an extremely thick Japanese accent attempting to pronounce Dutch names once the first AMS flight rolls around.
 
CO777DAL
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:05 am

I know Continental Airlines has speakers on almost all Foreign flights to Countries where English is not the main language. Also all announcements are done in English and the other language. In the USA the safety videos are in English and Spanish as well as signage on the planes. Within Micronesia almost all announcements are in English and Japanese. All the Micronesia planes signage is in English and Japanese. In all safety videos it say “Thank you for Flying Continental Airlines” then it says that in the other language for which ever country they are flying too as a Continental 777 is flying in the background.

Automated German Announcement on CO 777
http://youtu.be/haWRVDtyvbA?hd=1

Safety Video in English and Japanese on CO 777
http://youtu.be/HkUqcKZ4eok?hd=1

Safety Video Domestic USA English and Spanish CO 737-800
http://youtu.be/u2JprcK-Zf4?hd=1

Announcement on after landing in Newark CO 767-400 in Italian
Go to 6:00 into the video to hear the announcement in Italian
http://youtu.be/bihVHeRg_7s?hd=1

Flight Attendant giving an announcement in Japanese upon landing in Tokyo on CO 777
Go to 5:00 into the video to hear her announcement
http://youtu.be/u7Ku-GMrT1U?hd=1

Flight Attendant giving an announcement in Japanese upon landing in Guam on a CO 737-800
Go to 3:44 to hear her announcement
http://youtu.be/zXW-V8uoWKg?hd=1
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warden145
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:57 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
I always thought it was interesting that English is almost always spoken at least on any flight I have been on.
Even BCN-MAD-BCN everything was said in Spanish and English. BCN-PRG or BCN-FCO Spanish, English, (country Language)

Just wondering, how common is that? I was surprised to note the same thing; flew FCO - TRN on AP, TRN - KTW on LO, and KTW - DTM on W6 in 2008, and on each flight, all announcements were made in English as well as the languages of origin and destination...and it's a fair bet I was the only native English-speaker on all three of those flights. I certainly wasn't expecting that...is it normal, at least in the E.U.?
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Doona
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:55 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 14):
I certainly wasn't expecting that...is it normal, at least in the E.U.?

In my experience, yes.

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realsim
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:19 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 14):
I certainly wasn't expecting that...is it normal, at least in the E.U.?

At least in Spain, and I would say in all the EU, all announcements, even in domestic flights, are made both in the local language and in English (in this order). Sometimes, depending on who is talking, you can hear some short announcements only in Spanish, but the standard ones are always bilingual (and the most important ones are trilingual in Spain when travelling to/from a region with a local language different than Spanish).
 
lucce
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:31 am

Quoting warden145 (Reply 14):
I certainly wasn't expecting that...is it normal, at least in the E.U.?

Pretty much yes as many airlines rely on transit passengers to fill the seats.

What I find kind of precious is that AA has a Finnish safety video on their flights to Finland but AY does not. On most flights it's only in English. Announcement's however are made in Finnish, Swedish and English with either recorded or live announcement's in local language depending on the chief of cabin's language skills. I understand it's quite annoying to English speakers on long hauls where some of the PA's can last for 10 minutes and they can only understand one fourth of it.
 
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Coal
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:14 pm

In Taiwan the gate announcements can be quite long. For instance, for an NH flight going to NRT, the announcement will be made in Mandarin, then in Taiwanese, then in English, and then in Japanese. It usually takes a few mins to get thru it all.

Same in Hong Kong, but instead of Taiwanese they would do it in Cantonese.

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Coal
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Grid
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:47 pm

I often hear bilingual announcements but I have yet to hear multilingual boarding. When flying China Southern between China and Vietnam, the on-board announcements were in English, Mandarin and Vietnamese; between South Korea and China, ditto except the languages were English, Korean and Mandarin.
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packcheer
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:13 pm

Quoting Lucce (Reply 17):
Announcement's however are made in Finnish, Swedish and English with either recorded or live announcement's in local language depending on the chief of cabin's language skills.

