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Using the International Alphabet to Ease Communications in Indonesia

Due to similarities/differences between the pronunciation of individual letters in different languages, it is often difficult to get the correct spelling of a word from someone over the telephone. Travel agents and others in international fields utilize an “international alphabet” when spelling out words over the phone, or even in person, to avoid the inevitable misspellings.

In Indonesia, this is particularly a problem with vowels. The letter 'I' is pronounced “ee” in Bahasa Indonesia . thus the westerner hears the letter “E”. The letter “E” in Bahasa Indonesia is pronounced “eh” which the westerner often interprets to mean “A”. A is pronounced 'aa' in Bahasa Indonesia. Thus I/E and A/E are often heard/written incorrectly.

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