How to be understood over the phone with the NATO phonetic alphabet

It doesn’t matter how well we speak a language (it can even be our native language) we can still have trouble exchanging information, like email addresses, over the phone. English speakers face notorious difficulties when differentiating between N and M because these consonant sounds are so similar. When faced with this problem, we usually refer to common names to help us better explain ourselves. It might sound something like this “N as in Nancy” or “M as in Mary.”

If English isn’t your first language, it might not be easy for you to quickly think of a common word or name to clarify a letter but, have no fear, there is a universal phonetic alphabet you can learn to avoid ever having to face the agonizing silence of drawing a blank when having to describe “C as in ______” or “Z as in _______”

Fortunately, the NATO phonetic alphabet was created with international communication in mind. It is comprised of twenty-six words to help clarify letters when spelling over telecom or, more likely, telephone. The alphabet was originally created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1927 and was later implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The maritime and aviation industries can face dire and dangerous consequences if information exchanged via telecom is misunderstood, so the NATO phonetic alphabet was created to ensure that words can be spelled and understood correctly.

So, we are confident that it can also be a great tool in helping you give your email address to a client over the phone.

We Hotel, Oscar, Papa, Echo you enjoy this post!

 

A Alpha ˈælfɑ
B Bravo ˈbrɑːˈvo
C Charlie ˈtʃɑːli
D Delta ˈdeltɑ
E Echo ˈeko
F Foxtrot ˈfɔkstrɔt
G Golf ɡʌlf
H Hotel hoːˈtel
I India ˈindiˑɑ
J Juliet ˈdʒuːliˑˈet
K Kilo ˈkiːlo
L Lima ˈliːmɑ
M Mike mɑik
N November noˈvembə
O Oscar ˈɔskɑ
P Papa pəˈpɑ
Q Quebec keˈbek
R Romeo ˈroːmiˑo
S Sierra siˈerɑ
T Tango ˈtænɡo
U Uniform ˈjuːnifɔːm
V Victor ˈviktɑ
W Whiskey ˈwiski
X X-ray ˈeksˈrei
Y Yankee ˈjænki
Z Zulu ˈzuːluː

 

 

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