The International Phonetic Alphabet

by Ozzie Osband, N4SCY@amsat.org
Titusville Amateur Radio Club, Titusville, FL

It's useful to know the International Phonetic Alphabet. It makes use of words that are not necessarily English in origin (Tango from Argentina, and Zulu from Africa for example), and the pronunciations given lean towards people who do not use English as their native language. Emphasis should be put on the indicated syllables.

While many Veterans in the group will recognize this as the "Military Phonetic Alphabet", it was originally issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the United Nations specialized agency that coordinates aviation standards around the world. This phonetic alphabet has also been adopted by another UN specialized agency, the International Telecommunications Union, which sets standards (called Reccommendations) for telephone and radio communications around the world.

You'll want to know the phonetic alphabet if you plan to fly aircraft, spacecraft, or just "work" radios where the signal might be a bit "scratchy", and you need a way to spell out words over the air.
A ALFA (AL FAH) N NOVEMBER (NO VEM BER) Number Pronunciations
B BRAVO (BRAH VOH) O OSCAR (OSS CAH) 1 Won
C CHARLIE (CHAR LEE) P PAPA (PAH PAH) 2 Too
D DELTA (DELL TAH) Q QUEBEC (KEH BECK) 3 Tree
E ECHO (ECK OH) R ROMEO (ROW ME OH) 4 Fower
F FOXTROT (FOKS TROT) S SIERRA (SEE AIR RAH) 5 Fife
G GOLF (GOLF) T TANGO (TANG GO) 6 Six
H HOTEL (HOH TELL) U UNIFORM (YOU NEE FORM) 7 Seven
I INDIA (IN DEE AH) V VICTOR (VIK TAH) 8 Ait
J JULIETT (JEW LEE ETT) W WHISKEY (WISS KEY) 9 Nine er
K KILO (KEY LOH) X X-RAY (ECKS RAY) 0 Zay Row
L LIMA (LEE MAH) Y YANKEE (YANG KEY) . De Si Mal
M MIKE (MIKE) Z ZULU (ZOO LOO)