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Spelling names on the phone

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Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Is there an established list of words in Spanish that I can use to spell out my name when making a booking on the phone? (Eg B for Barcelona, T for Tokyo, etc). I have always got someone else to help me book onward accommodation, but it's about time I plucked up the courage to do it myself - though my name is a long one!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Many, many years ago when I worked as a telephonist for the GPO phone calls (from U.K) were connected manually and the international phone language was French. French (male) names were used.
e.g.
André
Bernard
Charles ...
etc.

was the accepted way for operators to spell names when connecting calls with all countries abroad. Of course that all changed when automatic dialling came in to being.

Sorry I don't know what the Spanish would use now. On my Camino trips I made a couple of phone calls with my almost non existent Spanish (vocab of approximately 25 words) and somehow managed .
 
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HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Is there an established list of words in Spanish that I can use to spell out my name when making a booking on the phone? (Eg B for Barcelona, T for Tokyo, etc). I have always got someone else to help me book onward accommodation, but it's about time I plucked up the courage to do it myself - though my name is a long one!
Oh gosh I have been concentrating on learning how to pronounce the Spanish alphabet. The thought of anything further never crossed my mind. I too have a long name. Thinking it is time to change it!:p:p:p
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Excellent. Thank you.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF
My first name is Jordon which I believe said correctly in Spanish would be something like Hordón to which I would ultimately receive the response, "Heh??" So I started using my second name, Robert but I'd spice it up and use Roberto! Oddly, after they heard the rest of my Spanish request for a room they have never asked for my last name... I suppose one can only tolerate so much mutilation of ones own language in one call :D:D:D
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Outstanding, thank you for the resource!

I copied it to my iPhone as a Note...

A very handy thing to have for a non-native speaker...
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Llobregat
Ñoño
Xiquena
Yegua

I would have never thought to have used those as I'd never even heard those words before! :D
Yes, thanks for the resource, VN!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I have normally only been asked for my first name when booking over the phone, which I give as Teresa, and I pronounce it in the Spanish way. The only problem I had this year was when I thought that I had a bad connection, because the voice on the other end seemed to keep breaking up. He kept asking me something, and I kept repeating Teresa. I was at a bar, and asked the woman behind the counter to talk for me to verify that I had a reservation.

When I finally arrived at the pensión in O Pedrouzo, the woman at the front desk couldn't find my name on the list. I told her that I had spoken to a man, but that the connection was not good. So she called for the man to come out, and when he did I discovered why I was having so much trouble understanding him - he had a tracheotomy! After he got my name, he had been asking what country I was from, and I had repeated "Teresa". So he had written down the closest thing that it sounded like to him - Suecia. So I was down on their list as a woman from Suecia. Fortunately, I had a room for the night!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
The ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organization, another UN organ, HAS a global alphabet that ALL aviation crews must use. In practice, it has also been adopted by most international law enforcement organizations, like INTERPOL and EUROPOL.

Here is the ICAO global standard phonetic alphabet for international aviation:

https://www.icao.int/Pages/AlphabetRadiotelephony.aspx

Also, and just FYI, NATO has a standard phonetic alphabet as well. This one is used by all the NATO forces. Here it is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet

Note that both the ICAO and NATO phonetic alphabets are very similar. However, neither of these choices allows for the several unique sounds in the Spanish alphabet:

For example:
Ch - Chocolate
Ll - Llobregat (Y sound)
Ñ - Ñoño (trilled N)

X - Xiquena
Y - Yegua

So, on balance, I adopt the "when in Rome..." paradigm... I will try to use the Spanish phonetic alphabet in future. itis simply best suited to purpose.

I hope this helps.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
Good conversation. Actually, I have to spell my first name, last name and my street address, when talking on the phone *here* in the USA! The fun part is that I use the International Phonetic Alphabet to do the spelling . . . Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Foxtrot, etc. Good luck communicating y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Outstanding, thank you for the resource!

I copied it to my iPhone as a Note...

A very handy thing to have for a non-native speaker...
Good idea. I’m going to do the same. Thanks.
 

MisterH

Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
I don't know what model of phone you are using. Android type phones support copy-paste operations. If you can copy your name into the phone, then you can past it back into fields that allow inputs. Doing this requires several tries to get if work, but it works on my Samsung S7 phone and my S2 tablet.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
First, I copied the material from the web page into a blank Word document to strip out the HTML formatting and save the paste as a .rtf formatted file (copy / save special...). The result is nearly the same file format as any word processing document. I then reformatted the text and table to my desire...character set, text size, column widths, etc.

Once this was done, a two-minute job, I copied the resulting material into my Notes app on my Macbook. This is synched with my iPhone via the cloud.

Finally, once on the iCloud, I could easily save the document to my iPhone.

This is actually MUCH easier than it sounds... I accomplished it faster than it took to explain it here.

I hope this helps.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
Perhaps off topic for Spanish spelling: in Italy the first letter of major town names are used. The K doesn't (didn't) exist. :cool:
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Llobregat
Ñoño
Xiquena
Yegua

I would have never thought to have used those as I'd never even heard those words before! :D
Yes, thanks for the resource, VN!
X from Xiquena is confusing.

Spanish X (éxito) sounds like English Nixon.
but Xiquena (which is Catalán) sounds SH (English Shirt) .
A Galician speaker would understand because the sound of X is the same as in Catalán, but not an Spanish speaker who would understand S.

I would say X from Extremadura (There isn't any Spanish word starting with X
 

Benjamin Smith

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
San Jean Pied de Port --> Santiago (2011); Leon --> Santiago (2014)
Often in Spanish people distinguish the most easily confused letters (B/V and C/S) by saying B de 'bueno' or V de 'vaca' and C de 'casa' or S de 'santo'. F often sounds like S over the phone so they say F de Francisco.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Often in Spanish people distinguish the most easily confused letters (B/V and C/S) by saying B de 'bueno' or V de 'vaca' and C de 'casa' or S de 'santo'. F often sounds like S over the phone so they say F de Francisco.
So true about the F. It happens to me here at home. I have one in my last name, and I always say "F as in Frank"
 

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