I was in Finland earlier this year and I was quite impressed by the English speaking abilities of almost everyone I needed to talk to. I tried speaking Finnish, very difficult to learn. I was on KLM from AMS - HEL and the announcements were all in English, French, Finnish, and Dutch. It really was something listening to it all.
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workwings
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:26 pm

Quoting Lucce (Reply 17):
I understand it's quite annoying to English speakers on long hauls where some of the PA's can last for 10 minutes and they can only understand one fourth of it.

Actually, it's a bit weird when you do know the languages! You hear the third announcement and think, why are they saying that again!
 
infinit
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:41 pm

Did SIN-NRT quite a few times with DL. Announcements were made in English and Japanese

I suppose its pretty odd since in Singapore we're the only Asian country where English is our native language and taken as a first language nation-wide but as far as I know a lot of the crew on SQ can speak a second language. I think some of crew members are foreign as well. I met a Japanese FA from SQ earlier this year
 
flymia
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:43 pm

Quoting warden145 (Reply 14):
and it's a fair bet I was the only native English-speaker on all three of those flights. I certainly wasn't expecting that...is it normal, at least in the E.U.?


I would say just about all flights have it. I see it that English is now the "global" language. So if someone does not know Spanish but is in Spain there is a decent chance they will know some English.

Quoting packcheer (Reply 20):
I was in Finland earlier this year and I was quite impressed by the English speaking abilities of almost everyone I needed to talk to.


It is impressive but it is a skill they need to have. In small countries like Finland or Sweden they need to know one or two other languages especially English because their country and language base is so small that they would be a little bit isolated if they did not. Most countries in Northern Europe people speak great English from my travels.
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blueflyer
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:46 pm

I've heard UA make announcements at IAD in English and Dutch, and English, Dutch and French for flights to AMS and BRU respectively, but I can't say that it is systematic.

The biggest dichotomy I ever heard belongs on AC on a Rapidair flight that is also the first leg of a YYZ-YUL-BRU route. Boarding announcements were made in English, but onboard, it was English, French, German and Italian. I understand the flight connects to/from several European flights at both ends, but that is nevertheless a lot of talking for such a short hop.
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lucce
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:07 pm

Quoting workwings (Reply 21):
Actually, it's a bit weird when you do know the languages! You hear the third announcement and think, why are they saying that again!

It's also a nice way to learn languages when you know the other languages you can compare them to the less known one. You can also recheck if you missed some info and it's always interesting to notice how differently the same thing is said in different languages.

Quoting packcheer (Reply 20):
I was in Finland earlier this year and I was quite impressed by the English speaking abilities of almost everyone I needed to talk to. I tried speaking Finnish, very difficult to learn. I was on KLM from AMS - HEL and the announcements were all in English, French, Finnish, and Dutch. It really was something listening to it all.

Finnish is indeed very hard. Especially as the spoken language is quite different from the written. Nobody really expects tourists to learn it and, as a woman who had studied Finnish for many years pointed out to me, Finns almost automatically switch to English if they notice Finnish isn't your first language.
 
lawair
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:16 pm

Back in the day I flew Swiss between BKK (now DMK) and SIN. The captain made his own announcements in English, Swiss German, Italian, French, and, oddly enough, Thai! Besides the captain, I don't recall any other crew members who spoke Thai on that flight.
 
aznmadsci
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:20 pm

Quoting Grid (Reply 19):
I often hear bilingual announcements but I have yet to hear multilingual boarding.

At IAH and usually at EWR, there are some CO ground agents that do both English and the destination language. At IAH I've heard Japanese, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese announcements by agents after having said announcement in English. The only one I have not heard is Dutch. A few times at IAH there have been PA announcements in Italian despite no nonstop flight to Italy.

Also at IAH, I have heard French and German respectively from AF and LH ground crew, respectively when calling flights. However, have yet to hear an Arabic boarding announcement from the EK and QR ground crew.
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Grid
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:31 pm

Quoting aznmadsci (Reply 27):

At IAH and usually at EWR, there are some CO ground agents that do both English and the destination language. At IAH I've heard Japanese, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese announcements by agents after having said announcement in English. The only one I have not heard is Dutch. A few times at IAH there have been PA announcements in Italian despite no nonstop flight to Italy.

