English Is A Problem

Sat on the plane waiting to leave

Being a native speaker in English, along with many millions of other people, I have found that some things are a lot easier on us than on any other nationality. I’ve also realised that it causes far too many problems as well. Since I was at secondary school (between ages 11 and 16 for those of you unfamiliar with the British system) I’ve been passionate about languages. I don’t know what first gave me this passion but it was strong enough for me to spend 4 years at university studying them. With all this time studying I have come to appreciate other nationalities a lot more for their necessity of studying another language, mainly English.

I’ve always been somewhat annoyed that English is spoken by some many as a second language. Mainly because it allows more native English speakers the chance to ignore other languages but over the last weekend I realised just how bad this is for other nationalities as well.

As some of you who follow me elsewhere online will know, I spent the Valentines’ weekend in Berlin with my boyfriend (which will be blogged about in another post!) I flew with a German airline called Air Berlin. It was my first time flying with them and it was pleasant enough. That was until we landed at Berlin airport.

As sometimes happens, although it seems to happen with me far too often!, the plane stopped moving when it hadn’t fully arrived at the gate causing come confusion amongst the passengers. I say confusion when I mean most people stood up and starting getting their bags from the over head containers. This is when I realised just how detrimental English is for those of you who weren’t born in a country with English as the first language

First they asked the people to sit down in German (well that’s what I assume as my German abilities only stretch as far as asking for a large cola in a restaurant!) and that makes sense. We’ve landed in German, it’s a German airline. But when they were ignored they proceeded to ask/tell them in English… Yes, English. From a flight that had started in Spain… As we all know Spain is where you find a large majority of fluent English speakers….

It’s amazing that the cabin crew could speak English as well as German but when you are flying between Spain and Germany it’s a pretty safe bet that there won’t be a lot of English speakers on the flight. The Spanish people were completely oblivious to what had been said, and a few seconds later even more people had stood and were beginning to remove their own possessions.  I think this is a prime example of why people should learn a foreign language. And also why you should employ at least one Spanish speaker if you are flying into Spain.

I spent the weekend being amazed at this behaviour and the insistence of the cabin crew in using English, despite it’s lack of use. Although on the way back someone spoke Spanish so maybe it was just the bad luck of the draw for AirBerlin on that day? I suppose I will never really know!

Have you ever experienced any weird encounters on a plane? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to follow me on bloglovin for more posts at the below link!


Hasta la fuego

Lauren 🙂 x

4 Replies to “English Is A Problem”

  1. oh how interesting. You would think they would have a Spanish speaker flight attendant if they're coming from Spain.

  2. Yeah, that's what I thought! It got to me my entire time in Berlin because it made no sense at all!

  3. I definitely find your passion for language inspiring, Lauren! I use to do French at school but gave it up because at the age of 16 I was naïve to the importance of learning another language. But, I'm now determined to pick up those skills again :). The majority of native English speakers take language for granted. I find we can be so ignorant and expectant of other cultures to speak our tongue or follow our cultural norms. But you go girl, and I hope you had a lovely time in Berlin 🙂
    Tasmin | Grandiose Days

  4. You should definitely try and learn it again and if you ever want someone to practice with I'm more than willing! I barely get to use my French at the moment so any practice for me would be great as well! Duolingo and Memrise are good sites to use for vocab and things like that 🙂 I think the same, out of my friends from school I think I'm the only one who took languages further and out of the people in my year I think there were 5 out of 300 students..
    Lauren 🙂 x

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