Photo: SVT Bild
Photo: SVT BIld

Swedish police to switch to American phonetic letters

Get ready for “Alpha, Bravo, Charlie”, the police here are probably abandoning their Swedish phonetic spelling system.

The police’s Jörgen Berggren tells the newspaper Polistidningen “The formal decision hasn’t been taken, but the direction is obvious. It’s a natural step when police work becomes more international.” The new system has already been adopted in the north, for closer cooperation with the police in neighboring Norway and Finland.

Phonetic letters are used to make spelling clear when read aloud, over police or military radio, for example. So instead of the traditional Swedish “Adam, Bertil, Cesar” in the future the police here will sound more like those in American films: “Alpha, Bravo, Charlie”.

But what about the letters Å. Ä, and Ö, that aren’t in the English alphabet? Instead of the current “Åke, Ärlig, Östen”, in the future the Swedish police will be saying “Alpha Alpha", "Alpha Echo", and "Oscar Echo”.

One letter won’t be changing, however, even if its spelling is. Under the new system “Viktor” becomes “Victor”.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
Du hittar dina sparade avsnitt i menyn under "Min lista".