24 MAY 2019 - M/V SO...FEA DECK LOG - INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE
Actually, English is a ocean-going minority language due to the high number of at-sea (foreign) Commercial boats, port officers, boat crews, and with the many major foreign ports making communications a serious and twisty problem at sea, on arrival, or in port.
As a Merchant Seaman, Cruiser, Commercial fisherman, or blue-water sailor of any type, you are exposed to many different languages, customs, and protocols as you travel the global seas, whether you "work" the boats onboard, in shipyards, or port management.
Americans are by far the worst at International anything . . . our arrogance, manner and bluster do not mix well (anywhere), there is no place where presumptuous works, Americans always expect a pilot, tug master, dock master, customs agent, repair crew or port manager to speak fluent English (when "they" can’t speak "their" language at all).
All of the oceanic language chaos of two world wars, and the previous Centuries of mis-communication (and misinterpreted actions) supposedly went away in 1955 with the adoption of the NATO alphabet, the International code of flag signals, and Radio-Communications Standards, then later, in 1988, the United Nations agency IMO (International Marine Organization) made “Seaspeak” the international language of the sea.
By the time I went to the water, most of the confusion was gone, but, the importance of learning non-verbal communication skills was paramount to navigating world ports, people and yards (as is known to anyone who has ever frequented foreign situations and events).