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NATO Phonetic Alphabets

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Phonetic Alphabet is now denoted as International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet (IRSA) or International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Phonetic Alphabets or International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the most commonly used spelling alphabets. The US adopted the international code in 1897 and updated it in 1927. All the letters were assigned a word in 1938. Today we’ll talk about the International Phonetic Alphabet, the chart of Phonetic Alphabets.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Phonetic Alphabet

Symbol Code Word Morse Code Phonic(pronunciation)
A Alfa/Alpha ● ▬ AL FAH
B Bravo ▬ ● ● ● BRAH VOH
C Charlie ▬ ● ▬ ● CHAR LEE
D Delta ▬ ● ● DELL TAH
E Echo .● ECK OH
F Foxtrot ● ● ▬ ● FOKS TROT
G Golf ▬ ▬ ● GOLF
H Hotel ● ● ● ● HOH TELL
I India ● ● IN DEE AH
J Juliett ● ▬ ▬ ▬ JEW LEE ETT
K Kilo ▬ ● ▬ KEY LOH
L Lima ● ▬ ● ● LEE MAH
M Mike ▬ ▬ MIKE
N November ▬ ● NO VEMBER
O Oscar ▬ ▬ ▬ OSS CAH
P Papa ● ▬ ▬ ● PAH PAH
Q Quebec ▬ ▬ ● ▬ KEH BECK
R Romeo ● ▬ ● ROW ME OH
S Sierra ● ● ● SEE AIRRAH
T Tango TANG OH
U Uniform ● ● ▬ YOU NEE FORM
V Victor ● ● ● ▬ VIK TAH
W Whiskey ● ▬ ▬ WISS KEY
X X-ray ▬ ● ● ▬ ECKS RAY
Y Yankee ▬ ▬ ● ● YANG KEY
Z Zulu ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ▬ ZOO LOO

Other Phonetic Alphabets are

IPA Symbol Graphemes Examples
æ a, ai, au cat,
a, ai, eigh, aigh, ay, er, et, ei, au, a_e, ea, ey bay, maid, weigh, straight,
e e, ea, u, ie, ai, a, eo, ei, ae end, bread, bury, friend, said,
i: e, ee, ea, y, ey, oe, ie, i, ei, eo, ay be, bee, meat, lady, key,
ɪ i, e, o, u, ui, y, ie it, england, women, busy, guild, gym
i, y, igh, ie, uy, ye, ai, is, eigh, i_e spider, sky, night, pie, guy,
ɒ a, ho, au, aw, ough swan, honest, maul, slaw, fought
o, oa, o_e, oe, ow, ough, eau, oo, ew open, moat, bone, toe, sow,
ʊ o, oo, u,ou wolf, look, bush, would
ʌ u, o, oo, ou lug, monkey, blood, double
u: o, oo, ew, ue, u_e, oe, ough, ui, oew, ou who, loon, dew, blue, flute,
ɔɪ oi, oy, uoy join, boy, buoy
ow, ou, ough now, shout, bough
ə a, er, I, ar, our, ur about, ladder, pencil, dollar, honor, augur
eəʳ air, are ear, ere, eir, ayer chair, dare, pear, where, their, prayer ɑ:
ɑ: a arm
ɜ:ʳ ir, er, ur, ear, or, our, yr bird, term, burn, pearl, word, journey, myrtle
ɔ: aw, a, or, oor, ore, oar, our, augh, ar, ough, au paw, ball, fork, poor, fore, bought, sauce
ɪəʳ ear, eer, ere, ier ear, steer, here, tier
ʊəʳ ure, our cure, tourist

Before its name the alphabets are not phonetic, as phonetic usually used in the form of symbols, indications or sounds. But NATO Phonetic Alphabets is a spelling alphabet with different pronunciations than usual. It usually is a set of words that stands for the alphabetical letters for oral communication. It is generally used to avoid misunderstanding due to communication barriers, poor lines of the network, etc.

What is IPA?

International Phonetic Alphabet was developed in the 19th century to help represent the pronunciation of the languages. The aim was to provide a unique sound to every distinguished word. Otta Jespersen broached the alphabets in a letter to Paul Passy for the IPA, developed by A J Ellis, Henry Sweet, Daniel, and Passy. It is used for specifying the language, and the words as the spelling are different in every other language. It generally uses Roman letters. As for the other letters, they try to convert them into Roman letters and then use them.

History of Phonetic Alphabets

Way before the development of two-way radio for better communication, telephonic spelling communication was used without misunderstanding due to long telephonic circuits. The first time non-military recognized the spelling alphabets was in 1927 by the CCIR. Several changes were made till 1932. Internation Commission used the resulting alphabets for Air Navigation, ICAO, and during World War II. IMO also used this technique till 1965.

Also Check: Ranks and Insignia of Army, Navy, and Air Force

How the Phonetic Alphabet is used?

They have various ways to use the alphabet; they mostly use them for safety purposes. Let’s take an example of air traffic controllers; they often use the alphabet to communicate with the pilots when it is difficult to understand the language or they want to find a plane. For example, they want to find a plane named ABC. They’ll call it Alpha Bravo Charlie.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q1. How many phonetic alphabets are there?

Ans. There are 44 phonetic alphabets there in total. You can check out the list mentioned above.

Q2. How can I spell phonetic alphabets?

Ans. The table mentioned above has all the phonetic alphabets with pronunciation, so you won’t face any problems while going through them.

Q3. How can I spell my name phonetically?

Ans. First, break your name into syllables, then capitalize the letter sounds that emphasize your name.

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