Also at IAH, I have heard French and German respectively from AF and LH ground crew, respectively when calling flights. However, have yet to hear an Arabic boarding announcement from the EK and QR ground crew.

Do you mean at IAH you will hear English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese boarding announcements for one flight?
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nostrum
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:37 pm

When I flew Air France MIA-CDG-MIA they had announcements in French, English and Spanish on both flights.

On domestic AA flights MIA-MSY (B738), MIA-ORD (B757, 767), MIA-LAX (777) they had prerecorded English and Spanish announcements, I believe these same planes are also used to fly to South America.
 
aznmadsci
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:45 pm

Quoting Grid (Reply 28):
Do you mean at IAH you will hear English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese boarding announcements for one flight?

Sorry. For the flight to NRT you will hear the same agent do the announcement in English and Japanese. For CDG, the agent will do English and French. For GIG and GRU, an agent will do both English and Portuguese.
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IrishAyes
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:00 pm

I feel like it varies based on flight and airline.

When I flew CO from DEL to EWR, all of the announcements were made in English only. The only Hindi that was even remotely expressed were some subtitles that appeared on the safety video screen. The crews were definitely American and from what I recall, none of them spoke Hindi. I found this odd, considering most of the people on that flight were of Indian origin.

However, I have flown both BA and LH each from DFW to London and Frankfurt, respectively, and I have heard announcements made in Spanish on both flights (imagine - German, English, and Spanish on DFW-FRA!), even though we were not flying to Spanish-speaking countries.

When I flew AC from YYZ to SCL, announcements were made in French, English and Spanish. This seemed the most normal to me. However, this became frustrating after awhile because a single announcement would take up to 10 minutes to cover all three languages. I recall there was a lot of turbulence during this flight, so safety PA calls came on quite often. Since it freezes the IFE, it becomes obnoxious.

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
I always thought it was interesting that English is almost always spoken at least on any flight I have been on.
Even BCN-MAD-BCN everything was said in Spanish and English. BCN-PRG or BCN-FCO Spanish, English, (country Language)

This is true even in South America. I flew GOL from SCL to EZE. Initial announcements were in Portuguese, then Spanish, and finally in English. The English accents were highly amusing!!
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AirbusA6
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:08 pm

Is English compulsory, as I'm struggling to recall a flight on which there weren't announcements at the terminal or in the air in English (this includes several domestic flights in non English speaking countries)?
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blink182
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:01 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 32):

Is English compulsory, as I'm struggling to recall a flight on which there weren't announcements at the terminal or in the air in English (this includes several domestic flights in non English speaking countries)?

I'm not sure it is in the cabin. I flew HG VIE-ARN and the safety video was in German only, and IIRC, the cabin announcements may have only been in German as well. A few days later I flew SK ARN-CPH, and the boarding announcement was never in English. Surprising, considering that VIE, ARN, and CPH aren't exactly the backwoods and have substantial international ties.

I know the SK crews spoke english, and I'm fairly certain the HG crews could as well.

ATC is supposed to be done in english, though that isn't always the case.
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malioil
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:18 pm

Most airlines have speakers from the destination region on international flights. BA has a small Bahraini home based cabin crew that they use on flights all over the Middle East and beyond.

The same can be said for UA- when I flew with them recently I was surprised that they had Arabic as well as English menus. For some reason reading the alcohol list in Arabic, Bahrain isn't dry, but it felt quite awkward reading about ''drinks of the soul'' (spirits) in Arabic.

Otherwise I am surprised that DL does not have a French speaking member of the cabin crew during their France bound flights, as on nearly every major airline would and should have.
 
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:24 pm

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 9):
US Airways intercontinental flights have multilingual announcements onboard.

I don't know if this is still the case with US, but America West used to do bilingual announcements via video on PHX and LAS domestic flights due to the Southwest demographic.
 
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:30 pm

Quoting malioil (Reply 34):
I am surprised that DL does not have a French speaking member of the cabin crew during their France bound flights

Delta does have French speakers on all France-bound flights. The OP was talking about the ground staff at the gate.

