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How do the rest of you feel about the anouncements in foreign languages?

How do the rest of you feel about the anouncements in foreign languages?

 
Old Aug 5, 01, 7:20 pm
  #1  
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How do the rest of you feel about the anouncements in foreign languages?

I recently started flying the SJC-TPE routes, and I couldn't help to notice how embarrasingly painful it was to listen to the FA's anouncements in Mandarin Chinese. Granted that I only have a limited Chinese vocabulary, it was still obvious to me that the FA's lack some very basic public speaking skills. To be completely fair, I have also heard some aweful PA's in English on domestic flights.

Note to flight attendants: practice reading your materials before the flight.

Maybe I'm being too critical; nobody really pays attention to the PA's anyway.
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Old Aug 6, 01, 11:42 am
  #2  
SST
 
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I don't speak ANY asian language; but I'm not the intended audience. It is a courtesy and a reasonable thing for AA or any carrier traveling to a non-english speaking country to do SOMETHING to provide safety and other information in both (or Three; try Finnair or SAS) languages. It is also the RIGHT thing to do, regardless of the staff's ability to speak without an accent; as Americans, or Brits, we need to remember that we are only one set of the world's people. Let's not get painted as Ugly Americans for yet another generation.......
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Old Aug 6, 01, 1:34 pm
  #3  
 
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Sometimes announcements in foreign languages are not only aweful but inaccurate/incorrect.
What frustrates me more is that English speaking attendant doesn't care about it when I point it out...
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Old Aug 6, 01, 5:21 pm
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On occasion I've had difficulty understanding cabin announcements in English on airlines whose country of origin was not English-speaking.
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Old Aug 6, 01, 8:09 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by chuck till:
On occasion I've had difficulty understanding cabin announcements in English on airlines whose country of origin was not English-speaking. </font>
Same here, but those FA are really making an effort... not to say that their English is much better than, let's say, my Czech or my Portuguese.
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Old Aug 6, 01, 9:26 pm
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Come on guys they are FAs..when Hollywood can't even produce decent Mandrian Spekaing actors/actresses how do you expect airlines do? NW's Gate agents' Mandrian was very aweful when they spoke at the DTW-PEK Gate...no one could understand her!

Art of War's Chinese actor/actress' Mandrian is awful as it gets and it is embrassing! I just can't believe that they can't find anyone in L.A. ????

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Old Aug 6, 01, 10:00 pm
  #7  
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While not fluent in any Asian language I have had enough exposure to Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai and Japanese (smattering of Korean, Malaysian and Indonesian) to know when an announcement is done well. The only airline that seems to do the multi-language announcements effectively is CX. Then again CX's policy is to recruit FA's from all over Asia, so they are the real deal so to speak. My favorite though is JL - I love hearing the announcements in English and Japanese, they are almost "sing-song" in delivery.
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Old Aug 6, 01, 10:53 pm
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Afang,

Mandrian? Aweful? People who live in glass houses
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Old Aug 6, 01, 10:59 pm
  #9  
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I was on an AA CDG-BOS flight on which the purser made the announcements in French. I was embarrassed: her pronunciation was as if she was reading French words in English. (She seemed pleasant and competent otherwise, though I didn't have much contact with her since I was in J and she was in F.)

What made it worse was that there was a junior FA on board who had lived in France for several years and whose French was near-native. In situations like that, they should throw seniority out the window and let whoever has the best command of the language do the announcements.

The worst, though, was an English-speaking pilot on a Canadian airline who went through a long, chatty, but interesting pre-landing speech in English - after which he said the mandatory three words, "attachez vos ceintures" (fasten your seat belts), in an even worse accent than the AA purser. Maybe he was making a political statement.
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Old Aug 7, 01, 12:20 am
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I think we have to give AA credit for trying although some of the results (like this) are laughable. I don't know why an international airline can not get things like this right.

When they first started TPE, AAtraction (in-flight entertainment) had really terrible translation. It was obvious someone from China did the translation - it was Chinese but simplified Chinese and the terms used are not what they use in Taiwan. I am glad they have now corrected most of the problems.

Then, there are the wonderfully fast announcements on flights by US carriers. I think some FAs take pride in how well they know the announcements and how fast they can recite them - without giving consideration to many possible foreign visitors onboard.

Codesharing further complicates the problem. Back when CO codeshared with AC, I witnessed some French Canadians got really angry when the CO flight attendants did not speak French (and the passengers did not know it was a CO flight). AA 150/151 is codeshared with EVA Air.

Some airlines have those multi-language announcement machines that help some what.

Steven

[This message has been edited by username (edited 08-06-2001).]
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Old Aug 7, 01, 12:40 am
  #11  
 
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When they first started TPE, AAtraction (in-flight entertainment) had really terrible translation. It was obvious someone from China did the translation - it was Chinese but simplified Chinese and the terms used are not what they use in Taiwan. I am glad they have now corrected most of the problems.

Well...if they fly to TPE, it is only right to make it the Taiwan terms...but when it comes to terminologies...it is a whole new different discussion

I think they should let someone from China to do the announcements instead of the translations also!

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Old Aug 7, 01, 2:15 am
  #12  
 
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Let's face it--we English speakers are lucky when it comes to language/culture. Heck, it starts in the cockpit--did you know that the official language of all air traffic control is English? Supposedly for your pilots on their run from Kuala Lumpur to Vladiostok.

I have flown domestically on carriers who have no obligation to speak English (the Buenos Aires to Bariloch run; the Frankfurt to Berlin run; and others. Guess what? Announcements in English are always added. Anyone on the Tokyo/Sapporo run? Do you get English? Just curious. In the final analysis, we English speakers are spoiled when it comes to language.

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Old Aug 7, 01, 3:48 am
  #13  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FullFare:
Anyone on the Tokyo/Sapporo run? Do you get English? Just curious.</font>
I think they do at least on NH particularly after they joined Star Alliance.

AA and CO, I heard, don't hire Asian locals because their labor unions don't allow it. Not sure if that's true. That's, I think, is the reason for hard-to-understand announcements in Japanese, for instance. UA and NW are different. They almost all the time have natives make announcements on their transpacific routes. SR is neat with one person speaking all those European languages.
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Old Aug 7, 01, 3:56 am
  #14  
mgm
 
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On internal JL and NH flights I have heard announcements in both Japanese and English. Inflight entertainment though is usually only Japanese. On the AA flights I have taken to and from NRT there are always Japanese speakers in the crew, they certainly look Japanese though they may be U.S. citizens of course.
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Old Aug 7, 01, 6:47 am
  #15  
 
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My biggest pet peeve about the whole language thing is that, almost every time we pull into a spanish speaking port, the agent comes on and announces our arrival in spanish first. Passengers comment about this all the time. I've even been on flights where they don't even bother to make a welcome announcement in english.

I am also annoyed when the purser is bi-lingual and speaks in the foreign language before they make their english announcement.It's great that we have bi-lingual FA's, but most of our passengers primary language is english.

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