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Rough Guide Phrase Book Spanish 2e Paperback – Sep 27 1999


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Paperback, Sep 27 1999
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 2nd Revised edition edition (Sept. 27 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858285771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858285771
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 10.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,752,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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The Rough Guide Dictionary Phrasebook ended up at the bottom of my travel bag on my recent trip to Spain. Unlike the usually outstanding country and city guides by the same publisher, this book is a real clunker and seems to be the sad result of putting a dictionary and a few travel magazine articles through a meat grinder.
Mostly the book is a dictionary. But wildly clashing graphics, typefaces, colors, text boxes compete for visual attention, forcing the reader to wade through an awful mess to find the desired word. Green text, bold typefaces, and color-highlighted text boxes containing little travel articles and dialogs might be useful tools in a language textbook or a travel magazine, but they certainly do not make a dictionary very easy to use. A dictionary should help you get right to the word you want, then give your eyes a restful way to read the definition and perhaps the pronunciation guide and other information.
Main word entries are given in exceedingly thin letters which are harder-to-see than the thick, bold green text containing information about word-gender, pronunciation and so on. Better to bold the main words (or if using a color, color only the main word and nothing else on the page) so they stand out on the page, easy to find. Bad typefaces make this book really hard to use.
Worse are the little text boxes on every other page or so, for example after the word "hotel" you'll find a few paragraphs about the different types of accommodation in Spain. So if you're looking up "hour", you won't find it just below "hotel", instead, you'll have to scan column after column, flipping to the second column of the next page, where "hour" is wedged in between yet more extraneous dialog boxes.
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By A Customer on May 6 2001
On a recent trip to Spain, my travelling companion had this book; I had a different one, and spent much of the trip trying to buy another copy of this one.
It's a very nicely laid-out book. The dictionary lay-out (it's arranged like a spanish-english/english-spanish dictionary, with useful phrases being listed along with the main word in the phrase), rather than a more tradiional phrase-book layout, made it very easy to find what was needed `on the fly'. The choice of words and phrases in the book was excellent for a traveller; by being careful in what was included, the authors managed to make a pretty complete book thats easily small enough to fit in a pocket. The introductory sections on the basics of the language were very useful; the menu reader in the back was great.
For someone who didn't know any Spanish to speak of, I was very happy with this books ease of use, small size, and low price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A very well-thought out book. May 6 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
On a recent trip to Spain, my travelling companion had this book; I had a different one, and spent much of the trip trying to buy another copy of this one.
It's a very nicely laid-out book. The dictionary lay-out (it's arranged like a spanish-english/english-spanish dictionary, with useful phrases being listed along with the main word in the phrase), rather than a more tradiional phrase-book layout, made it very easy to find what was needed `on the fly'. The choice of words and phrases in the book was excellent for a traveller; by being careful in what was included, the authors managed to make a pretty complete book thats easily small enough to fit in a pocket. The introductory sections on the basics of the language were very useful; the menu reader in the back was great.
For someone who didn't know any Spanish to speak of, I was very happy with this books ease of use, small size, and low price.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dictionary-In-A-Blender Feb. 6 2002
By Dennis2468 - Published on Amazon.com
The Rough Guide Dictionary Phrasebook ended up at the bottom of my travel bag on my recent trip to Spain. Unlike the usually outstanding country and city guides by the same publisher, this book is a real clunker and seems to be the sad result of putting a dictionary and a few travel magazine articles through a meat grinder.
Mostly the book is a dictionary. But wildly clashing graphics, typefaces, colors, text boxes compete for visual attention, forcing the reader to wade through an awful mess to find the desired word. Green text, bold typefaces, and color-highlighted text boxes containing little travel articles and dialogs might be useful tools in a language textbook or a travel magazine, but they certainly do not make a dictionary very easy to use. A dictionary should help you get right to the word you want, then give your eyes a restful way to read the definition and perhaps the pronunciation guide and other information.
Main word entries are given in exceedingly thin letters which are harder-to-see than the thick, bold green text containing information about word-gender, pronunciation and so on. Better to bold the main words (or if using a color, color only the main word and nothing else on the page) so they stand out on the page, easy to find. Bad typefaces make this book really hard to use.
Worse are the little text boxes on every other page or so, for example after the word "hotel" you'll find a few paragraphs about the different types of accommodation in Spain. So if you're looking up "hour", you won't find it just below "hotel", instead, you'll have to scan column after column, flipping to the second column of the next page, where "hour" is wedged in between yet more extraneous dialog boxes. I found this type of interruption very distracting when trying to look up a word for its Spanish equivalent, so I gave up and bought another dictionary when I was in Spain. Good phrasebooks are already published elsewhere, and so are good dictionaries. Rough Guides should stick to what they do best, namely travel guides, and leave language lessons and dictionaries to the pros.
Almost useless March 19 2006
By BangorBill - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I took this Rough Guide Spanish Dictionary Phrasebook with me on a recent two-week trip to Spain. I quit referring to it early in the trip, since it rarely had the words and phrases that I needed. It is essentially a concise dictionary containing only the most commonly used words, most of which will already be known by anyone who has had a year of college Spanish. The book includes some phrases, but they are categorized alphebetically in the dictionary rather than being grouped by frequently-encountered situations (hotel, restaurant, store, automobile, etc.), which would be more useful. The menu decoder section had the words I needed only about 2/3rds of the time, and many of them were in my regular pocket dictionary, anyway.

Perhaps the best use of this book is for a quick overview of key vocabulary for tourism by someone who has studied Spanish but who has not used it for awhile. The word pronunciation keys are potentially helpful, especially if you want to speak "high" Castellian Spanish rather than southern or Andelucian Spanish, which is more similar to Mexican Spanish. (For example, la cerveza [beer] is pronounced "thairbaytha.") My trip was limited to Andalucia, where I had no trouble being understood with my mostly Mexican-style pronunciations.

While I was in Spain I used my Webster's New World Pocket Spanish Dictionary constantly, and found it to be extremely helpful as well as convenient. It is a true pocket-sized dictionary with almost all of the words that I wanted (and all that I really needed) in a clear and concise format, and it includes conjugation models for irregular verbs.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
European vs. Latin American Spanish Oct. 21 2004
By F. Peter Harich - Published on Amazon.com
Several people have warned me that European and American Spanish are very different, as different as Oxford English and American English. I am a college graduate and I think I am very fluent in American English, but I have a little trouble understanding Tony Blair or Prince Charles when they are speaking to a British audience. I know I'm getting most of the main ideas, but I never know if I'm missing some inportant nuances, and the unusual (to me)accent is very distracting.

I have compared a few of the pronunciations and definitions in the Rough Guide with guides to Latin American Spanish, and there seem to be a lot of significant differences. I showed the Rough Guide to a co-worker from Mexico, and she said it was noticably different from the Spanish she is used to. I need to learn Mexican Spanish.

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