Sometimes Radio transmissions can cause some kinds of speech to be unclear, that is the pronunciation of some letters when spoken on the radio can be garbled or mistaken for other letters. The reason for this is the bandwidth restrictions imposed by the transmission system itself. The RADIO OPERATORS ALPHABET are words that represent the letters and can be easily distinguished over radio transmission systems. Even telephone conversations require these types of spoken word identifications to get the message across to the listener. Numbers are usually easy to understand because they are relayed by using a word like one, or two, or three. These are easy to understand with the exception of “Zero” that is sometimes incorrectly relayed as an “O” spoken as “Oh”. Just to be correct “O” is not a Zero, listen for it when someone relays a number to you on the phone and see how many people say “O” instead of Zero. Some would say why does it matter, but if you are relating a number that could contain an “O” instead of a Zero then it can cause real trouble. In purchasing it could be the difference between buying a box of paperclips and a ship anchor.

So here is a list of the words in the RADIO OPERATORS ALPHABET that represent the letters of the alphabet. I have included a listing of Greek Letters so you can see the difference, however the Greek Letters should never be used to transmit information over radio or telephone.

Letter          Spoken Word       Phonetic Pronunciation

A                Alfa                      Al Fah

B                 Bravo                   Bra Voh

C                 Charlie                 Char Lee

D                Delta                    Del Tah

E                 Echo                     Ek Oh

F                 Foxtrot                 Foks Trot

G                Golf                        Golf

H                Hotel                      Ho Tell

I                  India                     In Dee Ah

J                  Juliett                   Jew Lee Ett

K                Kilo                         Key Loh

L                 Lima                     Lee Mah

M                Mike                     Mike

N                November            No Vem Ber

O                Oscar                    Oss Car

P                 Papa                     Pah Pah

Q                Quebec                 Ke Beck

R                 Romeo                  Row Me Oh

S                 Sierra                    See Air Rah

T                 Tango                   Tang Go

U                Uniform               You Nee Form

V                Victor                    Vick Ter

W                Whiskey               Wiss Key

X                X-Ray                    Ecks Ray

Y                Yankee                  Yang Key

Z                 Zulu                       Zoo Loo


English Name       Greek Name

A,a                       alpha

B,b                       beta

G,g                       gamma

D,d                       delta

E,e                        epsilon

Z,z                        zeta

E,e                        eta

Th,th                    theta

I,i                          iota

K,k                       kappa

L,l                         lambda

M,m                     mu

N,n                       nu

X,x                       xi

O,o                       omicron

P,p                       pi

R,r                        rho

S,s                        sigma

T,t                        tau

U,u                       upsilon

Ph,ph                   phi

Ch,ch                    chi

Ps,ps                    psi

O,o                       omega

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