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Rick Steves' French Phrase Book and Dictionary Paperback – November 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Rick Steves
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 6th edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598801864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598801866
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.5 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of 40 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe -- and Europeans -- for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice (with more tours, including London, coming in 2010).

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 40 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website (www.ricksteves.com), European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 300 departures -- attracting around 10,000 travelers -- annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (working to reform marijuana laws in the USA). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

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#83 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

I think he will enjoy trying to communicating using this book.
Marie Hopper
I expect it will be a handy reference while on vacation in France the way previous Rick Steves books have been while traveling in other countries.
Helidog1
This book is filled with French survival phrases and has pronunciation guides which are easy to understand.
llj

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By PB on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't give negative reviews on items I've purchased very often, but here goes.

When we bought this book, along with one for Italian, we thought they were great and very user friendly. This was before we actually arrived in France and Italy and really had to use them. When you're in actual situations where you need to find words and phrases fast, this book doesn't cut it, at all. The simplest of words I tried to find in the dictionary weren't there so I quickly went searching through the various sections trying desperately to find necessary words for the simplest of things like directions, traveling, etc. Amazingly, even though these phrases are the most important to use, the ones we needed, the words actually being used at the train and subway stations, weren't to be found. It was a waste.

I finally started using Google translator to put in the phrases I needed, and wrote them down. These worked much better than this book and we were able to do much more. Plus, I didn't have to spend time trying to find the right section, and the right spot where a certain phrase might, or might not, be found.

The book might be useful before you leave, to start to learn pronunciation, etc., but you could probably borrow a book from the library and learn the same thing. Save your money and go to the library, then use Google translator for phrases you'll really need for subways, trains, restaurants, etc.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By llj on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bonjour! This book is filled with French survival phrases and has pronunciation guides which
are easy to understand. The book is divided into sections beginning with "French Basics",
"Counting", "Money", and "Time", and many more. Each of the various sections are necessary
and important in order to understand and learn the French culture abroad. We used many of
Rick Steves' helpful hints while traveling. The book also contains a French/English and English/French
dictionary, although it is not all-inclusive. I highly recommend this book for a bon voyage.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By eschaf on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the number of times i referred to the book and the word or phrase was not listed vastly outnumbered the number of times i successfully found the word or phrase. We much preferred the Lonely Planet phrase book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Strong Opine on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author's organization of the material is by major topics such as Traveling, Eating, Sleeping, Money, etc. I found this very hard to use 'in the field' since I couldn't quickly guess where he put things I needed.

For example, I wanted to check the pronunciation of a letter in the French alphabet and I needed it pretty quickly since someone was waiting on me to come up with it. I couldn't find it in the book although I knew I had it seen it there when I reviewed it the night before. I gave up and muddled through. That night, I found the French alphabet pronunciation list in the "Sleeping" section of the book. IMHO, something as basic as the alphabet should have been in a section in the front or back cover or in the tear out 'cheat sheet' for quick and easy reference. At least, it should get its own section that is clearly identified in the Table of Contents rather than being listed in small print under the "Sleeping" topic.

To me, that's the perfect example of how this book was virtually useless in the field.

There were no good maps of France (in general) or Paris (in particular) or any other city. (I'm guessing many people complained about this issue and that's why the newest version (2010) alludes to a map in the title.) The only maps were crude, gross, hand-drawn outlines of the world, France, America, etc. that were useless for virtually any real-world application.

There was NO information on verb conjugation rules so, if you know something about the language, this book won't help you extend your knowledge and construct complete, proper sentences.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Jane Simpson on October 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this phrasebook because it was well organized and easy to use. My only complaint is that the phrases are not always accurate. When testing my French phrases on my French-speaking colleagues, they found my pronunciation to be very good (from the phonetic pronunciation guide) but my word choice odd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WTH on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with many/most/all of the RS books, the enthusiasm for the topic within is contagious. RS focuses on the essentials and the fun, combined in a way to make one actually want to learn french. The book is well-written and well-organized for finding what you need for any particular situation, But, a word of warning, don't wait until your plane ride to France to begin studying this tool. As with any language learning, it will take a bit of time to read through this reference, then practice using what you learned before you are required to. That said, have fun doing it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DJL on September 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this book didn't answer everything about a french restaurant menu, it did allow me to get through 10 days in France with a very minimal knowledge of the language. It's tips and organization were very useful. For example, it has a chapter on travel and then traveling by train and further by 'Getting a Ticket', 'On the Platform' etc. It was well worth the money, even if just for the safety net for those who know more than minimal french ... oui, bonjour, merci. Finally, it easily fits in your pocket.
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