Languages in the RN

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by corriere, Sep 2, 2015.

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  1. I'm going to Oxford for a year for a postgrad course and then I should be going into HM's service as a TMO. I did languages in my first degree and I'm keen to use them and keep them up.

    Is there much scope for using languages in the RN? Does it fit well with TMO? Do naval linguists qualify for linguist pay under the usual MoD scheme?
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Yep, as a stoker, we frequently spoke French during our maths, physics & electro tech lessons, if we weren't discussing renaissance art.

    Seriously though, if we're still teaching comms techs languages, there may well the opportunity for linguistic tuition if you are fluent in a relevant language.
  3. try to get a copy of "Jack Speak" it will be of more use than French
  4. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    Depends on the language - it can land you some interesting little jobs, but if the RN wants someone with language skills, they generally send them on a course.
  5. Having spent a good chunk of my time in the South West, the odd jannerism still comes out :)

  6. Took me a while to work out
    Where you be? And
    Where you too?
    I gave up with this Friday and next Friday, I am sure the gaol posts keep moving?
    And there is it will be done by Friday? But they never tell which Friday this one or the next.
    Confusing lot them Janners.
  7. Also most matelots are fluent in Bullshit and Waffle
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  8. I was a junior officer in a frigate during an arduous weapon traing period midway through a Windies deployment when the Captain came to the wardroom at stand-easy and asked whether anyone spoke French. In the absence of any other responses (never ever volunteer), I found myself admitting to a smattering of schoolboy French. This was sufficient for him to appoint me as the laison officer for the ship's forthcoming visit to Guadeloupe in the French Antilles. I was flown to the island a week ahead of time in the ship's Wasp helo only to discover that:

    A. The Honorary British Consul, a local car dealer with whom I stayed, spoke perfectly good English


    B. He had already arranged a full visit programme including lots of freebies, places to go and things to do for all the troops.​

    I was given free access to the local Club Mediterranee (commonly known as Club Med, i.e. Butlins on steroids) and a supply of plastic popper beads to use as currency. Little more was worn at such places.

    In the event, the ship's visit was a great success although I was required on board for much of the time to act as a translator during official calls, ship open to visitors, etc. In fact, it was such a success that the Captain appointed me as the liaison officer for the ship's next visit which was to Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. After being delivered by the ship's Wasp, I discovered that the Honorary British Consul spoke perfectly good English, had arranged a full visit programme and there was another Club Med just down the road...
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  9. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    NG - did you ever feature in a John Winton novel?
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  10. No, I didn't. However, reading books like 'We Joined the Navy' and watching the film really motivated me to apply to become "a Deck Officer" in the Royal Navy. Their relevance to my early career was uncanny. Besides, who could resist the opportunity to say "Left hand down a bit" like in 'The Navy Lark'?

    Banyan, anyone?

    Banyan party.jpg
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  11. my naval career was complete after I'd said left hand down a bit in anger. I was born after the thing finished too...
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  12. I take it a visit to Camp Allegro wasn't on the official itinerary ;)
  13. Never heard of it. Anyway, it's Alegre not Allegro. :rolleyes:
  14. :D:cool:
  15. NG sounds like you are a good event’s organiser, obviously went down well in your reports
  16. When we were busting drug smuggling crims on the high seas in the West Indies, a request was made for any French speakers to report to the bridge.

    The only volunteer was an MEM2 who had a French grandparent or something. He spent the following week being dicked to guard two French Martinquan (is that a word?) prisoners and talking to the Martiniquan coastguard on the radio.

    Apart from getting out of a few shitty watches down the engine spaces, he received zero reward or recognition for his work.
  17. Funny you should mention that. On a T boat I was on we had a POMEA who'd grown up in Peru and spoke fluent Spanish.

    We were off down South and the powers that be said we had to take Spanish speaking CT's with us. The POMEA said he's happily do it as Latin American Spanish is slightly different to European Spanish (a bit like American English and our English) and save an extra bod being onboard.

    The powers that be decide to leave the POMEA 5th watch to make room for the Spanish CT's!!

    As an aside, when they came onboard the POMEA started a conversation in Spanish with them and he spoke it too fast for them to understand him.:rolleyes:
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  18. Similar thing in the HAC. We did a big ex in the South of France, whole regiment deployed for 3/4 weeks, SAS involved, 4/73 battery, French Marines and French Foreign Legion etc.

    Even Prince Michael of Kent rocked up for a few days.

    Anyway I digress. We took a Frog speaking terp with us and on the first day during the opening address of the ex, a female HAC Tpr who'd grown up in Normandy, sacked him by retranslating everything he'd said and correcting all his grammatical errors and faux pas.

    He spent the rest of the ex digging out in the FOB helping to plug the language gap between our FST and the Frog Marines, she spent the ex driving around with the CO and Prince Michael of Kent, going out for nice meals and generally just being fit and charming.
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  19. To the water, it is the hour.
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