Walkie Talkie Lingo

Walkie talkies are quite useful in a number of different scenarios. For instance, if you’re taking a hike through a remote woodland area, you probably won’t have a very good mobile connection. Similarly, mobile phones are quite impractical and immensely costly when you’re coordinating a large operation like a warehouse. In both these cases (and many others like it), a two-way radio is indispensable. 

However, just owning a walkie talkie isn’t enough; you must also know the proper lingo and etiquette to use when speaking through one. Sometimes knowing the right codes and phrases can even mean the difference between life and death. That’s why we’re going to teach you the proper walkie talkie lingo in this article. 

The Basics of Walkie Talkie Lingo

Take a look at this transcript of a basic walkie talkie conversation between two people. Do you understand what’s going on?

“Base to Alex. Do you copy? Over.”

“Go ahead Base, this is Alex. Over.”

“Alex, I need you to go to the front office. There’s a parcel that needs to be delivered to Sector B. Over.”

“10-9. Over.”

“Please report to the front office. There’s a parcel to be delivered to Sector B. Over.”

“Roger that Base. Over.”

“Over and out.”

While the gist of the conversation is quite clear (that ‘Alex’ is being summoned to deliver a parcel), there are some specifics terms that may not be familiar to you. So here’s a breakdown:

  1. ‘Base’ Refers to the main dispatcher in a typical business operation scenario. Think of this person as a secretary who relays messages to different parties. 
  2. ‘Do you copy?’ – This a phrase which means ‘can you hear me?’ 
  3. ‘Over’ – You say ‘over’ to let the other person know that you’re done speaking. It signifies the end of your transmission. 
  4. ’10-9’ – This is an example of a ’10 code’ which are a set of codes that each stand for different situations, instructions or status updates. ’10-9’ is code for ‘repeat message’. 
  5. ‘Roger that’ – This basically means that you understand what was said to you. You may also use the broader term ‘affirmative’, which means ‘yes’. On the other hand, if you want to say ‘no’, you can use the term ‘negative’
  6. ‘Over and out’ – ‘Over and out’ is what you say when you want to end the conversation. 

Walkie Talkie Etiquette

Knowing the proper etiquette is important for successful communication over radio. It does much to prevent confusion and help keep things professional and streamlined. Hence, here are some guidelines to follow when using a walkie talkie:

  • Do not interrupt someone while they are transmitting a message. You should only press the ‘talk’ button after they’ve said ‘over.’ However, if you have to interrupt due to an emergency, you have to make sure to say ‘break!’ three times and then relay the message. 
  • Do not respond to the message if the transmission isn’t addressed to you. 
  • Do not relay confidential information over the radio. As convenient as they are, walkie talkies aren’t the most secure methods of communication. However, if you’ve programmed exclusive frequencies into the device and have encryption, then it should be safe to talk about sensitive subjects. 
  • English is the internationally accepted language for communicating over radio.

The Rules of Walkie Talkie Communication

In order to successfully communicate with another party over the radio, follow these rules:

  1. Speak as clearly as possible. Especially during an emergency, you want to make sure that nothing is misheard. 
  2. Keep it simple. Make the message as simple as possible. Don’t use more codes than necessary. 
  3. Get to the point. Radio communication is supposed to be streamlined. 
  4. Don’t talk about sensitive information. You never know who else might tune into the same frequency and listen to what you are saying. 

Walkie Talkie Lingo Conclusion

Walkie talkies can come in handy in a wide variety of situations. However, you must know the proper lingo to make proper use of them. In this article, we discussed the common phrases and terms used in basic radio communication, the proper etiquette and the four rules for successful transmission. 

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