dfwjim1
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Canadian ATC

Tue Mar 03, 2020 6:23 pm

I was listening to the air traffic controllers in Montreal and Ottawa the other day via LIVEATC.NET and it was interesting how they switched between English and French. I assume the controllers in Quebec are required to be bilingual but does this requirement apply to the other proveniences or just Quebec? As a side note I have listened to controllers in Vancouver and Toronto and I have never heard a word of French spoken.

Thanks for your replies.
 
Sarahoutamon
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Re: Canadian ATC

Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:18 am

It's due to Québec's, shall we say unique language situation.

English is not an official language in the province, only French is. On top of that, certain people in the province tend to have, shall we say, a very strong opinion when it comes to language use. In certain parts of the province (mainly the more northern areas) where its not uncommon for people to not speak English.

It tends to be a, contentious, issue amongst non French speaking crew, as it can be jarring and at times hard to have a complete picture of what's going on when controllers are flip flopping back and forth between the two.
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: Canadian ATC

Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:58 pm

Can't let this go without sharing this video . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyO1ILQAGsU
 
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dennypayne
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:07 am

Sarahoutamon wrote:
On top of that, certain people in the province tend to have, shall we say, a very strong opinion when it comes to language use.


That's all well and good when they are sitting in the café chatting, but as you note, situational awareness is compromised when they don't stick to the International standard of English. It's rather childish of those people to inject language politics into a situation when it reduces safety.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:35 am

The international standard is English. ATC must be able to communicate in English. However, local languages are also supported in most (?) places. This is not unique to Quebec. In Mainland China, France, and Russia, ATC is in English+Mandarin, English+French and English+Russian respectively. Air France domestic flights communicate in French and international flight in English. If you fly GA in Sweden ATC you can talk to ATC in Swedish.

It can be a bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. It certainly impacts situational awareness, but I don't think that there is a massive safety impact.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:15 am

dennypayne wrote:
Sarahoutamon wrote:
On top of that, certain people in the province tend to have, shall we say, a very strong opinion when it comes to language use.

That's all well and good when they are sitting in the café chatting, but as you note, situational awareness is compromised when they don't stick to the International standard of English. It's rather childish of those people to inject language politics into a situation when it reduces safety.

They certainly wouldn't be the only ones doing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnUw10NWCvU
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spacecadet
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:50 am

They are not the only ones doing it, but you can bet that if an accident ever occurs because two planes did not know what each other were doing due to different ATC languages being used, it'll stop right quick.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
VSMUT
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:12 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
The international standard is English. ATC must be able to communicate in English. However, local languages are also supported in most (?) places. This is not unique to Quebec. In Mainland China, France, and Russia, ATC is in English+Mandarin, English+French and English+Russian respectively. Air France domestic flights communicate in French and international flight in English. If you fly GA in Sweden ATC you can talk to ATC in Swedish.

It can be a bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. It certainly impacts situational awareness, but I don't think that there is a massive safety impact.


CDG ATC can be interesting. I've heard them do perfectly standard English without accent, French and during the FedEx waves, American ATC too.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:35 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The international standard is English. ATC must be able to communicate in English. However, local languages are also supported in most (?) places. This is not unique to Quebec. In Mainland China, France, and Russia, ATC is in English+Mandarin, English+French and English+Russian respectively. Air France domestic flights communicate in French and international flight in English. If you fly GA in Sweden ATC you can talk to ATC in Swedish.

It can be a bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. It certainly impacts situational awareness, but I don't think that there is a massive safety impact.


CDG ATC can be interesting. I've heard them do perfectly standard English without accent, French and during the FedEx waves, American ATC too.


"American"? Isn't that still English? ;)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:18 am

Not if you’re at CDG, it ain’t.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:15 am

Starlionblue wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The international standard is English. ATC must be able to communicate in English. However, local languages are also supported in most (?) places. This is not unique to Quebec. In Mainland China, France, and Russia, ATC is in English+Mandarin, English+French and English+Russian respectively. Air France domestic flights communicate in French and international flight in English. If you fly GA in Sweden ATC you can talk to ATC in Swedish.

It can be a bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. It certainly impacts situational awareness, but I don't think that there is a massive safety impact.


CDG ATC can be interesting. I've heard them do perfectly standard English without accent, French and during the FedEx waves, American ATC too.


"American"? Isn't that still English? ;)


FedEx pilots somehow can't adjust to non-American methods, such as only being cleared to land when the runway is clear. Definitely weird to hear 3 aircraft on the approach be cleared to land on the same runway at once.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:37 am

Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.
 
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dennypayne
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:10 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.


I never quite understood why that was deemed to be a better phrase than "position and hold."


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Starlionblue
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:11 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not if you’re at CDG, it ain’t.


Any examples? I'm having a hard time figuring out how they would control an American carrier differently from another English speaking carrier.


GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.


Agreed. "When in Rome..."
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:13 pm

dennypayne wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.


I never quite understood why that was deemed to be a better phrase than "position and hold."


Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk


It is a much simpler and clearer phrase especially for non-native English speaker.

