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NATO Phonetic Alphabet


ted123
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I was surprised to learn how many people do not know the phonetic alphabet on my training course

Before you move on to your Radio Comms module during training, I strongly recommend you do your best to learn this as it will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Are you surprised to see that S is not Sugar and D is not Dog?

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It's probably also worth noting the numerics, especially the number 9. I cannot help but read these in an American accent

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Don't worry about the pronunciation too much except for 9. It is pronounced "niner" because during the war, "nine" sounded too much like the German "nein" so there had to be a distinction.

Edited by ted123
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I've been using the phonetic alphabet for 31 years, I find myself spelling things phonetically when I'm on the phone to customer services and they don't understand what I'm saying! :D

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I've been using the phonetic alphabet for 31 years, I find myself spelling things phonetically when I'm on the phone to customer services and they don't understand what I'm saying! :D

Same! Although for me it's not quite been 31 years. Maybe 10..

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I always end up saying 'Indigo' instead of 'India', and I have no idea why. That one just won't sink in!

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Can anyone shed any light on how the words were picked?

Why Tango or Delta or Hotel, who decided on this.

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Can anyone shed any light on how the words were picked?

Why Tango or Delta or Hotel, who decided on this.

They were picked as the arrangement of phonemes are less easy to mistake for other words. The transmission may be distorted and you may miss some sounds but you should still be able to work out what was said. Effectively it's an error correction code.

Edited by Burnsy2023
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They were picked as the arrangement of phonemes are less easy to mistake for other words. The transmission may be distorted and you may miss some sounds but you should still be able to work out what was said. Effectively it's an error correction code.

Cheers for the answer Burnsy

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I've been using the phonetic alphabet for 31 years, I find myself spelling things phonetically when I'm on the phone to customer services and they don't understand what I'm saying! :D

That's probably due to your wooly back accent fnar fnar.

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To be fair, it's probably when I ring an alleged local contact centre and end up speaking to someone in Delhi!!! :doh:

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I find it easier to wind people up when they don't know the phonetic alphabet rather than associate something else like P for Peter...

"Yes madam, I"ll spell it out for you, P for Pterodactyl, G for Gnome, W for Wrinkle...."

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I remember my father telling me in the old days it was Able Baker Charlie dog Easy Fox (thought it was a para thing)

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I dont know where I learnt the phonetic alphabet. But when in training I realised I had it up there in my head!

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I dont know where I learnt the phonetic alphabet. But when in training I realised I had it up there in my head!

it's something you pick up from TV a lot of the time the bill londons burning etc
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