Quoting etihad041 (Reply 8):
it's despicable how international flights out of the USA tend only to have English boarding announcements.

I don't know why the US is singled out for doing this, when most airlines around the world do only English and the language of the departing station at the gate; it is not standard practice to make boarding announcements in the language of the destination as well. E.g., when flying CDG-HKG on AF, they only make boarding announcements in French and English at the gate, not in Cantonese or Mandarin. When flying ZRH-DME, Swiss only makes English/French/German announcements at the gate, not Russian. That is no different than a PHL-CDG flight where English is the only language used: departing country language + English.
 
chumley
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:35 pm

I have an aunt from Norway who is old enough to not have learned english. When she travels to the US, she will always choose to fly SK regardless of the price because she knows that she will be able to communicate with somebody if needed. Years ago she had a terrible experience on KLM, where her flight to JFK was diverted to Detroit due to wx, and then she was booked onto a DL flight to LGA. That can be a daunting experience for somebody unfamiliar with international travel ... and in a city where it was basically impossible to find anybody who spoke Norwegian. I understand why she would want to fly SK.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:43 pm

Here's my personal experience on cabin- and gate announcements:

When I used to work along the LH- 380 and long-haul gates in FRA I noticed that for all flights, they announced boarding in both German and English, for some Asian flights also their respective languages (I always found it pretty funny when ICN was boarding. The totally nice Korean gate agent always spoke five times longer than his English counterparts... God knows what took him so long!).

As for cabin announcements, I was on a flight VIE-FRA some time ago on HG and as Niki Lauda's voice himself spoke through the cabin I was positively surprised, however I was even more excited to going to hear him talk English. To my surprise the announcement changed to a quick "You just heard the Cabin Safety Announcement in German. If you do not understand German, please ask a Flight Attendent to assist you.... Thanks". Makes sense on an 'inter-german' flight.
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chopchop767
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:05 pm

Quoting panamair (Reply 36):
I don't know why the US is singled out for doing this, when most airlines around the world do only English and the language of the departing station at the gate; it is not standard practice to make boarding announcements in the language of the destination as well. E.g., when flying CDG-HKG on AF, they only make boarding announcements in French and English at the gate, not in Cantonese or Mandarin. When flying ZRH-DME, Swiss only makes English/French/German announcements at the gate, not Russian. That is no different than a PHL-CDG flight where English is the only language used: departing country language + English.

I've flown US/CO/UA over the Atlantic quite a few times over the past couple of months through Germany and announcements on both ends were always in English and German. Even when flying through BRU on one of the returns, announcements in PHL were made in English and French and one of the FAs gave the French announcements en route; I've never heard the recording.

It's interesting that no matter where you're going in the EU, english is always one of the announcements. When I flew from Italy to Hungary, the announcements were in Hungarian and English, no Italian (WizzAir). When I flew last week from Italy to Greece, announcements were in Italian and English (Alitalia).

I also seem to recall on UA flights, when the Purser introduces the services when going overseas, whether it be to NRT or FRA, they often list the languages spoken by the flight crew. I suspect they're under the impression that they know they have a lot of connectors.
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:15 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
That is not normal but since CVG is not longer a big hub anymore and since it is CVG the amount of French only speakers is probably pretty low.
Quoting Mats (Reply 11):
I think this is up to the individual airline's policies as well as the staff available.

Well, in the era of cost-cutting everything, what to expect? Multilingual staff is necessary to smooth operations and improved customer experience, however, they should be able to be paid accordingly for the extra value they bring to the company (I hope they are), and it involves a heavier staff planning procedure for the airline = more costs = forget about it these days...
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b727fa
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:22 pm

There are speakers on all INTL DL flights "over water" that have an LOD other than English. MANY gate announcements will have an LOD speaker working it; however, not ALL gates can accommodate that service (which can be difficult at times). The automated gate announcements are always in English and Spanish.

