What do you understand by the word 'Phonetics' in amateur radio communication?
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) phonetic alphabet is generally understood by hams in all countries. If we listen to a two-way amateur wireless conversation for the first time in our life, we would come across certain words, which perhaps we never heard before! There is every possibility that we mistake those words to be some kind of secret codes! These words in fact are internationally used to do plain language (conversation in secret code language is not allowed in amateur radio communication) conversation and known as phonetics .
A ham radio operator has to face different types of hurdles during an ongoing communication. There may be static noise, signal fading, interference from other station operating at close frequencies, local noises in the radio room, unusual voice accents of the other operator, improper pronunciation of words. During these and many other difficulties, it has been found that use of phonetics improves the intelligibility in communication. For example, the letter 'D' in represented by the word 'Delta' in phonetics while the letter 'B' is represented by 'Bravo'. To distinguish 'M' from 'N', hams use the words 'Mike' and 'Nancy' respectively.
Phonetic alphabet is useful when calling distant station or when the band is crowded, or when for any reason the station called is expected to have difficulty in copying voice signals. For example, the Callsign 'VU2SDU' can be spelt using phonetic alphabet as Victor Uniform Two Sierra Delta Uniform A person conversant in listening to such phonetics gets habituated in spontaneously writing down the exact word out of these phonetics! He feels more comfortable at writing down a message spelt out in phonetics rather than simple mentioning of each letters.
So phonetics are to avoid confusion and not to create confusion! Many letters of the alphabet sound similar unless very clearly heard. B may be heard as G or D or V. The word 'bed' may be heard as 'bet' or 'pet'. So, if we spell it out with phonetics like Bravo Echo Delta, the confusion easily gets eliminated!
|.||Decimal / Stop|