How do you spell superior in England

Spelling correctly on the phone and over the radio

During business or private calls on the phone, you have to spell names, email addresses, URLs, etc. over and over again. Especially with difficult names or addresses, this ensures that the person you are talking to notes down everything correctly. In this article, we are going to show you how to correctly spell all dates.

What do you need to consider when spelling?

It does not look particularly professional with a conversation partner if you think up your own words while spelling them or even just incorrectly enter the letters or special characters. This can quickly lead to misunderstandings. B. an “F” is then understood as a “V”.

Basically, the question of which words are used to correctly spell a term must be answered differently for each country.

Here you will find the alphabets for spelling for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Also English, European and international spelling boards. In addition, a separate alphabet of spelling is listed for radio operators and pilots. Likewise the tables for digits and punctuation marks or special characters.

My tip for spelling: Take a screenshot of the table you need or download the lettering tables as a pdf, print it out and place it next to the phone. So you can always see how to spell names, e-mail addresses, URLs or other data quickly and correctly.

Alphabet to spell on the phone

The German spelling board listed here corresponds to DIN-NORM DIN 5009, i.e. the dictation rules for writing-friendly dictation. With SCH and CH, misunderstandings can quickly arise for laypeople, which can be avoided by dictating the letters individually.

When sparking, umlauts are divided into individual letters, ä becomes ae, similar to e-mail addresses. Nevertheless, they are spoken like a word in order to be able to dictate a name correctly, for example. There is no shortcut for dictation for SCH or CH. "School" would be pronounced with a spark like this: "Sierra Charlie Hotel Uniform Lima Echo„.

Alphabet spelling in Austria and Switzerland

Each country uses its own common spelling terms. Therefore there are deviations from the German spelling table for Switzerland and Austria. In addition, the Swiss do not write an Eszett or a sharp S, instead a double s.

Over the years, other names have also become common in everyday use. In Austria, in deviation from ÖNORM A 1081, you can also Christine, Johann, Norbert and Zeppelin spell.

Radio alphabet

Spelling board to the spark

“We meet at 2 pm in the swimming pool”, “ROGER, OVER and OUT”, that's how we used to have fun as children. Back then, at the time of the rotary dials, when cell phones were far from in sight.

The CB radio is an everyone’s radio application, i.e. it can be used without proof of needs or testing. Even the radio operators of an amateur radio service absolutely need knowledge of the international spelling alphabet.

If there is no need for military communication or flight safety, one or two words from other spelling alphabets get mixed up. For example, the American Association of Radio Amateurs (ARRL) had a modified spelling table until 1996. Here you can find terms such as Nancy, Queen and King. Sugar can be found in the ARRL of 1930 or Western Union in 1942 and still in 1947 in the ICAO. German amateur radio associations may have more variations.

The International Spelling Table is also known as the NATO alphabet or ICAO spelling alphabet (ICAO = International Civil Aviation Organization). It corresponds to that of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and since 1970 also that of the ARRL.

Funkalphabet pdf for download

To make learning easier or, if possible, to read on the phone or radio, simply download and print out the spelling table for radio operators.

Funkalphabet in German

The radio alphabet is gladly requested in German and the German spelling board according to DIN 5009 is given. Radio operators of an amateur radio service, however, need the international, i.e. English, spelling table for their certificate.

Aviator alphabet & pilot alphabet

Spelling board for aviators & pilots

It is flown internationally and therefore from Alfa to Zulu. There must be no transmission errors in radio communication between pilots, air traffic control or ground control. And since airplanes or pilots radio, the aviator alphabet also corresponds to the radio alphabet.

But many other airport employees also use it to make radio communications or to make phone calls. And finally, a flight ticket needs to be made out to a correctly spelled name. At least I've never liked it when my name was misspelled 😉

The aviator alphabet is also known as the ICAO or NATO alphabet. The International Civil Aviation Organization (I.nternational C.civil A.viation Organization) aims to promote sustainable growth in the global civil aviation system. The ICAO, NATO, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the American Association of Radio Amateurs (ARRL) have a uniform international spelling table.

Flyer alphabet download as pdf

The aviator alphabet pdf can be easily printed out for the radio or telephone and placed next to it. Pilots and aviators already know it by heart. Nevertheless, we provide one, because you can always use it for learning. And the ground control or at the service counter can print it out for safety.

Spelling Alphabet English

Spelling in English

You don't learn how to spell correctly on the phone at school. And there are quite a few variations across languages ​​and years. And here and there more modern terms are used, such as X-Mas instead of X-Ray.

In the modern workplace, the German language is no longer enough. Telephone calls in English or by e-mail are often included. In order to be able to convey names and addresses clearly in English, you need the English or international spelling alphabet.

The English spelling alphabet corresponds to the international spelling tables of the ITU, ICAO and NATO. Here "Alpha" is written with f, ie "Alfa", because it is not a matter of course in all countries to speak a "ph" as "f".

The British column is from British Maritime Radio / JAN, CCB 1943–1955 (1943 US-UK). The American column is the radio alphabet of the American Association of Radio Amateurs (ARRL) from 1996. We have included this in case you come across a word or two during conversations. This makes it easier for you to understand its origin.

