Radio Alphabet Flash Cards


The Radio Alphabet (also known as the Spelling Alphabet, Phonetic Alphabet, Voice Procedure Alphabet, and Telephone Alphabet), enables users to spell out words and codes with greater likelihood of comprehension and transcription accuracy, even over communication channels with static, or insufficient bandwidth.

In the English alphabet, the letters B, C, D, E, P and T, can easily be mistaken for one another; as can M and N, and S and F. With the spelling alphabet these transcription errors are less likely to occur as the words used to represent the letters are unlikely to be mistaken for one another.

The Radio Alphabet Flash Cards were designed to help users learn and perfect the use of the Radio Alphabet. Through repeated practice of the alphabet, users will master the use of this tool, and become highly proficient in transcribing words and codes.


My wife, in a previous life, was a reservation agent for a major airline. She can rattle off a code in the radio alphabet like nobody's business. Really, it's the least of her many talents.

I decided this was something I wanted to be able to do as well. So I looked up the radio alphabet online, and went over it once or twice.

A few days later, I was looking at a word and decided to sound it out with the radio alphabet. Sadly, I drew a blank. Clearly, a different pedagogical approach was required here. Something with repetition to drill in the words. Flash cards sounded like a good idea. So I Googled "radio alphabet flash cards". But the only sites that came up were actual flash cards that you had to print out.

So, I built the site I needed. And, sure enough, my ability with the radio alphabet has grown tremendously. It doesn't come to me instantly yet; but I figure with a little more practice I'll get there.

Then I found there were alternate alphabets, so I added a few, just in case there were others who might need to practice those.

I hope you find it useful as well.

How To Play

Selecting alphabet.

The first step is selecting which radio alphabet you want to learn, in the Alphabet tab. By default, the NATO alphabet is selected. This is the most frequently used alphabet, and is internationally recognized. But you can choose any of:

  • NATO
  • British Forces, 1952
  • US Financial
  • L.A. Police Department

The Alphabet tab is also the place you go to get a quick refresher on the radio alphabet. If you forget a letter, jump over to the Alphabet tab to check it out.

Screenshot of Flash Cards tab

In the upper left of the Flash Cards tab, you'll find a randomly generated word. We'll call it the main word. Next to the main word, on the right, are the letters of the main word, listed vertically, in front of text input fields. This is the first letter of the radio alphabet word representing that letter. We'll call these radio words.

Speaker icon to silence game.

The idea is to type the radio word for each letter of the main word. If you get it right (hit), the game plays a little "ding" sound, colours the field green, and moves on to the next field. If you get it wrong, it plays an unpleasant "buzz" sound, colours the field red, and moves on. There's no going back to a red field. Accept it, and move on.

If you get sick of the dings and buzzes, just hit the speaker icon and the game falls silent.

To help you type in the radio words, we've tweaked the process a little. The first letter is a gimme, so you don't need to type it. In fact, if you do type the first letter, the game just swallows it. You can type it as many times as you want, and it won't display. But don't spend too much time on that: life's too short.

Also, you don't need to type the entire word. The shortest radio words are only three (3) letters long, and given that the first letter is a gimme, you only have to type 2 letters.


Detail of Statistics tab.

The scoring is the hits (correctly entered radio words) over the total number of letters presented.

The Statistics tab displays the hits and fails for each letter.


Flash Cards

Alphabet Name:
Word Score:
Totes Score:


Totes Score:

Hits and Fails

Calculated Totals:
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