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Using the International Alphabet to Ease Communications in Indonesia

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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
Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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