Walkie Talkie Lingo 2021

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Walkie talkie Lingo? Walkie talkies (two-way radios) are ideal for making long-distance communication easy. Mainly, these radios are used by hunters and police officers.

However, two-way radios don’t have clear sound like contemporary smartphones. If you press the PTT button and you don’t talk properly, the other party will only hear a distorted sound.

It’s always good to talk using walkie talkie lingo as radio broadcasts can be hard to comprehend. This kind of language comprises short words and phrases with many syllables that broadcast well over the air.

As they’re standardized, anybody who uses the walkie talkie comprehends what you’re saying.

Using walkie talkie lingo may seem like a foolish idea at first. Why should you learn a couple of new words when you can talk ordinarily over the two-way radio?

Talk the walkie talkie lingo if your life relies on clear radio communication. It’s because the language is concise and easy to comprehend. Walkie talkies don’t have accurate audio quality. Broadcasting a person’s voice over audio waves is hard if you’re using a hand-held appliance.

Mobile phones use towers to get the power needed for clear communication. Walkie talkies don’t.

Therefore, military personnel, civilian pilots, and many other people around the globe use the Voice Procedure. It’s an easy communication system that minimizes equivocalness. Fewer words make it easier to understand.

If you speak on the two-way radio as you would talk to someone in the same room, it becomes distorted. Concise words like “no” and “yes” can be lost easily. It means that you and your listener will be disappointed for not being able to comprehend each other.

Walkie talkie lingo or the correct Voice Procedures will help stop these issues and make it easy to get clear communication. Let’s dive in and look at the elementary two-way radio protocols.

Basic Walkie Talkie Protocol

  • What do you do when all communication systems have failed?

After a catastrophe, communication is paramount. You have to prepare for the worst, which implies no mobile phones, no cell service, and no sending messages. The only available option is a high-quality outdated hand-held radio!

There are diverse types of walkie talkies in the shops but, first, let’s look at the basics of these radios and general protocols. If you want to set up a walkie-talkie network in the vicinity, you need to agree, before-hand, on the channels you and your neighbor would like to use.  

Making a Call

There’s a button called PTT (Press To Talk) on the left side of the walkie talkie. Always ensure your messages are concise because others may be waiting to use the channel. Therefore, before pressing the button, think of what you want to say.

When making a call, press the PTT button and begin by saying the station you’re calling, and then state your station or name. Don’t forget that if you’ve pressed the PTT button, you’re broadcasting. It implies that your two-way radio cannot get incoming signals until you release the button.

Therefore, when you’ve ended your message, say “over.” It implies that you’re waiting for an answer. Release the button instantly and listen cautiously for the response to your station.

For instance:

“CERT command, it’s Team Three, over”

Say no more, and wait until you hear a response:

“Team Three, it’s CERT command, go ahead”

Remember that most of the time there’s a short delay in the walkie-talkie signal being sent. Therefore, after you press the PTT button, take a breath before you begin talking.

Ending a Call

If you’re done conversing, press the PTT button and say:

“CERT command, it’s Team Three, out”

Alternatively, use the word “clear” as it’s interchangeable with “out.” The two words imply that you’re not anticipating an answer, and that’s the signal for another group to get on the frequency with the CERT command.

As you can see, this phrase “over and out” used in classic movies doesn’t make any sense. It’s because “over” implies that you’re anticipating a comeback, while “out” means you’re through, and the channel is clear.

Check out Best Handheld Ham Radio

Best Walkie Talkie Practices

If you carry a walkie talkie on a CERT team, ensure that you don’t turn down its volume when tackling a situation, irrespective of how tense it is. If CERT command attempts to get you, and you can’t hear them, they’ll surmise that you’re in distress and will send a team to rescue you from your last location.

You’ll become a victim unintentionally, using up resources needlessly. Call CERT command and let them know that you want to switch off or leave the walkie talkie.

Ensure that you’re holding the aerial vertically when using the walkie talkie. It should point up and not over-the-shoulder like a mobile phone. You shouldn’t talk directly to the two-way radio but across it. Speak in a usual tone at all times, even in noisy situations.

If you shout into the walkie talkie, the sound becomes distorted, and it’ll be hard for the other party to comprehend what you’re saying.

