Saturday, July 2, 2011

Phonetics :

Excellent posting by Peter Bucy in,

It's pretty easy to catch a call sign when the station uses standard phonetics. It's really difficult for me when I'm trying to parse the words that they throw in instead of the standard alphabet. It is especially tough when working a weak station. It would not be so bad if so many people didn't use the names for countries, states, or cities. Did that station just say "Canada" instead of Charlie, or is it a Canadian station? A lot of DX station say "America" instead of "Alpha." And it seems that "Sugar" is heard more than "Sierra."

And I don't think that it is because in my absence from ham radio that the amateur radio community adopted a new phonetic alphabet. Then it get really confusing when one station says "Sugar," and the other station confirms his call with another phonetic that starts with "S" but is not "Sugar."

If we all use the same phonetic alphabet, the brain and ear become trained to strain to hear a weak signal phonetic. Trying to figure out if the station said, "Sierra," "Sam," "Sugar," "Spain," or "Sweden" just makes the job tougher.

Courtesy : OM Pete,KD4CQZ (HamRadioHelpGroup)


  1. I started saying "Sugar" instead of "Sierra" when I got sick of ending up in peoples logs as VK4VZP, instead of VK4VSP. I agree with you though. If everyone used the standard alphabet, then people wouldn't get confused when I said "Sierra".

  2. Phonetics: the study of speech sounds

    Phonics: the relationship between the sounds of a language and the letters used to represent those sounds

    Phoneme: basic sound unit of speech

    Phonemic Awareness: the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds.It includes the ability to distinguish rhyme, blend sounds, isolate sounds, segment sounds, and manipulate sounds in words.


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