Culture Indicators in Global Aeronautical Communication




Aeronautical Communication, culture indicators, Aviation English, native speakers.


Aviation English has been used globally and now is regarded as lingua franca of aviation communication. Communication in any foreign language entails cultural connotations. Moreover, reactions caused by perceived potential misconceptions of one’s cultural or ethnic identity are context-dependent. Aeronautical communication in global context by definition does not belong to any specific culture, so it should be devoid of any cultural elements being effective at the same time. Participants of different cultural groups take part in this type of communication on a regular basis. On the one hand, they are equipped with the tool such as standard phraseology binding in so called routine situations in order to avoid communication breakdown as this specific code seems to go beyond the borders of culture. There is no time for an analysis of who is who, but only for the completion of the mechanical operational tasks. On the other hand, according to the conducted research, it has been observed that the operational interlocutors cannot efficiently escape from their own cultural backgrounds when communicating in both routine and non-routine situations. Therefore, still some differences in cultural perception of conversation partners do exist and influence the aeronautical communication. The article describes the current situation and presents common culture indicators in a selected context. The research shows that without any doubt, and in order to be effective communicators, the airline pilots and air traffic controllers should adopt positive orientation towards their interlocutor’s culture.


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Author Biography

Anna Paulina Borowska, University of Warsaw

Dr habil. Anna Borowska is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw. She received her Ph.D. in languages for specific purposes in 2008. As a seconded national expert at the European Commission she was involved in creating database entries on aviation terminology. She became Associate Professor in 2018. Her scientific achievements are comprised in her monograph: Avialinguistics: The Study of Language for Aviation Purposes (2017) Currently, she is head of the Aviation Communication Research Centre. Her research focuses on linguistic problems of aviation verbal communication.


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How to Cite

Borowska, A. P. (2020). Culture Indicators in Global Aeronautical Communication. The ESPecialist, 41(3).