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Ever Wanted to Talk in Code Just Like They Did in Vietnam?

Updated on May 17, 2017
Photo of an old prison window
Photo of an old prison window | Source

The history

This version of code is first found in WW2 but more commonly known to be used during the Vietnamese war. During the Vietnam war many American soldiers where held prisoners and kept in separate cells. In order for the soldiers to work together they need to be able to communicate and they could verbally talk from the distance they were kept from each other. Not everyone in the army knew how to speak it but when the prisoners where being transported from prison to prison the soldiers who did know it would teach it to the ones who did not know the code. It was very simple and only took a couple days to become fluent in it.

Tap code graph
Tap code graph | Source

How it works

The tap code is very simple. There is a graph such as the one below that has 5 rows and columns. The alphabet is written from left to right, top to bottom. Because there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 25 spots on the graph you will skip the letter K as it will share a spot with the letter C. Now that you have the graph complete you can start tapping. Suppose you want to say a simple hello. You would start off by finding the first letter which in our case is H. You always start with the left side going down so it will be 2 down and 3 over. Once you have this you will tap very fast twice and make a very brief pause. Then you will tap 3 more times at the same speed as before. Then you do that for all the rest of the letters. After extensive use you can get very good at it and not even need the graph. This can also be visual which will just be 23 for H and then you add on from there. You dont need any spaces.

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© 2017 Joshua Owens


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