Fonetics

19 02 2007

After I was married I moved to England to be with my husband, after many months of not working I finally got a job taking bookings for a local paintball field.

Talking on the phone to British people was proving to be a challenge, not because we didn’t speak the same language, but because we spoke it differently.   I thought to myself “when in Rome. . . ” And I re-learned how to say things so that my British co-workers and customers could understand what the heck I was saying.

Such as “I’m going to the shops” instead of “going shopping”.  Carpark, Motorway, Mobile Phone,  Quid, Queue, Pint, Cuppa. . . .the list goes on.

One word in paticular I had to re-learn was “Toronto” – if your from the area, and you are talking to another person from the area you would either call it “the city” or “Toranna”.  If people in England asked me where I was from, I’d have to say “Just out side of Tor-on-toe” and clearly say each syllable.

One thing I learned that really helped me communicate was the phonetic alphabet (anyone else find it amuzing this word isn’t spelledout how it sounds?)

Recently I was speaking to a customer in my new job (I now spend my day talking to Americans) who is of Military background in one of the South Eastern states, perhaps Mississippi or Lousiana.

He commented how impressed he was that I could cite off the phonetic alphabet with such ease.  . . .

I’m glad I know the phonetic alphabet. . . .do you know it?

Letter

US 1913 US 1927 US 1938 US World War II US 1957-Present BRITISHPRESENT
A Able Affirmative Afirm Afirm (Able) Alfa Alpha
B Boy Baker Baker Baker Bravo Bravo
C Cast Cast Cast Charlie Charlie Charlie
D Dog Dog Dog Dog Delta Delta
E Easy Easy Easy Easy Echo Echo
F Fox Fox Fox Fox Foxtrot Foxtrot
G George George George George Golf Golf
H Have Hypo Hypo How Hotel Hotel
I Item Interrogatory Int Int (Item) India Indigo
J Jig Jig Jig Jig Juliet Juliet
K King King King King Kilo Kilo
L Love Love Love Love Lima Lima
M Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike Mother
N Nan Negative Negat Negat (
Nan)
November November
O Oboe Option Option Option (Oboe) Oscar October
P Pup Preparatory Prep Prep (Peter) Papa Papa
Q Quack Quack Queen Queen Quebec Quebec
R Rush Roger Roger Roger Romeo Romeo
S Sail Sail Sail Sugar Sierra Sierra
T Tare Tare Tare Tare Tango Tango
U Unit Unit Unit Uncle Uniform Uniform
V Vice Vice Victor Victor Victor Victor
W Watch William William William Whiskey Whiskey
X X-ray X-ray X-ray X-ray X-ray X-ray
Y Yoke Yoke Yoke Yoke Yankee Yankee
Z Zed Zed Zed Zebra Zulu Zulu
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3 responses

19 02 2007
Penseroso

Oh yeah. This stuff was ingrained in me when I was in the Marines. Now, when I try to spell something out to people and use military phonetics, people think I’m trying to play G.I. Joe. But I like the system.

20 02 2007
kimberleyanne

Oh god I can relate. In November I moved to Manchester from Canada to be with my boyfriend and since then I’ve been searching and searching for a job. I have only found 1 which is only a once a month thing but I’m still searching. I laughed when I read about the different sayings because that’s how I feel everyday! I refuse to call my pants trousers and I get laughed at when I say pants (which means underwear) to them haha!

20 02 2007
Joey

kimberleyanne,

My husband when he first arrived in England when to a club (In Guildford – the only ‘Cinderella’s’ if you are familar) and he told this girl who had this skin tight leopard print leather trousers on that he “liked her pants”

She slapped him square on the face and said “I’m not wearing any knickers you dirty bastard”

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