At DL they staff MOST LOD flights with at least 2 speakers and flights are nearly always staffed over FAA mins for boarding. In that case, it COULD be possible for one speaker to be in the gate house for language issues during boarding--which are few to be honest. However, having the FA in the gate house and not on the a/c makes more work for the crew and would more *likely* cause a delay with closing the door than a language issue at the gate.
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AirbusA6
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:25 pm

Quoting blink182 (Reply 33):
I'm not sure it is in the cabin. I flew HG VIE-ARN and the safety video was in German only, and IIRC, the cabin announcements may have only been in German as well. A few days later I flew SK ARN-CPH, and the boarding announcement was never in English. Surprising, considering that VIE, ARN, and CPH aren't exactly the backwoods and have substantial international ties.

That I find surprising, as on all my non UK intra European and European domestic flights I've always heard English announcements. Do the crew check the passenger register - "ah, someone from the UK, he'll be useless at languages, better speak in English as well  "
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eurowings
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:44 pm

Quoting Semaex (Reply 38):

Indeed, my flight with HG on the FRA-VIE route has been the only intra-EU flight that I can remember where only German has been used. That isn't a problem at all for me, but I did find it surprising since their partners AB always use English as well in their announcements.

Equally on an FR flight between BRE-SXF only English was used, the cabin crew didn't even bother with the pre-recorded German announcements that they have access to.

[.

[Edited 2011-10-13 12:47:03]
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atlflyer
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:57 pm

I flew Swiss from Athens-Geneva-New York and all announcements were made in English first, German, French and then automated Greek. The crew all spoke interchangeably English, French, German/Swiss German and Italian to passengers in Business Class...I don't know how they remembered what passenger spoke what language..It was beautiful to listen to.
 
redhair
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:12 pm

I have never experienced a flight were announcements were only in the local language, English has always been used (and Ive flown quite a lot around Europe and Asia).

what I was shocked once was on a FRA-BCN on LH were announcements were made in German, English, Spanish and... Japanese! really cool and nice touch (there was a group of 20 Japaneses on board)
 
Chinook747
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:07 pm

All Canadian airlines by law have to have all announcements in both English and French regardless if the flights are domestic or international. Also quite often on international flights Air Canada will have Flight Attendants on board who speak the language of destination.

For myself I am so used to hearing multiple languages when traveling that I would find it unusual to only hear English spoken.
 
FilAmAirlines
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:01 pm

Like I posted on another discussion, the primary international experience I had was on CX. On my AND OLD: Hong Kong - Kai Tak International (HKG / VHHH) (closed), China - Hong Kong">HKG-MNL and MNL-AND OLD: Hong Kong - Kai Tak International (HKG / VHHH) (closed), China - Hong Kong">HKG flights, I thought a cabin attendant would speak in Filipino/Tagalog for announcements; in addition to Cantonese and English. I normally encounter English only in-flight and terminal announcements because I fly within the U.S.
I thought U.S. airlines flying to/from Canada would conduct in-flight and airport announcements in both English and French if possible.

I thought flights originating to/from DFW would have English AND Spanish announcements as well. Texas, like Florida, is home for a big hispanophone population.
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n9801f
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:50 pm

flyguy89, I think it shoes tremendous cultural insensitivity and arrogance to make announcements on/for international flights to/from the US only in English. Despite the fact that it's now the "international language".

What's more, it's not like the situation you mention involves a language with only a few speakers worldwide. French is a major world language, and until 30 or so years ago it was regarded as the "international" language. And just one generation ago, many American high schoolers commonly took French language courses.

So it seems pretty lazy and inexcusable to me if it's true that the announcements aren't in both French and English.

Perhaps like you, I try to imagine myself in the reverse situation. As an American, would I like flying on a French airline if they didn't speak English? Of course not.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Multilingual Announcement For Int'l Flights

Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:40 am

I forgot to mention; on the LH A380 FRA-MIA the purser did all the announcements in English, but did not fail to mention that there were cabin members who were fluent in German, Dutch, French, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Portugese (I think that's all... maybe I forgot one or two).
However I do know first-hand that LH invests big time in the commitment of F/As to learn another language, on top of only taking candidates who are more or less fluent in three (D/E/x)
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