Tuesday, March 08, 2016

So Why are Flight Announcements Only in Hindi, English?

Hindi is the mother tongue of only 25 per cent of Indians, and a Google study has found that only 7 per cent are conversant in English. So why are in-flight and airport announcements made in only those two languages?

It’s a question that was always likely to be asked, and now, as the Ministry of Civil Aviation gears to revive 160 defunct airports in Tier-II towns, somebody is asking it.

A petition has been launched on the website change.org to drum up support for in-flight and safety announcements in local languages – both at the point of origin and destination of each flight in the country.

The poser to the ministry, which was signed by 1,112 people as of Tuesday afternoon, points out that Hindi and English, the two languages used by airline announcers currently, are not understood by much of the Indian population.

The assumption by most airlines that these are universally understood is in fact a wilful denial of the ground realities, says the petition. "This policy is impacting the lives of crores of non-Hindi citizens who opt for air travel within India,” it says.

The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has in the past acknowledged that Hindi and English may Greek and Latin to many travelers, but its solution was to recommend that the announcements be made at a slower pace.
08/03/16 The New Indian Express
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