Your Phrase Book will be your Best Travel Companion

An auto rickshaw driving through the streets of Thailand If you are visiting a non-English speaking country and you don’t speak the lingo, you’re going to need some help along the way. A phrase book contains the most common expressions in a foreign language with their translation. The first known phrase book was published in 1594 so there has been plenty of time to perfect them for today’s traveller.

Burmese, German, Filipino and Spanish Phrasebooks

Why Use a Travel Phrase Book

Here are some of the reasons why you should use a phrase book:
  • Study the dictionary to find the most useful and frequent words
  • It will cover all the basic conversation you will need when starting off
  • Small enough to fit in your pocket or backpack
  • They’re a great place to start if you intend to learn the language
  • Find the word you need it when you need it
  • Provides useful cultural tips
  • Gives you enough to start speaking the local language from the moment you land
  • Incorporate it into your research
When you are preparing to visit a foreign country, you spend time researching the places you want to visit, accommodation options, how to get there and how to travel around. If you don’t speak the native tongue, then you should dedicate some of your research time to studying the language. By reading through a phrase book, you can start memorising words so that you at least have a small repertoire before you land. But there is so much to do before you take an overseas trip, how can you fit learning another language into your already packed schedule?
  • Keep it with you – a phrase book is small enough to be carried around while travelling so you can easily carry it around in your home city. As soon as you have a minute or two spare waiting on the phone, sitting on the bus, in the supermarket queue whip it out for a quick read.
  • Learn a set number of words each day – commit to memorising a certain number of words each day counting down to your trip. Add the new words to a list each day and use this list to test yourself on the pronunciation and meaning of the word.
  • On the plane – if you don’t get time at home, there are plenty of long hours to fill on the flight to learn some phrases.
Once you feel you have memorised most of your phrase book, you can move to the next level. Find someone who is native speaking or knows the language and try some of the new words on them. If you can’t find anyone to meet face-to-face or it’s more convenient, find someone on Fiverr and conduct a video Skype call with them. The Chart & Map Shop has an extensive collection of Berlitz phrase books and dictionaries, hand books and guides and Lonely Planet phrase books and dictionaries. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call (08) 9335 8665 or visit us in-store.
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