Monday, March 22, 2010

English as the sea's lingua franka

Wierdly according to Justin Stares in the Lloyd's List the European Parliament have done something sensible,
EURO MPs are resisting a proposal to establish English as the lingua franca in all communication between ship and port. MEPs of different nationalities are seeking to water down the requirement, which would “provide for the use of English as the working language” as far as ship formalities are concerned.

Whilst all communications in the air are conducted in English this refusal makes some sense. OK, it is being done mostly to spite the Anglo-saxon world, but tant pis. To force all communication into English would be a retrograde step. It would impact upon pilots the world over. Pilots as a matter of copurse need to be expert in the waters surrounding their own ports, Englsih is a secondary concern. If all ships of all nationalities were forced to use English then language skills would take precedence over local knowledge increasing dangedrs to shipping.
It would be nice of they could all speak English of course, and for that matter if all navies, merchant and military, in the world could do so, but when a French ship enters a French port it is more important that the pilot knows exactly where the shoals are than if he can speak English.


Joe Litobarski said...

But what happens when a Spanish ship enters a French port? Or a Greek ship enters a Swedish port?

Chuckles said...

Left hand down a bit?

lingvo-shatanto said...

In Brazil, the coming ship needs a local pilot to conduct the ship into the harbour.

Isn't that everywhere?

And the local pilot even does not to speak no one language. His hands speaks to the ships controls "manually".

Why should a brazilian pilot to learn English to do his job? He needs to know his job, first of all.