Always face in the direction of the station you’re attempting to contact. Radio waves don’t travel through water. That’s why radio signals don’t go far if you’re making a call from the rainy woods.

Even in a dire situation, talk calmly. Panic is contagious if heard over the walkie talkie. You’ll become a victim if you act in fright, and you wouldn’t like to cause others to be frightened and be injured. Therefore, after pressing the PTT, use the short breath to calm down.

If the CERT command doesn’t respond to your first call instantly, wait for a couple of minutes before calling again. They could be trying to tackle numerous tasks, handling their Emergency Operation Center (EOC) command or a request from another team on the other channel. Therefore, they cannot answer instantly.

After you make a call twice or thrice, they may answer using a concise “Team Three, CERT Command; stand by.” It’s an indication that they may be occupied. Wait patiently.

However, if they forget you’re on stand by, don’t be surprised. Try again after some time. If it’s a pressing matter, say the following: “CERT command, Team Three on stand-by with a priority message.” Nonetheless, if it’s not pressing, don’t say it.

Now that you understand two-way radio protocol, let’s look at the codes used when communicating.

Walkie Talkie Signals: What are Ten Codes?


Walkie talkie codes help you to communicate with other parties clearly and fast. They’re widely used by police officers and were initially created by the Illinois State Police Department in 1937.  

By learning the codes and language, you and everyone else involved can communicate more effectively. It’s what you need if you, your family, and friends depend on two-way radio communication during hunting, hiking, or camping.

If you’re using a 10-code, just say “ten,” and then add the corresponding digit. As easy as that! Unluckily, codes differ from department to department. If you work in a specific field, you’ll be informed of the local language.

However, the below ten codes are standard worldwide:

  • 10-1 (Broadcast cannot be read or is received poorly).
  • 10-2 (Signal good).
  • 10-3 (Abort broadcast).
  • 10-4 (Received and comprehended message).
  • 10-5 (Pass the message to someone else).
  • 10-6 (Occupied, stand by).
  • 10-7 (Out of service).
  • 10-8 (In operation).
  • 10-9 (Iterate message).
  • 10-10 (Broadcast complete).
  • 10-20 (Where are you? Or what’s your 20?) You can also ask “what’s your 10-20?”

On a lighter note, at times 10-1 refers to “I need a fast restroom break.” 10-2 also refers to “I need a long restroom break.”

Radio Etiquette

If your occupation requires that you use a walkie talkie, keep in mind that you’ll not use it the same way you would use a smartphone. Since you cannot talk or listen to another party speaking to you simultaneously, you need to know walkie talkie etiquette to ensure clear communication.

Here are ten crucial tips on how to use a two-way radio so that you can present yourself professionally always, and guarantee clear communication with your associates.

  1. Learn The Language

One crucial tip to know when communicating using two-way radios is that some phrases and words should be used when talking to, greeting, and saying goodbye to someone else. It’s because several words used in everyday speech don’t broadcast clearly over two-way radios. When using two-way radio language, it’s like you’re speaking in a secret code.

Here are several commonly used walkie talkie codes and what they mean:

  • Affirmative: Yea.
  • Negative: Nope.
  • Roger That: It implies that you heard and comprehended the message.
  • Stand By: Please wait.
  • Copy or Read: Commonly used to confirm that your message was heard and comprehended. For instance, “Do you copy me?”
  • Over: I’m done talking; frequently used to end a sentence and let the other party speak.
  • Wilco: I’ll adhere to the instructions.
  • Out: This shows that the conversation is complete.
  • Radio Check: Can you hear me? How’s my signal strength?
  • Go Ahead: You’re prepared to get the broadcast.
  • Say Again: Re-broadcast your message.
  • Read you Loud and Clear: It’s an answer to “Radio Check.” It implies that your broadcast signal is perfect. You can also use “Read you 5-by-5.”
  • Come in: You’re asking the other party to answer if they can hear you.

Perhaps you’ve heard some of this language when watching a movie or TV show that had characters using two-way radios. It may take time to remember the language. However, it makes sure others can understand your messages.

  • Identify Yourself

A caller ID isn’t always present in a walkie talkie. Anybody can pick up a walkie talkie and use it. Therefore, when beginning a conversation, it’s good etiquette to identify yourself. Before saying your name, ensure that you want to address the person you’re talking to.

