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lesfalls
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Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:19 pm

As someone who used to always go to JFke every weekend I always remember the likes of IG/AZ/AF/SU either having check-in staff being able to speak the language of that nation or making announcements in that language. Is there any other airport in the world where airlines have a similar set up as since moving abroad i'm surprised to have not found the same or anything similar to the set up at JFK?
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oldannyboy
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:45 pm

lesfalls wrote:
As someone who used to always go to JFke every weekend I always remember the likes of IG/AZ/AF/SU either having check-in staff being able to speak the language of that nation or making announcements in that language. Is there any other airport in the world where airlines have a similar set up as since moving abroad i'm surprised to have not found the same or anything similar to the set up at JFK?


You will actually find that at lots major gateways like FCO or LHR there are many multilingual staff, with also some staff from the country of the airline they work for.
 
masi1157
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:44 pm

oldannyboy wrote:
You will actually find that at lots major gateways.....

In Europe it seems to be quite normal. I believe to remember in BRU last week I heard announcements in english, dutch, french and often also the language of the destination country. Here in HAM we have german and english announcements, but I also remember turkish for flights to Turkey, sometimes spanish, italian, french, polish. It is so familiar to me to hear a number of foreign languages on airports that I don't really pay attention anymore if that happens with all flights/airports/languages.


Gruß, masi1157
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sw733
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:42 pm

Pretty common at the main gateways in/out of the US. As airlines expand to smaller US markets, I wouldn't expect it there (I would be shocked to find Icelandic speaking staff at MCI, for example), but I would be surprised to show up for a CX flight at SFO and not find multiple Cantonese and Mandarin speaking staff, or show up for a DL or AF flight at ATL and not find French speaking staff.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:59 pm

sw733 wrote:
I would be shocked to find Icelandic speaking staff at MCI, for example


True, however for the most common messages they might have a tape in Icelandic. This is often done when there is no staff member present that speaks the language. Sometimes all foreign messages are played from a tape.
 
LGAviation
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:23 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
sw733 wrote:
I would be shocked to find Icelandic speaking staff at MCI, for example


True, however for the most common messages they might have a tape in Icelandic. This is often done when there is no staff member present that speaks the language. Sometimes all foreign messages are played from a tape.


I would still very much be surprised if anything was done in Icelandic. Icelanders are a nation of three-hundred thousand people that are used to read a good share of their books and watch a good share of their media in English or Danish. Also Icelanders traveling abroad will find Icelandic useless most everywhere so anyone that has ventured to the US will have to have a working knowledge of English also considering the lack of Icelandic tour groups.
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sw733
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:12 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
sw733 wrote:
I would be shocked to find Icelandic speaking staff at MCI, for example


True, however for the most common messages they might have a tape in Icelandic. This is often done when there is no staff member present that speaks the language. Sometimes all foreign messages are played from a tape.


I flew MCI-KEF-MCI earlier this summer, on the inaugural. No announcements outside of the aircraft were in Icelandic, live or recorded.
 
opticalilyushin
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:59 am

I wouldn't expect to hear much in any native language in Scandenavia/The Nordic countries, as so many people there have an excellent grasp of English. I guess even KLM, who only do their safety demo in English (granted other announcements are in Dutch)
 
stlgph
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:55 am

I was surprised when flying Aer Lingus to Munich through Dublin there were not any announcements in German outside of playing a pre-recorded German safety announcement.

The flight attendants didn't appear to speak German, either, with one even play the point and order game from the cart.
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SCQ83
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:24 am

In Spain everything displayed in information panels or announcements will also be made in Basque / Catalan / Galician (in addition to English and Spanish) in regions where those languages are official (Basque Country, Navarra, Catalonia, Valencia, Baleares and Galicia).

Pragmatically it doesn't make a lot of sense since everybody that speak those languages also speak Spanish, but of course politically is another different story.

In some major airports in the coast (for instance PMI), everything is also translated in German yet regularly announcements are not made in that language. So for instance everything in PMI is in 4 languages (Spanish, English, Catalan and German).

stlgph wrote:
I was surprised when flying Aer Lingus to Munich through Dublin there were not any announcements in German outside of playing a pre-recorded German safety announcement.

The flight attendants didn't appear to speak German, either, with one even play the point and order game from the cart.


Aer Lingus is an Irish airline with (mostly) Irish FAs. If they need someone to speak every language to European destinations they fly to, it would be endless. This is what is standard in Europe. In any case, British and Irish usually don't care about other languages. For instance, when flying TAP Portugal, I noticed every other FA speaks a very good French (and a lot of them speak Spanish), so I assume that to be an FA at TAP, French (in addition to English) is compulsory.

