Prospective hams or hams in training may wonder what they will do or say over the radio when they get their license. There is all that lingo/jargon that hams use and there are rules about identifying and phonetics and whatnot; it can be confusing and intimidating to non-hams who haven’t had much exposure to amateur radio.
The best way to learn how hams speak on the air and what kinds of things they talk about is to listen in. No license is required to listen; you can monitor radio traffic 24/7 if you like. Listen and learn. Just keep your finger off the transmit control (usually a push-to-talk [PTT] button) until your have a license.
Start by listening in on the local repeaters, which is likely how you will get started anyway. Repeater traffic is more conversational but you still get a good feel for protocol and topics.
If you don’t have repeaters in your area it will take more effort only because the radio setup is slightly more complicated. The radio will have more features to fiddle with and you will need a bigger antenna to work with the HF bands. Here you will likely be listening in on SSB voice communications where it will be more interesting because people are likely talking over great distances and their conversations are generally less personal. Again, you get a feel for how people talk over the air by listening.
Listening in on both local repeaters and the HF phone bands gives you a more complete picture of what ham radio is all about and how things work. If you are really curious and adventurous, you can listen in on Morse code contacts with code reading software or intercept data mode and/or video communication to get an even better feel for all that amateur radio has to offer.
Don’t have a radio to listen with? Maybe a friendly local ham can loan you an old or spare rig to use for a while. Or you could buy some used gear or a cheap handheld transceiver (HT).
Beg, borrow, or buy some radio gear and start listening before you get your license. It will make your study more meaningful and give you some confidence to transmit when you get your ticket.