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Kevin and Phonetics

The Phonetic Alphabet is used to spell letters in place of just saying the letter itself. By using a word for each letter there is less chance that the person listening will confuse letters. For instance, some letters than can easily be confused are "b" and "e". The phonetic alphabet is used in radio communications around the world by maritime units, aircraft, amateur radio operators, and the military.

Phonetic Alphabet

For Say For Say
A Alpha (AL fah) N November (no VEM ber)
B Bravo (BRAH VOH) O Oscar (OSS cah)
C Charlie (CHAR lee) P Papa (pah PAH)
D Delta (DELL tah) Q Quebec (keh BECK)
E Echo (ECK oh) R Romeo (ROW me oh)
F Foxtrot (FOKS trot) S Sierra (see AIR rah)
G Golf (GOLF) T Tango (TANG go)
H Hotel (hoh TELL) U Uniform (YOU nee form)
I India (IN dee ah) V Victor (VIK tah)
J Juliett (JEW lee ETT) W Whiskey (WISS key)
K Kilo (KEY loh) X X Ray (ECKS RAY)
L Lima (LEE mah) Y Yankee (YANG key)
M Mike (MIKE) Z Zulu (ZOO loo)
For Say For Say
!Exclamation Point<Less than sign
"Double quote=Equal sign
#Number sign, hash, pound>Greater than sign
$Dollar sign?Question mark
%Percent@At sign
&Ampersand[Left bracket
'Single quote\Backslash
(Left parenthesis]Right bracket
)Right parenthesis^Caret
+Plus sign`Grave accent, backtick
,Comma{Left brace, left curly bracket
-Minus sign|Vertical bar, pipe sign
.Full stop, period, dot}Right brace, right curly bracket
/Slash, forward slash~Tilde

For Say
0 Zero
1 One
2 Two
3 Three
4 Four
5 Five
6 Six
7 Seven
8 Eight
9 Nine

Note: The syllables printed in capital letters are to be stressed.

How it is used?

Aviation: The letters on aircraft tail numbers are spelled phonetically. For instance, when calling the tower, aircraft with tail number "2304J" would be pronounced "2304 Juliett". Also the Airport Terminal Information Service (ATIS) assigns sequential letters to the broadcasts since these are frequently updated such as "Information Kilo".
Amateur Radio: Call signs are routinely spelled using phonetics for instance the call sign AK8Y would be "Alpha Kilo 8 Yankee".
Military: When sending information that contains letter or names that need to be spelled, the phonetic alphabet is used.
  • Can you spell your name using the phonetic alphabet?
  • What letters other than "b" and "e" could be confused if the phonetic alphabet is not used?


The Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory:
our Phonetic Alphabet

NASA/Glenn Research Center
Educational Programs Officer: R. Lynn Bondurant
Curator: Bruce Bream {}
Last Update: 6 February 1996

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Kevin and Phonetics!
September 20, 2017
( Wednesday )

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