From ordering tapas in Madrid to making new friends in Costa del Sol, it
helps to speak some of the native tongue. Rick Steves, bestselling author of
travel guides to Europe, offers well-tested phrases and key words to cover
every situation a traveler is likely to encounter. This handy guide provides
key phrases for use in everyday circumstances, complete with phonetic
spelling; an English-Spanish and Spanish-English dictionary; the latest
information on European currency and rail transportation, and even a
tear-out cheat sheet for continued language practice as you wait in line at
the Guggenheim Bilbao. Informative, concise, and practical, Rick Steves'
Spanish Phrase Book and Dictionary is an essential item for any traveler's
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (May 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566915244
- ISBN-13: 978-1566915243
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 4 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and
- Average Customer Review:
It's actually quite a nice introduction to Spain.
Funny in parts!
Here's a sample of how good it is: it lists a bunch of words that are the same
in English as they are in Spanish. What a great idea! Right there, I basically
learned a bunch of Spanish.
Ooh, and in the inside covers are "Survival Phrases". My wife and I are learning
one per day. I figure, even with just these, I'm SO much better off than the
What I know cold:
Lo siento = I'm sorry
Por favor = Please
Gracas = Thank you
Hi! Do you speak English? = Hola! Habla usted Ingles?
I'll keep working on the rest.
Rick Steves is sort of a hero of mine. I enjoy his programs on PBS.
He does sometimes tend to oversimplify travel and now languages. The real
problem with Rick is that he can't speak languages, admits that he can't and
then he goes on to write books about how to speak them.
Still, the 'blind leading the blind' has its advantages. Rick knows what works
for a 'tongue tied American' and therin lies the advantage.
You will never learn to speak Spanish with this book alone. It is a guide that
will help you.
I have gotten excellent results using Behind the Wheel Spanish 8 CDs
in my car and reviewing Rick's book out of my car.Behind the Wheel
Spanish/Complete Illustrated Text/Answer Keys/8 One Hour
This little book contains very essential phrases that you need to know. Also i
liked that the book is small enough to carry around in my travels to South
American & Mexico.
I bought this book for a trip to Argentina. I know different countries speak
variations on the same language - the English we speak isn't identical to what
you hear in the UK, for example - but I didn't know how relatively useless this
book would be there.
I found some words and phrases I needed, and the content at the beginning, the
numbers, days of the week, months, and so on, were useful, especially the
counting, because numbers are always the hardest to grasp in another language.
The dictionary, greatly truncated as these usually are, has lots of helpful
words, in both Spanish-English and English-Spanish.
I also thought the tear-out cheat sheet, printed on heavier paper, was handy,
and appreciated the sly funny stuff Steves has slipped into the book - the handy
phrases for picking up women, or for imploring the speed-demon taxi driver to
slow down. The situational phrase section, covering what you need to know to
travel, eat out, get medical care, and so on, were also useful, for the most
My complaint is that there is no acknowledgment of linguistic differences
between Spain and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world. So I couldn't use much
of the dining-out section, for example, because cuts of meat have different
names in Argentina than they do in Spain. (I can't speak for Venezuela and
Bolivia and Uruguay and Colombia and..., although I asume that they also have
their own variations on the language.) And I didn't find some of the phrases I
needed translated from Spanish to English, because the Argentines don't always
use the "standard" Spanish words.
So while I'm sure this book is excellent for travel in Spain, I think the title
is misleading - it should be retitled "Spanish Phrase Book and Dictionary FOR
TRAVELERS TO SPAIN."
It's only marginally useful in other countries.
This phrase book was a great resource. My Spanish is okay, but not stellar, and
this book gave me the extra that I needed to feel comfortable with my spoken
Spanish. When I needed to know how to say something, I was always able to either
find it, or piece it together from this book. The organization of the book made
sense to me, making it easy to find what I was looking for as quickly as
Just enough information and just the right size for taking along wherever you go
in Spain. It got me out of a jam on a number of occasions by providing just the
right phase at just the right time. Don't leave home without it.