Spelling words with the International Radio Alphabet

When you say the alphabet in English, some letters can sound very similar.

For example:

B /bi:/ and P /pi:/

A /eɪ/ and H /eɪʧ/

M /em/ and N /en/

This means you must be careful when you spell words, especially on the telephone.

The International Radio Alphabet has a word for every letter of the alphabet. You can use it to be sure that you are clear when you spell something.

International Radio Alphabet

A for Alpha N for November
B for Bravo O for Oscar
C for Charlie P for Papa
D for Delta Q for Quebec
E for Echo R for Romeo
F for Foxtrot S for Sierra
G for Golf T for Tango
H for Hotel U for Uniform
I for India V for Victor
J for Juliet W for Whiskey
K for Kilo X for X-ray
L for Lima Y for Yankee
M for Mike Z for Zulu

Watch the video to hear how to say each word in the International Radio Alphabet.

Barney’s name contains several of these letters with similar sounds.

Watch the second video to hear how he uses the Radio Alphabet to spell it.


Hello. My name’s Barney. That’s B for Bravo, A for Alpha, R for Romeo, N for November, E for Echo, and Y for Yankee. Barney.

Download a pdf of the International Radio Alphabet.


By Louise and Barney


If you have any questions about this, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in learning with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.

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