Ironically, the carrier that usually has FAs speaking more languages is Ryanair, since they employ people from all over Europe anywhere. You can fly a Spain-based plane and have Italian, Portuguese and Polish FAs, or a German-based plane with Spanish or Greek FAs. Anything goes for them. For instance, I flew recently from Madrid to Italy (on a MAD-based plane) and since the pilot happened to be Italian (even if based in MAD), so he spoke in Spanish (with a strong Italian accent), Italian and English. I also remember once flying from BSL to SCQ on easyJet and one of the FAs made announcements in German, French, Spanish and even said something in Galician (Switzerland has a large Galician community and those flights are mostly catered to Galician VFR).
 
STLflyer
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:24 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
sw733 wrote:
I would be shocked to find Icelandic speaking staff at MCI, for example


True, however for the most common messages they might have a tape in Icelandic. This is often done when there is no staff member present that speaks the language. Sometimes all foreign messages are played from a tape.


They didn't do this when I flew WOW from STL-KEF.

Then again, with Iceland, it's not really necessary. Every local I met spoke English, some better than many Americans, so the odds of there being any Icelanders at STL who didn't speak English were slim. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure that the FAs did the safety demo or other cabin announcements in Icelandic, those may have been English only too.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:24 pm

When I worked at LHR in the 70''s 80's :old: Terminal 2 would play a recorded message in the language for the country in question announcing that passengers should go to the departure area.
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bgm
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:23 pm

A lot of airports in Europe and elsewhere around the world use Aviavox. That's why you hear a sulky English accent in so many airports. ;)

http://aviavox.com/#listen
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iadadd
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:44 pm

Major US Airports tend to make all important announcements in English, then Spanish. In regards to foreign carriers, if they employ their own ground staff, chances are it'll be staffed by Diaspora of that foreign country. This is particularly apparent in Asian/ME/African/Latin American carriers, since many of the passengers are not American, nor proficient English speakers.

For example at IAD, ET's ground staff is primarily Ethiopian. Avianca's are primarily Latino, the Asian carriers' are mainly Asians, etc. This all helps with check-in to gate announcements to assistance on navigating the arrivals hall.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:04 am

masi1157 wrote:
oldannyboy wrote:
You will actually find that at lots major gateways.....

In Europe it seems to be quite normal. I believe to remember in BRU last week I heard announcements in english, dutch, french and often also the language of the destination country. Here in HAM we have german and english announcements, but I also remember turkish for flights to Turkey, sometimes spanish, italian, french, polish. It is so familiar to me to hear a number of foreign languages on airports that I don't really pay attention anymore if that happens with all flights/airports/languages.


Gruß, masi1157


Indeed Masi. I have heard announcements in up to 5 languages at BRU, with the same staff performing announcements in additional languages for a different flight at another gate mere minutes after!
Kudos to multilingual staff!

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aerorobnz
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:30 am

From a ground handler perspective, each airline either pays for a qualified gate agent who speaks the language of that airline or has staff that can handle it themselves. Recorded airport announcements can be used as well. Most big cities have a large number of languages spoken and staff who are multi-lingual have a hiring advantage, to begin with. Just from my small team at AKL (which is in a monolingual country), I can think of Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, French, German, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Croatian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, Samoan, Tongan, Maori and some individuals speak 4-5 each.
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cedars747
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:25 pm

The last airport that I transited was the Doha Hamad airport. Boarding announcement was in destination country language. I remember I was near to the boarding gate of GRU-EZE and boarding was in spanish and Portuguese.
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conaly
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Re: Airport announcement/staff in different languages

Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:00 pm

In Europe this is pretty normal to have multiple languages for announcements, even for various domestic flights. I do believe though, that one domestic SAS-flight in Norway had only English crew on board as it was operated by Cityjet. All announcements were English only. Can't remember whether there have been prerecorded Norwegian safety announcements, but I'm pretty sure the crew did not speak Norwegian.

On the other hand: for domestic flights with Air Algerie in Algerie, ALL announcements at the domestic terminal and on the plane are in Arabic and French only. As my flight was delayed by seven hours, I had no idea what happened, as we first boarded the plane, waited for two hours, than deboarded again. Luckily one local lady, who was booked on the same flight, did help me and told me, when they announced any information about that specific flight.
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