Most people have heard ?Alpha Bravo Charlie? and know it comes
from a spelling alphabet. The ICAO (International
Civil Aviation Organization) spelling alphabet, also
known as the NATO
phonetic alphabet or international
radiotelephony spelling alphabet, is the most popular
spelling alphabet. It is frequently referred to as
"the phonetic alphabet" but spelling alphabets are
different from phonetic transcription systems like the
International Phonetic Alphabet.
The ICAO Spelling Alphabet is very useful
when using your speech recognition software "spell it"
feature. The program does not always understand your
letter pronunciation but will react correctly to the
phonetic alphabet very easily. You can input a word it
fails to recognize quickly.
Suppose you say "antic" and the voice
recognition software responds with "frantic" or
"ranting". Instruct it to "spell it" and then say
quickly: Alpha November India Tango Charlie. It never
fails to get what you mean.
alphabet enables pronunciation and understanding by
anyone transmitting and receiving voice messages by
radio or telephone whatever their own language. This
increases safety especially when lives might be
endangered due to transmission static. It is used by
police, armed forces, pilots and anyone such as car
dealers who need to communicate license plate numbers
accurately over the phone.
Spelling Alphabet List
To learn the phonetic
alphabet it helps to break it down into sections and
commit four at a time to memory with repetition. You
can print the list to help study.
Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta
Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel
India Juliet Kilo Lima
Mike November Oscar Papa
Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango
Uniform Victor Whiskey X-ray
Call up the "spell it" function with your
speech recognition software and practice. In no time
you will sound very professional. It is also very
useful when using the phone describing car numbers
A Phonetic Alphabet list for printing from a
pdf document can be found here: Spelling Alphabet for speech
recognition. Pin it up near your computer (or phone) and with your headphones on you are
ready to sound like a pro.
A video to use in learning
the phonetic alphabet can be found here Alpha
A video version for the numbers
used with this international NATO alphabet is also
available. Running through the videos repeating the
letters as the flashcards come up will give you a
fluent competence with this system.
NATO Phonetic Alphabet List
Spelling Alphabet Numbers
Video: Gender of Nouns
Capitals Sheets. Useful worksheets on states
capitals and more.
printable English worksheets