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on 17 April 2018
This book seemed like a good idea but when I was in Asia, it was actually really unhelpful. Basic useful phrases were hidden in odd places (like hello, how are you etc) and although there was lots of vocabulary, things like 'spicy/not spicy' or 'vegetarian' were not included! Time and time again I searched the right section only to find useless phrases that didn't help me. It also offered informal or 'rude' phrases like 'sa-wat-dee' in Thai (nobody says this, the polite and ubiquitous phrase is 'sa-wat-dee-ka' and without the ka, you're being quite blunt), which puts tourists at a real disadvantage. After trying to use this in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to great frustration, I left it in a hostel. I recommend not bothering!
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on 12 December 2016
VERY useful phrasebook- gives direction as to pronunciationand accent and has plenty of common phrases in a wide variety of languages
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on 26 October 2015
Great product, really useful when travelling to relate to people and get you buy. No particularly detailed, but it includes all the basics which is what the product is meant for. It's a pity it doesn't include a Bahasa Indonesia or Malay language guide.
One person found this helpful
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on 30 May 2015
Bought for back paler son, well pleased as very informative.
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on 3 December 2015
Informative book that can be carried everywhere. Convenient and "pocket size". Really Helpful.
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on 4 May 2015
Its fine, nothing exciting, but OK
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on 5 October 2015
Perfect book to travel the basics with. Great size with all the essentials. And speedy delivery :)
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The pheonetic system used to try to replicate the 5 languages covered (Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese) is so beyond me that when I tried, I sounded like a demented parrot with St. Vitus' Dance and diarrhoea. For instance, in Khmer, the squiggles of Khmer for "I have to use the phone" are translated into phoenetics as "kuh-nyohm drow braar du-rap-sahp". I can think of about 5 ways to say that which are all different, none of them memorable. "I'm lost" is written out as "kuh-nyohm wohng-weng pleuw". No idea which letters to stretch or where the accents fall. To me it's impenetrable.

If it stuck to the real basics in big letters WHERE IS THE BUS STATION/BANK/LAVATORY/HOSTEL/ RESTAURANT/BAR? so I could point at the phrase I may be able to use it, but it is all squashed into something the size of a pocket diary only for people with remarkable eyesight. I can't make sense of the phoenetics. Is "sohn" pronounced "sawn", "sewn" "son" or what?
I suppose that trying to put five languages that consist mainly of squiggles into something so tiny and then expect thickoes like me to be able to say any of it is really expecting too much.

If anyone with no real language skills has visited any of the countries concerned and used this book to converse in an understandable fashion, then I shall eat my underpants.

I'm probably going to take the book to steady three-legged wobbly tables in cafes, but as to speaking in Cambodia I shall communicate by acting, pointing, grimacing, grunting and smiling but hopefully not shouting too much because it gives the English a bad name.

I apologise to the author(s) who probably worked very hard on it, but after spending twenty minutes trying to make the weird sounds needed to count to five and getting it different each time and remembering none of it, I give up.
Steve Riches, Northampton, UK.
8 people found this helpful
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on 28 October 2016
Particularly useful for travelling in SE Asia
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on 11 May 2014
As my son is currently roaming around asia with this in his back pack, I assume it is doing it's job!!
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