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av8rix
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:58 am

Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:59 am

This could be a good topic: How important do you feel it is for Flight Attendants to be bilingual? What percentage of a crew should be bilingual for each flight?

I know flight attendants are there for safety and comfort of passengers and crew, and their work is People. Being able to talk with them is certainly critical. But I thought it'd be good to ask how much so?

To help people answer, how about

1=not at all
2=some
3=middlin'
4=quite a bit
5=totally

(1) How important is it that Flight Attendants be bilingual? 1-5?

(2) How many Flight Attendants on each flight should be bilingual?
- for domestic 1-5?
- for international 1-5?

(3) Are you a crewmember or passenger?

It will be interesting to see what we feel.

Thanks
 
HT
Posts: 5864
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:08 am

Quoting Av8rix (Thread starter):
bilingual

As an interpretation from your A.net-profile, I assume you mean "English" and "Spanish" (aka. Castellano) by "bilingual" ?!

As Spanish is becoming a more and more important language in the U.S., it would be a useful aspect to have at least one F/A present who can communicate in Spanish.

For the Rest of the World:
AFAIK, all F/A's are supposed (or "required" ?!) to be able to communicate in English (in addition to their local language).
IIRC, F/A's on LX are required to be tri-lingual, being fluent in German, French and English.

Furthermore, it makes sense that F/A's on international routes are able to communicate in the language spoken at the destination of the flight. This should be at least one (1) of the F/A's.
But from own experience in Europe, that is hardly the case, which makes life a bit difficult for older folks who do not speak English onboard of non-home carriers.
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
acjflyer
Posts: 294
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:44 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:18 am

I think it is very important. I lived in Spain for a couple of years and consequently I learned Castellano (Spanish) and on all the flihgts that I have taken to go back to Spain and visit (AA, DL, CO) I have had to translate for the passengers onboard that are from Spain but do not speak English.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:34 am

Excerpt from AC requirements for flight attendants from their website:

Completely fluent in at least two languages: English and French or English or French and one of the following languages: Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, German, Hindi, Punjabi, Portuguese, Hebrew and Arabic
 
EWRCabincrew
Posts: 4323
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 2:37 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:04 am

With CO, English is the only language that is required. However, it is a huge advantage to know another language. With that advantage, we do staff some of our international destinations with crew who speak that langauge. We have speakers of German, French, Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese,

To answer your questions:

1. 2

2. - domestic 0 (but I am talking about US domestic)
- international - one for each class of service

This is from a crew members point of view. Passengers would, no doubtedly, want as many speakers of their language as possible.

3. cabin crew here (I speak 4 languages and can get by in 3 others)

Reminds me of an old joke:

What do you call a person who speaks more than two languages? Multilingual.

What do you call a person who speaks two languages? Bilingual.

What do you call a person who speaks one language? An American.
You can't cure stupid
 
iairallie
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 5:42 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:47 pm

1. 2
2. For domestic US none. For domestic outside the US at least one should speak the international language of business and aviation, English.
for international travel a minimum of one speaker for the destination language and one for the origination language in each cabin class.
3. both, Private charter FA and a frequent revenue passenger


"Being able to talk with them is certainly critical."

True but you would be surprised at how well you can communicate with non verbal techniques like pointing, body language, drawing etc. This one enterprizing older chinese woman on one of my flights had a sheet of paper where she had some essential phrases handwritten in her language and next to it english. She pointed to her question and I pointed to the answer. It inspired me to do the same.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
FlyboyOz
Posts: 1764
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 10:05 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:59 pm

Well....When i was on Qantas between SYD and HKG, I was soo suprised that there were no chinese cabin crews and Austalians/causasians dont speak cantonese/manadrain. During the announcement a cabin crew was spoken in english and then no one translate it. That's really strange...why QF fly to HKG without asian cabin crews.
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
HT
Posts: 5864
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:20 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:46 pm

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 6):

reminds me of my experience two weeks ago.
Austria-based carrier Niki (HG), flying from Portugal to Spain (LIS to PMI):
Recorded Safety Announcement (spoken by founder Niki Lauda himself) was in German language only, no English subtitles. At the end of the recording, there was a phrase in English like "For your security please have a look into the Safety Card".

No announcement in Portuguese (origin of the flight) or Castellano ("Spanish" across the pond; destination of the flight).
Crew of 4 had problems to communicate with Portuguese passengers.
I wonder in which way such an experience has an impact on pax when it comes to selecting such a carrier again ... ?!
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
fantasticflyer
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:52 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:47 am

If your a domestic flight attendant I dont think its that important...however if your onboard a flight thats going to Venezuela....DR.. PR..etc.. then yeah !
 
Emirates029
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:13 am

RE: Important To Be A Bilingual Flight Attendant?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:14 am

Fairly important if you want to work for Emirates

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