Morse Code: A language of SOUND!

Learning Morse code for the radio amateur works best as a LANGUAGE OF SOUND without using dot-dash charts. It asks less of the brain to hear and then to recognize. One can better grasp Morse code in short sessions, taking breaks before starting again. It helps, too, to have a clear mind going in.

Chapter 2: A language of SOUND!

In Chapter 1, we sought out ways to increase your printing ability so you can devote more energy into understanding the message being sent. In Chapter 2, we will continue minimizing unnecessary work. As with any spoken language, Morse code is a learned language of sounds that carry meaning.

The Morse code has a short sound that is called, “dit” and a long sound called, “DAH.” The “DAH” is three times as long as the “dit:” DAH-dit

When the “dit” is followed by more sounds to create a letter, it is spelled, “di,” but still pronounced with the short-letter I sound: di-DAH-dit

The “End of Message” procedural symbol sounds out as di-DAH-di-DAH-dit, a smooth flow of sounds not passed on with sounding the spelling, “dit-DAH-dit-DAH-dit.”

  • Please download the Revised Morse Alphabet cheat sheet (PDF). Timing plus the R-S-T Signal Reporting System and common CW abbreviations are included. This Cheat Sheet lists the letter N as “DAH-dit,” which you can sound out to yourself: “N: DAH-dit!


A Mnemonics Aid

You may find mnemonics of some help in recalling the sounds of the Morse alphabet.

For instance: “D: DOG did it! DAH-di-dit.

There is one that I came up with, that helped a fellow ham recognize the L: “Aw, to ’ELL with it! — di-DAH-di-dit!,” I said in mock disgust. I don't mean to offend, for it isn't the most polite thing to say, but this fellow never again had trouble with the letter L! (He was a preacher, to boot!!)

Our list has for L, “the LIGHT is lit!”

Next page: Chapter 3: Morse Code Timing

Previous page: Chapter 1: Learn the Fastest Way to Print

First page: Morse Code for the Radio Amateur