Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta,

When I was reading a book, I found a very interesting column about “Airspeak.” According the column, A is pronounced Alfa, B is pronounced Bravo, and so on by air traffic controllers in every country. I suppose that in some situations we must pronounce letters in the following way:
A for America, B for book, C for city, …

D for dog, E for eat, …

A for absent, B for bewildered, C for cunning, D for drowsy, …

There exist different ways for this kind of alphabets. My friend practise ham radio and they use “alfa, bravo, charlie” and so forth.

Examples of the English wikipedia:

Examples of the German wikipedia:

Such spelling alphabets are very important if you serve customers in a callcenter. Often you have to fill in addresses or have the names of customers spelled and therefore you need a tool such as a spelling alphabet. As I worked with Dutch and Flemish customers, I was most familiar with the Dutch spelling alphabet, much more than with the German spelling alphabet. Of course, it’s very useful to learn an international spelling alphabet which can be used in all countries. However, in my practical experience 99 % of the customers use the national spelling alphabet of their own country. Fasulye

@ Fasulye: Is there a list of codewords for the spelling alphabet in Dutch you could point us to or provide? I think this would be very useful because sometimes I need to spell a word to a Dutch person that does not spreekt Engels very well (I know that this is an extremely rare Dutch person nowadays but they exist in my family!) :slight_smile:

I found that these words constitute the spelling alphabet. Thank you, VeraI and Fasulye.

Well, before Alpha, Bravo etc the Germans used common German first or surnames as spelling aides. “H” wie Heinrich.

In England we still say “B” for Bertie in ordinary circumstances. My personal favourite is part of my postcode “B for Billy- and N for Nanny-goat”. It confuses people every time!


朝日のア、いろはのイ、上野のウ、英語のエ、大阪のオ、 為替のカ、切手のキ、 クラブのク、景色のケ、子供のコ、……

Thank you for your comment, Simon-Anna-Nordpol-Nordpol-Eduard-Teunis.

“Teunis”? Over and out!

or Theodor?

Over and out.

Yes, Theodor would have been more likely to be used, Teunis is a bit unusual for a German ear.

In the 60s when my friends were drafted into the Army and thus exposed to the international spelling alphabet, they used to joke “Y as in the end of Germany”. They thought it very funny.

My name is the-end-of-Germany, the-end-of-you, the-end-of-street, the end-of-circa, the-end-of-book, the-end-of-circa.

Over and out.

During my long car trips across the United States during my vacation, I memorized the names of countries and their capitals, the names of U.S. states and their capitals, etc. Last year we learned by heart this pilots alphabet. I have a friend who was a F18 pilot and instructor: we talked about the importance and history of this alphabet. I think I am a warrior at heart, I want to remember this alphabet forever, we never know!
Too much TV?
No! I don’t watch TV, or so little.

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 Yankee Zulu