Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Geographical Good Guide Guide

Helping you choose that vitally important, but often rather confusing, item of kit: the guidebook Berlitz Hide This… Phrase Book

What are they like?

These concise, pocket-sized phrase books offer less formal terms and phrases for a range of typical circumstances that younger travellers might encounter on holiday. They are currently available for French, Italian and Spanish.

Who are they for?

Judging from the design, the use of 'modernised' English ("Wanna speak some Spanish?" and "Partyin' with the locals") and sections that cover extreme sports, hangover cures, breaking up after a holiday fling and the best tobacco, these "ultra-hip illustrated phrase books" are definitely aimed at younger travellers.

Strong points

They're small, cheap (£4.99) and contain a variety of useful phrases.

Not so strong points

The informal, modernised English can get pretty irritating, as can the book's general tone. And if you're at all curious about a language's basic grammar and structure, you'll have to look elsewhere.

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