ATC Pronunciation of 9

Why is it that we always pronounce 9 as 9er in ATC? I thought it was something to do with clarity in the same way as phonetic alphabet, but then couldn’t think what ‘nine’ alone could be confused with. I’m sure one of you experts out there will know though!

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^ It’s pronounced niner so that it won’t be confused with “nein” (German for no)

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Yes, that’s clearly a good idea, although I suppose if German is the ATC Lang. then nine would be a different word, no?

There are other numbers which should be pronounced in other ways as well, like 3 (tree), 4 (fower) 5 (fife) etc. :)


It IS the reason actually, not just assumptions :) And the german word for 9 is neun :)


That’s hilarious, I was born there ;)

Yeah and now try to pronounce 6 in german “Sechs”


Yes, I did have thoughts on your nationality, though I am ashamed to admit I thought you were born in Australia (failed!)

Actually that’s not hard, as I’m Norwegian ;) (Norwegian for 6 is “seks”, so speaking german is not that hard for me :)

Haha not so easy for most American’s though. Anyway, let’s get back on-topic. Funny thing within IF is that it’s a simple TTS system. IF says “nine”, not “niner”

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Are you sure? Because to be honest I first thought the TTS was failing miserably at realism and saying ‘niner’ for some weird reason. But then I researched to find that it’s actually correct. I think that the lady in IF (A charming one I’m sure we all agree!) says niner.

Really? What device do you have? I swear I’ve always had to put 9er instead of 9 for my Siri voice to pronounce it correctly on my iPhone

iPad Air, but I don’t get the same woman as Siri. However I think it’s some kind of stock voice because I have an ATC app and the U.S. Accent option sets it to the same as the IF voice.

Hmm not exactly sure but I can’t check. If you are right, then I stand corrected.

It is part of the ICAO alphabet ;) Ex. FDS9er :P

Pretty sure is 9er, that’s what I learn in air cadets

The phonetic numerical system


Sam I am fully radio qualified with commas badge

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Yep that’s all

My callsign is Alpha November niner four.