September 10, 2004
International Phonetic Alphabet

In the section for "random things only Anders would bother looking up", I recently learned that what I always thought was called the International Phonetic Alphabet -- the Alpha-Bravo-Charlie from army films and Air Traffic Control communications -- is not actually called the International Phonetic Alphabet at all!

Wikipedia informs that the International Phonetic Alphabet is in fact the official name of an alphabet used in linguistics created in the late nineteenth century. Alpha Bravo Charlie etc are part of the so-called NATO phonetic alphabet, which, it appears, has never been formally published by NATO at all. So there.

For future reference, I include it below:

A Alfa
B Bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliett (ICAO, ITU, FAA)
K Kilo
L Lima
M Mike
N November
O Oscar
P Papa
Q Quebec
R Romeo
S Sierra
T Tango
U Uniform
V Victor
W Whiskey
X X-ray
Y Yankee
Z Zulu

0 Zero (ICAO, FAA)
Nadazero (ITU)
1 One (ICAO, FAA)
Unaone (ITU)
2 Two (ICAO, FAA)
Bissotwo (ITU)
3 Three (ICAO, FAA)
Terrathree (ITU)
4 Four (ICAO, FAA)
Kartefour (ITU)
5 Five (ICAO, FAA)
Pantafive (ITU)
6 Six (ICAO, FAA)
Soxisix (ITU)
7 Seven (ICAO, FAA)
Setteseven (ITU)
8 Eight (ICAO, FAA)
Oktoeight (ITU)
9 Nine (ICAO, FAA)
Novenine (ITU)

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I recently looked this up too... We were working at a factory, using walkie-talkies to communicate, and I was getting frustrated over what letters my co-worker was actually saying. From my pilot friends back at school, I knew that there are several different phonetic alphabets. I think we tend to know the airplane phonetic alphabet the most... Although, I can't say I've ever heard "Juliett".

(I saved this comment for a whole wasn't it worth the wait?)

Posted by: eliot on September 17, 2004 05:42 PM
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