By Published On: January 8th, 20230 Comments

NATO Phonetic Alphabet

How do you avoid confusion when spelling things out verbally, particularly when the sound isn’t clear or there may be background noise? So, for example, something like Y I V B D T doesn’t unintentionally get heard as Y Y B P D D. Or perhaps as I Y P V T D. A lot of letters sound similar.

A phonetic alphabet, or spelling alphabet, is a way to ensure all letters are unambiguously heard correctly by using words starting with each letter. The set of words was chosen from 1,000s of tests, including real-life ones, to maximize clarity and avoid overlapping sounds with other letters that might cause mix-ups. When written out they include deliberate misspellings Alfa and Juliett to avoid misinterpretation.

The NATO phonetic alphabet is a standard one, but there are other variations.

I always forget the words, so here’s a reminder =)

– Author #sketchplanations

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