Several industries that use these radios give every person a one-of-a-kind call sign. You should ensure that you’re addressing others by their correct call sign if this is applied in your place of work.

  • Pause Before You Talk

It’s recommended that you pause after you press the PTT (Press-to-talk) button pause for a second on your two-way radio before you begin talking. It makes sure that your one or two words don’t get cut off, which implies that you have to iterate yourself.

  • Ensure Your Communication Is Short And Brief

If you’re using a two-way radio, don’t talk for long periods. They’re made to provide short communication bursts to solve an issue or get a task done fast.

If you have numerous points to cover or have to give a lot of instructions after you’ve spoken one point, use the word “break” and then release the button. In this way, the other party can talk if they have to before you continue to cover the next point.

  • Talk In A Usual Tone With Clarity

When using two-way radios, avoid speaking too quickly. Talk in a usual tone. You may not hear silent speech or shout well. When speaking, ensure that the microphone of your radio is around 3 to 5 inches away from your mouth. This way, your voice won’t be too loud to other two-way radio users.

  • Memorize The NATO Phonetic Alphabet

You don’t have to use letters when spelling something over a two-way radio. It’s because many letters sound similar. Instead, spell them using the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) phonetic alphabet.

The NATO system uses a word that’s similar to each letter of the English alphabet so that you won’t be confounded.

For instance, to spell out a license plate ending with EX, you need to state these letters over a walkie talkie as “echo, x-ray.”

The NATO Phonetic Alphabet comprises:

  • A – Alfa.
  • B – Bravo.
  • C – Charlie.
  • D – Delta.
  • E – Echo.
  • F – Foxtrot.
  • G – Golf.
  • H – Hotel.
  • I – India.
  • J – Juliet.
  • K – Kilo.
  • L – Lima.
  • M – Mike.
  • N – November.
  • O – Oscar.
  • P – Papa.
  • Q – Quebec.
  • R – Romeo.
  • S – Sierra.
  • T – Tango.
  • U – Uniform.
  • V – Victor.
  • W – Whiskey.
  • X – X-ray.
  • Y – Yankee.
  • Z – Zulu.
  • Don’t Disrupt Others

In case you hear other people talking over the walkie talkies, wait for their conversation to end. Unless it’s an emergency, don’t interrupt their conversation. Start by stating “break break break” in case of an emergency before giving your message.

  • Assume Others Are Listening To Your Conversation

If you’re using walkie talkies, surmise that other people are listening in on your conversation. Don’t forget that you’re not using the channel alone. Avoid broadcasting confidential or sensitive information when communicating unless you know that your device has the correct encryption level.

  • Communicate In English

Don’t forget that English is the official global language of walkie talkie communication unless stated otherwise in your place of work. You and your associates may have a license to speak in a different language in some cases.

  1. Carry Out Frequent Device Checks

All walkie talkie users carry out frequent equipment checks to ensure that their batteries are charged and can broadcast messages. To transmit radio waves, you need to ensure that you’re still in the range of other parties.

All these radio etiquette tips can take time and practice for you to remember. Once you understand these tips, however, you’ll feel more confident communicating through walkie talkies and appear more professional in your place of work.

Tips on How to Use a Walkie Talkie

To get the most out of using your two-way radio, you have to follow a couple of simple tips:

  • First of all, you have to meet with your team and agree on a frequency that each one of you will use. Also, suggest call times. It allows you to check on other group members and conserve battery life.
  • You should also know how to repair a two-way radio in case its performance drops while on your most recent camping excursion.
  • You may not be having mobile phone coverage if you’re out on an adventure. Therefore, you must keep your two-way radio charged and ready to go always.
  • These appliances are crucial for the outdoorsman. Ensure that you and your team chip in and invest in a premium quality walkie talkie that provides a long-range. Don’t select the cheapest appliance you’ll get. Quality is crucial here.

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Final Thoughts on Walkie Talkie Lingo

The military, civilians, ambulance dispatch, emergency services, and police can use two-way radio talk codes. These codes allow the user to transmit their messages fast and clearly to other parties listening.

Apart from walkie talkie codes, if you’re a camper, a hiker, or a hunter, walkie talkie lingo allows you to communicate with others. Learning this language is crucial for enhanced communication as it can be hard to hear clearly over a two-way radio.

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