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French Phrase Book (Eyewitness Travel Guides Phrase Books) Paperback – 30 Jan 2003
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|Paperback, 30 Jan 2003||
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Quick and easy to use and of a size suitable to fit in a pocket, this French phrase book is organized by subjects such as everyday phrases, hotels and travelling around. The book uses a simple system of imitated pronunciation and includes references to the Euro currency. It also includes phrases which should help when ordering food, shopping and in cases of emergency.
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Their French phrase-book is no different, easy to use phrases with phonetics and pronunciations. Phonetics are a big one for me as it's no good knowing the order of the letters if you can't pronounce them properly (after an ill-fated trip to Budapest)! Indexed into key sections for the casual traveller, this phrase book will help you get around and ensure you're understood at the very least, even if you're casually murdering their language, one mispronounced word and misconjugated verb at a time.
Pro-tip: Where possible, rehearse what you mean to say (ie buying a train ticket) in detail, including your best attempt at pronunciation. Clear your throat then impress the foreign speaking world with your multi-lingual skills. The lady in the kiosk will smile approvingly and your family at your side will swoon imperceptibly out of admiration. The lady then asks you a question which you haven't accounted for, uh-oh. A few options here: eloquently say 'Oui' whilst nodding sagely then walk off, leaving them in confusion; revert to blustering English then open your trusty phrase-book while jabbing your finger at what you hope is the correct topic; or get the wife to interject therefore crushing what respect you had cunningly built-up.
Always go for the first option.
On a more serious note, I find it at least courteous to learn the bare basics of the host's language. Even if you're killing their language I find most people will tend to appreciate the attempt. It never ceases to shame me when I hear people complain 'they don't even speak English'. The answer is, they probably do but certainly won't do so if you can't engage the old grey matter.