NATO phonetic alphabet is used for precise dictation of English letters:
- "A" is pronounced as "Alfa"
- "B" as "Bravo"
- "C" as "Charlie", etc.
There are similar alphabets for other languages.
There are only 26 letters in English, and still it's worth to have an unambiguous way to explain a spelling using voice only. In Japanese, there's so much homophonic words containing kanji (especially in names), I'd imagine there is a standard for dictating kanji, but I can't find it. There is the 和文通話表 for kana, numbers, and punctuation, but that's not what I'm looking for.
Is there any similar method and/or standard (maybe historical, experimental, or not originated in Japan) for vocal dictation of the kanji? I assume it may use a different method, e.g. explaining by components/radicals instead of explaining the character as a whole.
I'm aware of a "normal" way of doings this, i.e. mentioning some common words using particular kanji. But, to be honest, it sucks so much balls... I can't imagine Japanese military forces or police doing that "SATO as 'help' and 'light purple'" over the radio.
More than that, such list may be useful for learning kanji. The closest thing I could find is a list of unique keywords from the famous RTK, which does a lot of trickery:
- 暗 = "darkness"
- 蒙 = "darken"
- 闇 = "pitch dark"
This is confusing, but still not as confusing as trying to remember all the darkness-related meanings from the dictionary definitions of those kanji.
Since chances are the answer is "No, there is no such thing. Deal with it!", I have a somewhat related question:
Is there a (standard) list of those common words to explain which kanji is meant? In other words, is there a list which suggests the words which I should use to explain the 佐藤 surname on the phone to my friend, who is not Japanese and just studying kanji?