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How to Learn Morse Code

It’s like learning a completely new language, without the complexity of sentence structure, masculine verbs, or anything that could prove to be pointless. Learn within days easily with this step by step guide.

Being a teenager in school, and constantly being overheard by unwanted listeners, can prove to be stressful. That’s why I decided to take up Morse Code, so my friend and I could secretly talk to each other. It took me about 3 days of somewhat hard work to master it, and soon enough, I was easily able to write long letters in code.

Step 1: First off, it might be useful to know what Morse Code is. It is an alphabet in which letters, numbers, and punctuations are represented by long or short signals of light or sound, more commonly known as dots      ( . ) and dashes ( – ). Because each combination represents its own letter, Morse Code can be used in many different languages that use an English alphabet (such as French, Spanish, and Italian). The most common use of Morse Code was within the military, to transfer messages between army officials. This was accomplished on a device called a telegraph, which is shown below.       

                                                    

The messages were made by tapping on the flat circular part on the left, to the bottom of the device. If you heard it, it might sound like- tap (pause) tap tap tap, which would look like “-…” if it were written out.

 Step 2: The next thing that you should do is look at and recite the Morse alphabet.    

                                                        

Go ahead, just stare at it for a minute or two to see what you’re dealing with. Now once you’re done taking it all in, start back at the beginning and read the whole list out loud, like: “A- dot dash! B- dash dot dot dot!…” and so on. Do that two or more times, and when you’re done, reverse it: ” Dot dash- A! Dash dot dot dot- B!…” and repeat it until your brain becomes numb, or you could stop after two times if you prefer. 

Step 3: It’s now time to practice writing! Have a piece of paper and a writing instrument ready. What I want you to do is copy the chart above on your paper. Make sure that there is enough space in between the letters so that you wont get confused when reading it. When that’s done, write out your name in Morse, along with the current time. This will help you get adjusted to writing letters and numbers. Now try to write your last name without looking at the key. Was it hard? If so, start back from the beginning of Step 3. If you easily passed this task, follow me to Step 4!

Step 4: Learn how to write sentences. Below is an example of a complex sentence written in Morse.

                    

To avoid confusion, back slashes ( / ) are commonly used to separate words. Notice how this person did not put a space in between the letters. THAT IS A BAD IDEA. Always space apart the letters, because it makes it incredibly easier to read. Now. I want you to take your piece of paper and write “Hello sir” in code. The final product should look like this: …. . .-.. .-.. —/ … .. .-.   If yours didn’t match up, make sure that you wrote all the letters correctly, and that you read my letters correctly. Try a few practice sentences, such as: Hi there octopus, or gee it sure is cloudy today. Basically anything you think of can be used. 

Step 5: Quiz yourself! Think you’ve learned enough so far? Try the quiz at http://www.theenk.com/Game/Morse-Code-Quiz.aspx or http://www.purposegames.com/game/522 You could even have your friend make one for you, by writing sentences and you translating them. I mean, it’s easy to cheat, but come on, who are you trying to prove. You’ll never learn it by using a key, so man up and learn for real! 

`… —/-.– — ..-/- …. .. -. .-./-.– — ..-/-.- -. — .–/– — .-. … ./-. — .–? -.-. — -. –. .-. .- – …! .. ..-./-.– — ..-/…. .- …- ./ .- -. -.–/ –.- ..- . … – .. — -. …/ . — .- .. .-../ — ./ .- -/ m.parella545@gmail.com

by Marina Parella

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