View Full Version : Ride Ops don't speak English?

03-29-2002, 03:52 PM
I read the news item about the young girl who was injured on a Rotor-type attraction at Six Flags. The park took responsibility saying it was operator error. They further stated that the delay in getting medical help to her was in part due to the fact that the operator did not speak English.

Are you kidding me?

Kyle Rehm
03-29-2002, 04:02 PM
No.. Its not a misprint but the Ride Operator for the Cajun Cliffhanger didn't speak english VERY WELL (He did speak some), the Operator was a Equadorian national. I'm suprised also that he was allowed to become a Ride Operator, All ride operators should be able to speak english Fluently.

03-29-2002, 06:07 PM
Well, a lot of parks hire internationally and staffing can get so bad that you have to take anyone you can, even if there may be some communication difficulty. I have no doubt that the ride op spoke English fluently, but probably was not familiar with slang and so forth, or could not speak it quickly, or had such an accent that he was difficult to understand.

I remember one member of one of my crews at Cedar Point (sweeps, however, not ride ops) who was from Brazil, and when she first came to work she didn't speak English very well. If she'd get upset, she'd have to rant in Spanish to another girl on the crew from Mexico, just so that she could cool off. By the end of the season, however, she could rant as well as the rest of us! :)

03-29-2002, 06:46 PM
Six Flags Elitch Gardens is run almost completely by mexicans...

most of which you can't understand

03-29-2002, 07:53 PM
In Southern California, I've had some problems not being able to understand the Hispanic ride ops. Ride ops in America should be able to speak understandable English.

03-29-2002, 08:15 PM
at moreys piers, the ride ops for hte great nor easter are irish year after year.its soo funny hearing them say "all clear, dispatch"

03-29-2002, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by CedarFairMaster
Ride ops in America should be able to speak understandable English.
I suppose it depends on what you consider "understandable" -- who's to set that standard? There are areas of the country that have such heavy accents that people from other parts of the country cannot understand them, but they're all speaking English! If you think about it, most riders know how to behave and what to do on a ride (sit down, don't run, secure loose articles, fasten seatbelts, etc...) and don't listen to the ride ops anyway. I do agree, however, that it can really be a problem when emergencies do arise, especially as those are the situations that you really need to communicate!

03-30-2002, 08:02 AM
Personally, I beleive that parks should hire people and create a multicultural environment. Epcot at WDW is a perfect example. However, I also believe that their English should be adequate enough that in the event of an emergency, they can communicate with everyone.

Great point Melissa. Every country that speaks English will have different words for stuff, and differerent ways of pronouncing stuff and so on. England uses tube, we use subway. Subway over there means an underground crosswalk. Chips over there are french fries. Chips here are well ... potato chips.

03-30-2002, 06:43 PM
Heh, so this is why we take spanish in school. :rolleyes:
I didn't know you were being literal by not speaking English. ;)

03-30-2002, 08:37 PM
at playland the ride op for the small coaster did not speak english at all...she said.."getszz ian sthat cart"..and pointed to the train..and it was odd...i did not know what she said untili saw her point...:(

Kyle L
03-31-2002, 09:28 PM
Ok what this? A ride operator needs to be able to speak english in an english speaking park, or at least HEAR THEM clearley! Not the "welcometomedusasteponboardandpulldownyourrestraint andenjoyyourrideonmedusa" :D

Hyper Poster? YES!

03-31-2002, 10:00 PM
Well, here's a point I hadn't considered before. The United States does not have an official language, so to deny employment to anyone based on something like a literacy test could open parks to lawsuits and so forth for discrimination, provided that the employee can prove that they are qualified to work in the US (green card and so forth). Granted they must be able to demonstrate knowledge of English for basic purposes, which of course, they can.

As for the majority of this, how many people boarding rides generally listen to operators anyway? I found that more of the general public were willing and eager to listen to an operator if they couldn't understand them well, if for nothing more than to place the accent. Ironic, eh?

04-01-2002, 05:46 PM
I don't think the issue is general operation so much as emergency situations. While I generally ignore the blah-blah-blah stay behind the yellow line stuff, I am very interested in being able to understand what they are saying if something goes wrong.

04-01-2002, 06:24 PM
I agree, whahooskipper, but unfortunately the park has to consider their staffing concerns -- an emergency situation doesn't occur too frequently, while the ride must be run for several hours a day. If a less-than-absolutely-fluent ride op will work out well for 97% of the operational time, that's a pretty good turnout. For those emergency situations, there are supervisors and so forth that are equipped with walkie-talkies / radios, and they're on hand to deal with those. While it's a shame that the situations that most need that kind of fluency are the ones least likely to have it, in the overall scheme of things it's about profit and keeping the park open, and for the vast majority of circumstances the ride ops do well enough.

04-01-2002, 10:25 PM
Accually i think the solution for this problem has already benn solved. At most SFGAM major rides and coasters have a fluent english voice speaking over the cars. It tells riders what to do and everything. And during an emergency, they probrobly tell the riders to stay calm, you may leave the line, ect. I also bet that ifm the ride breaks down, there s at least one fluent speaking person attending the ride. PS- Immmmm back!

04-03-2002, 01:41 PM
At Cedar Point, I know they go overseas to hire people. I think it's a great experience for those people, and the ride ops who are American. It's nice to see diversity in parks. Amusement Parks, like music, is a universal language. What is the park's official universal language: The Scream!

04-04-2002, 09:32 AM
I think thats kind of scary having ride ps not speaking English. At PKI they hire people who can't speak english, but their job doesn't mean their keeping people safe and have all these buttons at their hands. Their sweeping the walkways!

04-04-2002, 09:41 AM
At Cedar Point, they will only put people on rides who can speak well enough to be understood. Others are placed in positions like housekeeping, foods, etc where communication is not an essential part of the job.

04-04-2002, 07:16 PM
today i was at sfgadv and when in line at at restaurant to get food, the woman behind the conter was having a lot of trouble communicating with the costomers. turns out she was from thailand. i agree that everyone should have a fair chance at getting a job and all, but if you can't speak english when you need to, you souldn't have that job! or any job that you may have trouble with the customers or people you're working with.