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Radio Alphabet (by Ken Jenks)

The phonetics we use in flying aircraft today are the phonetics recommended by the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU.

"The origins of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) trace back to the invention of the telegraph in the 19th century. To establish an international telegraph network, it was necessary to reach agreement on uniform message handling and technical compatibility. ... This eventually led to the creation of the ITU at Paris in 1865 by the first International Telegraph Convention..."

Note: The ITU has since grown and changed and since 1947, has been a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Thus, they are usually known as the ITU Recommended Phonetics, or the ITU Standard Phonetics.

The List

A complete list of the phonetics WITH THEIR APPROPRIATE PRONOUNCIATIONS (by Ken Jenks):

(Capital letters indicate which syllable to stress.)

A - Alpha (AL fah) | aiff | wav | snd

B - Bravo (BRAH voh) | aiff | wav | snd

C - Charlie (CHAR lee *or* SHAR lee) | aiff | wav | snd

D - Delta (DELL tah) | aiff | wav | snd

E - Echo (ECK oh) | aiff | wav | snd

F - Foxtrot (FOKS trot) | aiff | wav | snd

G - Golf (GOLF) | aiff | wav | snd

H - Hotel (hoh TELL) | aiff | wav | snd

I - India (IN dee ah) | aiff | wav | snd

J - Juliett (JEW lee ETT) (NOTE SPELLING: 2 T's) | aiff | wav | snd

K - Kilo (KEY loh) | aiff | wav | snd

L - Lima (LEE mah) | aiff | wav | snd

M - Mike (MIKE) | aiff | wav | snd

N - November (no VEM ber) | aiff | wav | snd

O - Oscar (OSS cah) | aiff | wav | snd

P - Papa (pah PAH) (NOTE STRESS IS ON THE 2ND SYLLABLE) | aiff | wav | snd

Q - Quebec (keh BECK) | aiff | wav | snd

R - Romeo (ROW me oh) | aiff | wav | snd

S - Sierra (see AIR rah) | aiff | wav | snd

T - Tango (TANG go) | aiff | wav | snd

U - Uniform (YOU nee form *or* OO nee form) | aiff | wav | snd

V - Victor (VIK tah) | aiff | wav | snd

W - Whiskey (WISS key) | aiff | wav | snd

X - X-ray (ECKS ray) | aiff | wav | snd

Y - Yankee (YANG kee) | aiff | wav | snd

Z - Zulu (ZOO loo) | aiff | wav | snd

The information in this post quoted from The American Radio Relay League Operating Manual (1990 edition), published by the American Radio Relay League, Newington CT USA, 06111.

Nathan N. Duehr -

Pvt. Pilot, N0NTZ (ham), Pikes Peak 120 (CAP), AOPA 01119032-9 (Joined 1992)
Colorado Wing CAP Net Control Station, 76 Senior Sqdn. Comm. Officer.
Member: Natl. Weather Service "SkyWarn" Severe Weather Spotting Team,
Amateur Radio Emergency Services, and the Rocky Mountain Radio League.


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