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Phonetic Alphabets: the world of spelling

Phonetic Alphabet -- spelling made easy
Phonetic Alphabet — spelling made easy

Spelling is a task you have to perform in many situations.
Non-native English speakers have even more problems to find the right sample word.

So these phonetic alphabets are not the one that help to assist with the pronunciation of letters rather than ones to help the listener to understand acoustically, to help spelling.

The commonly used name of these alphabets is ‘phonetic alphabet’, however the accurate name would be ‘spelling alphabet’, to name for example the ‘International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet’ which is commonly known as the NATO phonetic alphabet, see later in this article.

There exist more than one phonetic alphabet and one is free to choose an appropriate one.

Exceptions are when one acts as a certain team member, e.g. when flying and communicating or when part of the military.
It’s important then that everybody is on the same page.

But in your private life, it should be appropriate to use sample words that are commonly used or which are easy for you to remember as well as to understand by your counterpart.

Phonetic Alphabet (free style):

                    A  like Alpha (or: alfa), Apple, Adam
                    B  like Bravo, Baker, Boy, Bob
                    C  like Charlie, Caesar
                    D  like Delta, Dog
                    E  like Echo, Easy, Edison
                    F  like Foxtrot, Fox, Frank
                    G  like Golf, George
                    H  like Hotel, How, Harry
                    I  like India, Italy
                    J  like Juliet, Jack
                    K  like Kilo, King
                    L  like Lima, Lucy, Love
                    M  like Mike, Martha, Mary
                    N  like November, Nancy
                    O  like Oscar, Oliver
                    P  like Papa, Paris, Peter
                    Q  like Quebec, Queen
                    R  like Romeo, Roger
                    S  like Sierra, Sugar, Sam
                    T  like Tango, Tommy
                    U  like Uniform, Uncle
                    V  like Victor
                    W  like Whisky, Washington
                    X  like X-Ray
                    Y  like Yankee, Yellow
                    Z  like Zulu, Zebra


The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet to assist
with pronunciation issues. Meant are these strange looking characters
nobody has on his keyboard but that can be found in every

For that reason (that you don’t have this character-set instantly
available on your keyboard, there exist also an so-called ASCII
Phonetic Alphabet, which consists of ready-to-use characters on an
English keyboard, e.g. o: to indicate a pronunciations as in ‘tall’
or ‘four’ etc..

But these phonetic alphabets are not part of this story…


Aviation and Military (NATO) Phonetic Alphabet:

                    A  like Alpha (or alfa)
                    B  like Bravo
                    C  like Charlie
                    D  like Delta
                    E  like Echo
                    F  like Foxtrot
                    G  like Golf
                    H  like Hotel
                    I  like India
                    J  like Juliet
                    K  like Kilo
                    L  like Lima
                    M  like Mike
                    N  like November
                    O  like Oscar
                    P  like Papa
                    Q  like Quebec
                    R  like Romeo
                    S  like Sierra
                    T  like Tango
                    U  like Uniform
                    V  like Victor
                    W  like Whisky
                    X  like X-Ray
                    Y  like Yankee
                    Z  like Zulu (pronounce: ZOO-loo)

Zulu is especially interesting, since it’s found in time data, e.g. 1130 Z, where Z is spoken Zulu.

Phonetic Alphabet (Germany):

                    A  like Anton
                    B  like Berta
                    C  like Caesar
                    D  like Dora
                    E  like Emil
                    F  like Friedrich
                    G  like Gustav
                    H  like Heinrich
                    I  like Ida
                    J  like Justus, Julius
                    K  like Kaufmann
                    L  like Ludwig
                    M  like Martha
                    N  like Nordpol
                    O  like Otto
                    P  like Paula
                    Q  like Quelle
                    R  like Richard
                    S  like Siegfried
                    T  like Theo
                    U  like Ulrich
                    V  like Victor, Viktor
                    W  like Wilhelm
                    X  like Xanthippe
                    Y  like Ypsilon
                    Z  like Zeppelin


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