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  • Have you ever noticed, when youre on the phone, that you often need to spell things out?

  • Your name, for example, or maybe the name of the street you live on.

  • Letter names, over the phone can be unclear and hard to distinguish,

  • and not just for non-native speakers.

  • So, there is a specific set of words corresponding to each letter of the alphabet

  • to make spelling over the phone much easier.

  • Today, well learn this set of words.

  • Smith is the most common last name in the United States.

  • It’s my last name.

  • But even though it’s so common, often, over the phone, people don’t understand me.

  • Why?

  • I think it’s because unvoiced sounds like SS and TH don’t carry well over the phone.

  • And we have so many letter names that rhyme: B, C, D, E, G, P, T, V, Z

  • or A, J, K, or I, W

  • also that sound similar: M, N, or F, S, X

  • So many misunderstandings can happen when spelling.

  • A system was developed in the 1950s by the International Civil Aviation Organization

  • to put a word with each letter.

  • Apparently the letters were chosen for understandability

  • based on hundreds of thousands of comprehension tests

  • involving 31 nationalities.

  • So no matter what your accent is, youll probably be understood using this alphabet system.

  • Let’s get started.

  • For the letter A, you can use the wordalpha’.

  • Alpha.

  • B as in Bravo.

  • Bravo

  • C as in Charlie.

  • Charlie

  • D as in Delta.

  • Delta

  • E as in Echo

  • Echo

  • F as in Foxtrot

  • Foxtrot

  • G as in Golf

  • Golf

  • H as in Hotel

  • Hotel

  • I as in India

  • India

  • J as in Juliet

  • Juliet

  • K as in Kilo

  • Kilo

  • L as in Lima

  • Lima

  • M as in Mike

  • Mike

  • N as in November

  • November

  • O as in Oscar

  • Oscar

  • P as in Papa

  • Papa

  • Q as in Quebec

  • Quebec

  • This can also be pronounced this way: Quebec.

  • Quebec

  • R as in Romeo

  • Romeo

  • S as in Sierra

  • Sierra

  • T as in Tango

  • Tango

  • U as in Uniform

  • Uniform

  • V as in Victor

  • Victor

  • W as in Whiskey

  • Whiskey

  • X as in X-ray

  • X-ray

  • Y as in Yankee

  • Yankee

  • Z as in Zulu

  • Zulu

  • So if someone asks you to spell your name, you can say:

  • R as in Romeo, A as in Alpha, C as in Charlie, H as in Hotel, E as in Echo, L as in Lima.

  • Or you can just say the word: Romeo, Alpha, Charlie, Hotel, Echo, Lima.

  • Just the other day, I found myself needing to give a confirmation number over the phone.

  • I was in the process of making this video, but I hadn’t yet memorized all of the right letter names.

  • Sure. W as in West.

  • I as in Innocent.

  • I messed up the target words.

  • Couldn’t remember them all. I’ll have to study my video.

  • Luckily, by the time I had to give another confirmation number, I had looked them up.

  • Sure. It’s Y as in Yankee,

  • U as in Uniform,

  • L as in Lima,

  • P as in Papa,

  • C as in Charlie,

  • X as in X-ray.

  • Using these specific words for letters will help increase your understandability on the phone.

  • If youre new to my channel, welcome.

  • I make a new video every week to help non-native English speakers communicate better in English.

  • Subscribe to my YouTube channel and sign up for my mailing list, both free,

  • to keep up on the weekly lessons.

  • If youre ready to start doing some real work on your spoken English and listening comprehension,

  • check out my book at RachelsEnglish.com/book

  • or my online school and courses at RachelsEnglishAcademy.com

  • That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English!

Have you ever noticed, when youre on the phone, that you often need to spell things out?

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B1 lima quebec romeo charlie alpha letter

Learn the Phonetic Alphabet

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/09
Video vocabulary