English spelling checklist

  • Put the printed spelling table down next to the phone.
  • Practice the correct pronunciation of the English words beforehand.
  • Keep calm while spelling.
  • Speak clearly but naturally, i.e. not over-emphasized or very slowly.

European spelling alphabet

America to Zebra or Amsterdam to Zurich? The European spelling table is similar to that of the ITU of 1927 in that they use many names of cities and countries.

Overall, we really like the approach with well-known cities and countries, precisely because they are well-known. This also applies to young people who are no longer familiar with names like Emil and Friedrich.

Probably or hopefully everyone knows Casablanca and therefore knows that this is written with a C, even if we speak a K. In the case of Canada, please note that we write it with a K here. Despite spelling it can easily lead to confusion.

International spelling alphabet

We found two things under the name “International Spelling Alphabet”: First, a list with many city names and countries. This corresponds to the (outdated) spelling table of the ITU from 1927. We have listed these here with German names. Internationally one would probably use the corresponding English name, for example Danemark for Denmark.

The second spelling board found is that of the international organizations ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization or North Atlantic Pact). It has also been used by the American Association of Radio Amateurs (ARRL) since 1970. As this spelling alphabet is more up-to-date, we have listed it first in the table above.

The German umlauts (Ä, Ö and Ü) as well as the ß are not listed in all tables that we have compared. They are included here for the sake of completeness.

NATO alphabet

The NATO alphabet is also used by the international organizations ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and ITU (International Telecommunication Union). The American Association of Radio Amateurs (ARRL) and radio operators of an amateur radio service also use this international spelling board.

ThePurpose of NATOis it, “To guarantee the freedom and security of its members by political and military means.

NATO is an alliance of North American and European countries and is therefore active on two continents. It promotes democratic values ​​and thus discussions and advice are part of day-to-day business. Clear communication over long distances and with a wide variety of people helps to cooperate and build trust in order to avoid long-term conflicts.

NATO alphabet as pdf

In our pdf for downloading you will also find the NATO alphabet as radio alphabet, also known as radio alphabet, ICAO or aviator alphabet.

NATO alphabet in German

We have included the “NATO alphabet in German” here because people are asking for it. There is of course no German translation of this spelling table. When spelling German, the spelling board for German (DIN 5009) is used.

Spell out digits on the phone: German & English

The code words for digits are double code words at the ITU, thus deviating from the terms of the ICAO and NATO. The terms for letters are identical in these international organizations.

You can download this spelling board for digits, print it out and put it on the phone or radio.

Spell punctuation marks: German & English

Spell special characters: German & English

Phonetic alphabet

The term "phonetic alphabet" also stands for spelling tables. Generally speaking, phonetics deals with spoken language, sound perception and sound processing in the ear and brain. And that's what the spelling boards are all about: unmistakably spoken letters.

Foreign words and technical terms are examples of hard-to-understand words. But many proper names are rare or difficult to understand. If there is a bad or incomplete transmission due to radio or background noise, something is quickly transmitted incorrectly. Therefore, every single letter is spoken as a word that defines the spelling table. "Philognosie" is spelled in German as follows: "Paula Heinrich Ida Ludwig Otto Gustav North Pole Otto Samuel Ida Emil„.

When selecting the words for a spelling alphabet, it is also true that they must be unambiguous. Monosyllabic words should be avoided, they should sound and be stressed differently. On international boards, everyone's words should be easy to pronounce without training.

Telephone alphabet

I can barely understand you, the connection is so bad.“What is“ just a bar ”today was a common crackling and hissing noise in the line around 1900. Already in 1890 it was spelled for better understanding. Initially with numbers for the letters, i.e. a 1 for an A. From 1903, words were used.

In the 2020s, seniors on the phone are still familiar with spelling out many of the words as the names of friends and acquaintances. Otto has gone out of fashion, Berta even more. Old first names are also becoming modern again: Emil was modern at the time of the first German spelling tablet (1903). And in 2017 Emil is again a popular first name. However, we are no longer familiar with many of the words used.

The German telephone alphabet according to DIN 5009 (dictation rules) has remained unchanged since December 1996. The ICAO has not made any changes since March 1, 1956. This international spelling table was adopted by the ITU as early as 1959, but was expanded to include the double keywords for numbers that had already been introduced. The IMO took it over in 1965. Other English-language spelling boards no longer play a role in professional, international radio services.

Tip: Have difficult names / addresses spelled out automatically

If you need to spell difficult names, email addresses, URLs, etc. on the phone, you can also use a free spelling tool on the phone. On this website you can enter a text - e.g. B. a URL - click on “Go” and the text to be spelled will automatically appear correctly sorted in a table.


Being polite on the phone is not always enough for a successful conversation. Even if you speak letters individually, misunderstandings can arise. That is why spelling boards were designed. There are many, but ultimately there are only two relevant spelling alphabets:

Good luck with intelligible spelling on the phone!

Other sources:ünschende_Schritten_und_Aussprachen
Pronunciation and emphasis: 1/11/01 5-4 and

Petra Sütterlin