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readytotaxi
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When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:14 pm

I thought it was around the 1950's but could not find anything to back this up, your thoughts?
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Wacker1000
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:52 pm

I would guess some time between 1944 and 1946.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:33 pm

Chicago Convention establishing the ICAO in 1944. I suspect who won WW II and set up the world order, postwar had a lot to do with it. ICAO adopted English as the language of aviation in Annex 10 to Chicago in 1951.
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:42 pm

English may be the language of the skies, but French is the language of the airplane.
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mxaxai
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:11 am

Standardization was sought prior to WW2 through ICAN, ICAO's predecessor in the League of Nations. For example, in 1937, the 38e conference aeronautique internationale [French, can't find an English version] agreed on:

The Commission notes that it would be useful to define in several languages the terms frequently used in radio transmissions andused in radio and navigation transmissions. It suggests that a joint sub-commission containing representatives of the representatives of the Commission on Operations and the Commission on Correspondence.

(pp. 88-89 of the pdf, pp. 85-86 of the document)

Separate sub-commitees of ITU and ICAN were created but their work was obviously interrupted by the outbreak of WW2. Progress stalled until the Chicago Convention was signed in 1944.

Radios on commercial aircraft weren't even mandated internationally until 1930, so the lack of standardization in a relatively young technology is hardly surprising.
 
johns624
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:19 pm

December 17, 1903. :D
 
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CARST
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:05 pm

Just to point it out... nearly all radio traffic between ATC and aircraft is done in the local language of each country. Often they only talk English to foreign aircraft. Some countries try to maintain English as the preferred language on the main frequencies, but it's rare.

If you fly through South America you mostly hear Spanish and Portugese, if you fly through French airspace you hear French on the frequencies, even to airports like Paris CDG, same for Russia, China, and most other places int he world.

English is the most easy to learn language in the world, that why it's taught in most countries at school. And why it was adopted as a worldwide language to communicate with foreign airtraffic.
 
mxaxai
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:11 am

CARST wrote:
Just to point it out... nearly all radio traffic between ATC and aircraft is done in the local language of each country. Often they only talk English to foreign aircraft. Some countries try to maintain English as the preferred language on the main frequencies, but it's rare.

Indeed, Canada even mandates that ATC controllers in Québec are fluent in both French and English, a regulation that caused a 9-day ATC strike when it was introduced in 1976. https://www.nytimes.com/1976/06/29/arch ... ended.html
 
Cubsrule
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:04 am

CARST wrote:
English is the most easy to learn language in the world, that why it's taught in most countries at school. And why it was adopted as a worldwide language to communicate with foreign airtraffic.


By what measure is English the easiest language to learn? I’m going to guess you’ve not taught English as a foreign language.
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Starlionblue
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sun Mar 28, 2021 1:20 am

CARST wrote:
Just to point it out... nearly all radio traffic between ATC and aircraft is done in the local language of each country. Often they only talk English to foreign aircraft. Some countries try to maintain English as the preferred language on the main frequencies, but it's rare.

If you fly through South America you mostly hear Spanish and Portugese, if you fly through French airspace you hear French on the frequencies, even to airports like Paris CDG, same for Russia, China, and most other places int he world.

English is the most easy to learn language in the world, that why it's taught in most countries at school. And why it was adopted as a worldwide language to communicate with foreign airtraffic.


I disagree that English is easy to learn. It is full of inconsistencies and exceptions in spelling and grammar, contains sounds that may be tricky for foreigners, and it is packed with illogical idiom. Not to mention the regional variations. Non-native speakers typically still struggle with the quirks after many years.

English is not taught in schools because it is easy to learn. It is taught because it is probably the most useful language for international travel, business, popular culture, and so forth. Today's lingua franca, as previously were French and Latin.

There are of course more difficult languages than English. Cantonese comes to mind. But I can think of many easier ones to learn, for example, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, Bahasa Indonesia and Thai. Less complex, and more consistent in structure and pronunciation.
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LH707330
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Re: When did English become the Considered Language of the Skies.

Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:21 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
CARST wrote:
Just to point it out... nearly all radio traffic between ATC and aircraft is done in the local language of each country. Often they only talk English to foreign aircraft. Some countries try to maintain English as the preferred language on the main frequencies, but it's rare.

If you fly through South America you mostly hear Spanish and Portugese, if you fly through French airspace you hear French on the frequencies, even to airports like Paris CDG, same for Russia, China, and most other places int he world.

English is the most easy to learn language in the world, that why it's taught in most countries at school. And why it was adopted as a worldwide language to communicate with foreign airtraffic.


I disagree that English is easy to learn. It is full of inconsistencies and exceptions in spelling and grammar, contains sounds that may be tricky for foreigners, and it is packed with illogical idiom. Not to mention the regional variations. Non-native speakers typically still struggle with the quirks after many years.

English is not taught in schools because it is easy to learn. It is taught because it is probably the most useful language for international travel, business, popular culture, and so forth. Today's lingua franca, as previously were French and Latin.

There are of course more difficult languages than English. Cantonese comes to mind. But I can think of many easier ones to learn, for example, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, Bahasa Indonesia and Thai. Less complex, and more consistent in structure and pronunciation.


"English is Hard, But Can Be Understood Through Tough Thorough Thought Though" :D More here: https://www.fluentin3months.com/tough/

The regional variations are quite tricky, there are several people I've met whose variety is barely mutually-intelligible with what I grew up with. Then you get the different ATC lingo, like "decimal" versus "point" or "traffic in sight" vs "eyeballs on 'im."

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