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Vatsim Language Use By Nationals


John Pettit
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Please correct me if wrong, but it is my understanding that ATC on Vatsim uses English as prime language, but in the national airspace of each country the national language may be used between aircraft and ATC, just as is permitted in the real world.

Over France an unknown aircraft berated the French ATC controller with the words "Speak English" when ATC spoke to a French speaking pilot in their common language.

This is not only bad manners, but is wrong on so many counts. As an Englishman myself I was embarrassed at this outburst and apologise unreservedly to the French ATC controller. I hope he has not been put off controlling.

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Hello John!

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
§1.01 Membership
Requirements: VATSIM.net is open for membership to all individuals who have reached the age of thirteen (13) years old or older. In addition, membership is available to all individuals regardless of race, creed, color or nationality. Members should be able to converse and/or provide air traffic control services in English, the internationally accepted official language for air traffic control.

To answer your question yes it is perfectly fine. It is not as common to see controllers speaking there native language in Europe but In south America it is much more common there!

In terms of the situation if you could I would recommend that you recommend that you report it to a supervisor.

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Posted (edited)

It occurred around 2015z on frequency 128.1 and the name of the French controller was Alexandre (no surname given).

I thought it needed a wider audience than a Supervisor, although it would be good if a Sup could have had a word with the unidentified pilot.

Edited by John Pettit

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Hi Alexandre,

Yes, he spoke over the end of one of your transmissions. He must have been "closer" to my aircraft than to you as I heard him very clearly.

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It is fine for the controller to speak the native language of that FIR, I control France myself 😛.

However, in instances like this it get's really hard for us especially if it is on voice to get the aircraft and identify them even if we have hyper speed reactions. We would only get sufficient evidence if anyone else such as other pilots within the FIR or ATC was actively recording. In that case if do have the evidence and feel it needs to be reported send it to [email protected] 

CHRISS KLOSOWSKI
Division Director, VATSIM Middle East & North Africa  
VATSIM Network Supervisor, Team 5
##  [email protected] 
##
 http://vatsim.me/    
     

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16 hours ago, John Pettit said:

unknown aircraft berated the French ATC controller with the words "Speak English"

I suppose it was the way he said it which was unacceptable? Otherwise, how else should a pilot request ATC to speak English? :)

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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One could say "English, please?" 

However, the issue is not that the English-speaking pilot needed the controller to speak to him in English.  The English-speaking pilot was upset because the controller was speaking French to a French-speaking pilot.  The English-speaking pilot was in the wrong for getting snippy because the other two speaking French in that situation was perfectly acceptable.

Cheers,

-R.

fvJfs7z.png

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I obviously didn't make it clear - it was the English pilot's angry response to an ATC exchange between France ATC Centre and another, French speaking, pilot. He was not part of that conversation.

My original comments are not meant to be a witch hunt - the main thing I believe is get across the point that languages other than English are permitted to be used between ATC and pilots in those areas where that language is an official tongue - Russian in Russian airspace, Arabic in Saudi Arabian airspace etc,. etc..

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(LGA1151)

Scenery & Progs: Orbx Global & Vector & airports; UK2000 eXtreme

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1 hour ago, John Pettit said:

I obviously didn't make it clear

Actually, reading your original post again, you did make it clear - it was me who got it wrong, sorry. Clearly the English-speaking conversation-interrupter was in the wrong.

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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No question that the use of the national language is appropiate and legal to do. As English is not a first for all, it is nice that you can use your own language, when flying in your national airspace.  Both IRL and here on VATSIM this enables more people to fly. The responce from the English speaking pilot (as presented here) was rude.

However, I lack a bit of information here, as I can't see if the "English" pilot was in a Terminal environment. If so, there is a question on situational awareness to be considered by the French controller. Passing on traffic information is more vital, when multible languages are used.

Still - the "English" pilot should have handled his frustration on a much better way.

Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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This is just realistic: especially in France, French pilots will talk to ATC in French, all the way from the ground to the top. With a little bit of effort it is possible to research and learn the basic 10 phrases that are used to partially follow the conversation. Luckily, most countries  use English as the primary language for IFR-operations. VFR is usually done in the local language.

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If you want to know for sure which language(s) is/are used IRL... have a look at the respective AIP.

Specifically referring to France it says:

Quote

Communications with ATS units can be held in French or English language unless the mention “French only” is specified on the relevant charts*, in which case communications shall be held in French language.

and

Quote

In France, it is possible to use the French language in radiotelephony on all aerodromes, including airports with more than 50 000 international IFR movements per year.

 

Edited by Christoph Reule
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You don't need to lookup the AIP, you can just follow the advice given here? Especially at a "game" online-network I do not expect ANY pilot to read the AIP when operating. Charts, yes. AIP and NOTAMs? No.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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