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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 October 2012
My fiance and I am lucky enough to be going to Sorrento for our honeymoon next year, and in preperation for the trip I purchased the excellent:

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Naples & the Amalfi Coast

and also this great little phrasebook from Collins.

It is a really handy size, just 84mm by 115mm, and it contains 253 pages.

It is a paperback, and unlike the unfortunate experience of another reviewer I have found the binding to be strong and suitable for some pretty heavy use.

Despite its diminutive structure it has a considerable content:

1. Using your phrasebook
2. Pronouncing Italian
3. Top ten tips
4. Talking to people
5. Getting around
6. Driving
7. Staying somewhere
8. Shopping
9. Leisure
10. Communications
11. Practicalities
12. Health
13. Different types of travellers
14. Reference
15. Eating out
16. Menu reader
17. Grammar
18. Public holidays
19. Dictionary

Each of the main sections, 4 to 19, is colour coded down the papers edge for quick reference and and these sections are split into sub-sections concerning each subject.

The words are all spelled out phonetically and this makes it incredibly easy to find the subject, then the word and finally the pronounciation.

The dictionary contains an impressive 3000 words, and they are presented as both English to Italian and Italian to English.

Its a really great little book, and after no time my fiance and I were able to run through basic scenarios that are almost certain to occur on our honeymoon with a surprising degree of confidence!

Highly recommended.
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on 9 March 2012
Took this on a recent week's trip to Italy house hunting! Invaluable. Honestly. Not exhaustive by any means but has everything you are likely to need to get by in most situations. Really well laid out with explanations for pronunciation and lots of helpful general information too. I left my handbag in a cafe and didn't realise until we were 20 miles away, by the time we got back to the cafe I was word perfect on "Can you help me please? I think I left my bag hanging on the chair over there when I came in about an hour ago" I didn't even get to the bit about the colour and what it looked like as I was perfectly understood and my bag (miraculously) was still there behind the counter!
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on 12 September 2011
Book is really good. Has all the essential phrases you will need to get by and phonetically spells words for you to help pronounciation. Split in to sections of restaraunts etc so all the phrases you will need when ordering food are all in the same place. At this price, you really can't go wrong. Small enough to fit in the wifes handbag or in a back pocket. Bought a spanish version when I got back from holiday as I was so impressed with it.
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on 9 August 2012
I found this book very useful during my holiday in Tuscany. It covered most of the subjects and phrases I need to get by. I like the phonetic pronunciation bit. Had some good laughs with staff in bistros and shops trying to make myself understood. The people in Italy are very nice to us ignorant brits. I always find I get into trouble when people reply to me!
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on 28 May 2013
The book is pocket sized which is handy when you're out and about. It is clearly laid out into different sections to cover different scenarios such as eating out, shopping and travelling. The menu reader is particularly useful.
There is a dictionary at the back which is useful if you need to look up the meaning of a particular word.
If you're planning to travel Italy and need to learn a few key phrases etc to get by, I definitely recommend this book!
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on 28 May 2013
The positive side to the review is that the book is small enough to put in a pocket or bag so that you can take it with you anywhere.

It is packed with useful information and the translation and pronunciation guides are quite good and comprehensive. I referred to it mainly to check meanings of words - often foods when shopping or in restaurants.

My main criticism is that when checking words not all the words are in the dictionary section so you have to hunt through the Italian dictionary and then find the word isn't in there so try the menu reader or the shopping guide. After a while this gets irritating - hence only 3*s

I think that it suffers from trying to be a phrasebook and a dictionary in one place but it does make it small enough to be usable.
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on 20 August 2013
A good sized phrasebook with useful grammar/phrases etc. in. Small area for Italian to English and English to Italian words so cannot be used as a dictionary. Some things in it are a little dated - for example it says men should not go into town dressed in shorts! This maybe in some areas of Italy but definitely did not apply in the area we visited. Overall a good book which I would use again. It helps with day to day phrases and the locals appreciate that you are trying to speak as much of their language as you can!
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on 13 June 2011
This product was very useful not just because of the content but also because it was small enough to carry with you everywhere. It was nicely divided into sections and provided easy pronunciation too.

Well thumbed and will be carried everywhere.
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on 18 July 2016
I always used to like the Collins Gem series, so thought that this little book would be just what we needed when we went to Sardinia last year. I didn't find it helpful on the few occasions we used it, but still took it when we went to Italy again this year. I made an effort to look up more of the translations, especially when in a restaurant. Even though there is a dedicated Menu Reader section, which at face value looks extensive, in practice, not one of the words we searched was in there, and it wasn't like they were unusual or obscure translations. We ended up using Google translate! Certainly can't recommend.
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on 28 August 2013
It is not as easy as I thought to have a phrase book on Kindle. I think it is easier to carry around a small pocket size book when travelling in a foreign country.
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