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How does the Morse Code work?

Atualizado: 12 de set. de 2019

The Morse Code was developed by Samuel Finley Breese Morse in 1844 and it was a groundbreaker in the long-distance communication; it became obsolete with the technological advances but it is still used by ham radio operators and military, for instance. As it is quickly sent by radio, it may be important in emergency situations and it is worshipped by coded languages buffs.


Morse Code

Is the Morse Code a language?


Morse is not a language, but rather a different type of alphabet; its characters are represented by dots and dashes (or dits and dahs in radio-amateur language) transmitted through electric impulses resulting in sound or light signals of a certain length.


In the Code, one dot represents a short sound while one dash corresponds to a sound three times longer. Each letter should be separated by a short pause and each word is separated by a long one, that is, taking the dot as a unit, its duration is about 1/25 seconds while the dash is equivalent to 3 dots.


How to decipher the Morse Code?


Since Morse is not a language, we should not use the word ‘translation’; ‘decoding’ or ‘deciphering’ would be more appropriate. By transcribing the Morse characters to the alphabet letters you will have words in a certain language, and you will be able to translate the word to any other language.


The first step to learn to decode the Morse Code is to know the meaning of basic signals, that is, recognizing ‘dots’ and ‘dashes’ and understand which signal forms each letter. It is recommended to start learning the system by the sound, as understanding is faster by hearing than by seeing. Thus, a good tip is to hear recordings to become familiarized and practice the code using simple and easily understood texts.

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