Mostly a joke on CDG and FDX. They would not control them differently but a CDG ATCO and a FDX good ole boy aren’t very similar especially on the good ole boy’s first or fifth trip in there. Like cringing at Yanks cleared to Quimper and their readback—QUIM-per, anyone? Or Nantes, NAN-tez or don’t get started on Reims
 
diverted
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:49 pm

spacecadet wrote:
They are not the only ones doing it, but you can bet that if an accident ever occurs because two planes did not know what each other were doing due to different ATC languages being used, it'll stop right quick.


Couple of years ago I was with a buddy who was doing his CPL and building time, so we took his Cherokee out to the east coast for a few days. Stopped at Sherbrooke (YSC) for fuel and while doing the run-up heard a whole bunch of french on the frequency. No idea what he was saying as neither of us spoke french, so figured it best to just stop, let him fly his circuits and wait to see what this guy was doing. Of course, he couldn't be arsed to respond to us in English, so either he never leaves Quebec, or was just being a prick.

Either way, definitely potential for issues, at least in the GA world.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:31 am

dennypayne wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.


I never quite understood why that was deemed to be a better phrase than "position and hold."

Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk


As GalaxyFlyer says, clearer for a non-English speaker. The words "taxi", "hold" and "position" are used for other instructions, such as "hold short runway two-seven-right", "hold point alpha", "hold short yankee" and "hold position", while "line up" and "wait" are only used for one thing.

Having specific phraseology only for lining up on the runway removes ambiguity, in the same way that "takeoff" is only used for takeoff clearance and not in any other case.


GalaxyFlyer wrote:
dennypayne wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.


I never quite understood why that was deemed to be a better phrase than "position and hold."


Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk


It is a much simpler and clearer phrase especially for non-native English speaker.

Mostly a joke on CDG and FDX. They would not control them differently but a CDG ATCO and a FDX good ole boy aren’t very similar especially on the good ole boy’s first or fifth trip in there. Like cringing at Yanks cleared to Quimper and their readback—QUIM-per, anyone? Or Nantes, NAN-tez or don’t get started on Reims


Ah, I see. :D

Spain has some similar things. For example, Barcelona has an "AGENA" departure. Somewhat confusingly for foreign first-timers, this is pronounced "a-henn-ah" by the local controllers.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Canadian ATC

Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:13 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
The international standard is English. ATC must be able to communicate in English. However, local languages are also supported in most (?) places. This is not unique to Quebec. In Mainland China, France, and Russia, ATC is in English+Mandarin, English+French and English+Russian respectively. Air France domestic flights communicate in French and international flight in English. If you fly GA in Sweden ATC you can talk to ATC in Swedish.

It can be a bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. It certainly impacts situational awareness, but I don't think that there is a massive safety impact.


I don't see a safety issue as long as the crews of each plane are able to communicate clearly with the local ATC/
 
N1120A
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Re: Canadian ATC

Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:47 am

I've heard controllers in Ottawa speaking French. Ottawa is right on the border and nearly as bilingual as Montreal is. Controllers in Quebec are all bilingual and communicate as requested by the pilots of the aircraft speaking to them. They also speak, by far, the clearest, least Quebecois accented French I ever hear in Canada.

dennypayne wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Not much weirder than being cleared to “line up and wait” behind an unseen plane on final in the haze.


I never quite understood why that was deemed to be a better phrase than "position and hold."


Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk


Accent wise, it sounds more clear when people say line up and wait in heavily accented English.
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JAGflyer
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:44 pm

It's the same situation as ATC in Latin/South America. You will undoubtedly hear Spanish spoken by ATC at all airports, large and small. Pilots flying for Spanish-speaking carriers will speak their native language when flying in a country where that is the lingua-franca. Of course, if one pilot doesn't speak the language the flight will use English and the controllers are also able to speak English to non-Spanish speaking pilots.
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AirKevin
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Re: Canadian ATC

Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:30 pm

JAGflyer wrote:
It's the same situation as ATC in Latin/South America. You will undoubtedly hear Spanish spoken by ATC at all airports, large and small. Pilots flying for Spanish-speaking carriers will speak their native language when flying in a country where that is the lingua-franca. Of course, if one pilot doesn't speak the language the flight will use English and the controllers are also able to speak English to non-Spanish speaking pilots.

This controller seemed to struggle as the Lufthansa wasn't able to get a response from the controller for the most part. Another pilot wasn't able to get a response from the controller when using English, but didn't have an issue when he started speaking in Spanish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh9c1UyIrdg
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louA340
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:26 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The international standard is English. ATC must be able to communicate in English. However, local languages are also supported in most (?) places. This is not unique to Quebec. In Mainland China, France, and Russia, ATC is in English+Mandarin, English+French and English+Russian respectively. Air France domestic flights communicate in French and international flight in English. If you fly GA in Sweden ATC you can talk to ATC in Swedish.

It can be a bit disconcerting at first but you get used to it. It certainly impacts situational awareness, but I don't think that there is a massive safety impact.


I don't see a safety issue as long as the crews of each plane are able to communicate clearly with the local ATC/



It's an issue if the airport is uncontrolled and they are using a Unicom/ctaf frequency where pilots broadcast their positions and intentions. Most general aviation airports are such.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Canadian ATC

Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:13 pm

Fly with a Russian navigator, sitting in the jump seat for the purpose of speaking to controllers.

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