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189 Reviews
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283 of 283 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Useful and Entertaining!
A friend bought Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book & Dictionary for me last summer before I embarked on my first trip abroad. My Italian speaking friend had actually lived in Italy for a few years, and after careful consideration, felt that this phrase book/guide would be useful for me. He was absolutely right.

The book proved to be invaluable. It was compact...
Published on May 22, 2002 by Marisa Martin

versus
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that good
I'm going to have to break with other reviewers here, and give my less-than-stellar review of this book. We purchased this before we left for our European trip to Paris and 3 cities in Italy. We also purchased the French book by Steve's. Before we left we thought we'd found the perfect book with the perfect phrases, although they were harder to find due to the way he lays...
Published on October 26, 2009 by PB


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283 of 283 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Useful and Entertaining!, May 22, 2002
By 
Marisa Martin "Captivated" (Lemoore, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A friend bought Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book & Dictionary for me last summer before I embarked on my first trip abroad. My Italian speaking friend had actually lived in Italy for a few years, and after careful consideration, felt that this phrase book/guide would be useful for me. He was absolutely right.

The book proved to be invaluable. It was compact enough that I could carry it around with me in a small purse/backpack that I carried with me throughout my entire trip. I did not speak any Italian whatsoever, and found the words and phrases in the book to be exactly what I needed to get around and communicate effectively. I especially appreciated the pronunciation guide to each Italian word in the book- that was extremely helpful. The practical advice given throughout the book proved to be invaluable, as well as humorous, and the menu decoder was also of particular help. I quickly got over any "qualms" I may have had over appearing too "touristy" on my trip and used the phrase book repeatedly as it proved to be a most definite asset. Thank you Rick Steves' for so accurately predicting the needs of the average beginning traveler. The book greatly enhanced a most wonderful traveling experience. In fact, I am still studying it in anticipation of my next trip to Italy.
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134 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prego..., February 22, 2001
Now if you read this book, you'd know what that means (Can I help you. Do you speak Italian? Here it is). It's not a high school langauge class, but it's a lot more fun, and with some time you'll get pretty good.
I think Rick does a great job is laying out the phrases that you'll need if you go to Italy. We're going in a few weeks, and it's really helping. Now if he could only improve the memory.
The book is small, will fit in a shirt pocket. It's broken down into sections (basics, eating, chating, etc.) so you can focus in on a section that you need, master it, then move to another section. After you've been through it all, you can then start combining different phrases and make some great sentences. It's got a lot of mnaterial in it, so start early when you decide to use it.
Thanks Rick, I actually feel that I can go into the Italian world and be somewhat understood. And, not to worry, I'll smile as I butcher the language, use my hands a lot, and laugh at the whole thing.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most helpful "little" Italian book, October 3, 2002
By A Customer
I purchased Rick Steve's Italian Phrase Book & Dictionary in preparation of my trip to Rome. Rick not only makes Italian easy, he makes it fun. This book spells out hundreds of everyday words and phrases, as well as the common phrases and words that will be used by a tourist. He gives helpful hints on how to speak with the locals and make the most of your experience. He also includes many words/phrases that many people would want to know how to say but would be embarrassed to ask someone to translate for them. His attention to detail is fantastic. Although this book will not teach you fluent Italian, it gives you a great foundational vocabulary to start you on your way. A must for anyone planning to travel to Italy! Buon viaggio!
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Basic Start, September 26, 2001
By 
Samuel A. Lappano (Mechanicsburg, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This is a nice way to start to learn "By the Phrase" Italian. Having just been to Italy, I can vouch for the generally friendly and helpful nature of most of the residents. Also, in most of the more popular tourist destinations, English is often spoken. So, if you were to work with this book and learn some of the useful, ordinary phrases, it would probably make a nice impression on the native Italians and would make you feel less like a clueless tourist. This book will not make you really fluent, nor will it teach you the real mechanics of the language. Keep in mind this a phrase based, quick start approach that is easy to read and should help the average tourist.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that good, October 26, 2009
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This review is from: Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary (Paperback)
I'm going to have to break with other reviewers here, and give my less-than-stellar review of this book. We purchased this before we left for our European trip to Paris and 3 cities in Italy. We also purchased the French book by Steve's. Before we left we thought we'd found the perfect book with the perfect phrases, although they were harder to find due to the way he lays out the book. But after much research we settled on these books and were happy....until we had to use them in France and Italy. I quickly discovered that although the book had helped with pronunciation, almost none of the words we needed were in the dictionary in the back, nor could we find simple words or phrases in the proper sections of travel and dining, that we found in real life situations. This was very disappointing, first in France then in Italy. I quickly went to Google translator, put in all the phrases I needed but did not find in the book, and wrote them all down. This helped tremendously. I also searched for words that weren't in the dictionary and wrote them down, as well. Almost every night I did this as we encountered new circumstances that the book didn't have anything helpful for. Also, when you're in the moment and you need something, trying to find first the section which seems haphazardly placed in the book, then the area of the section where the phrases are located, then go down the list for the correct phrase, is time consuming of time you don't have, and frustrating when after all that time you don't find what you need. Meanwhile the person you're trying to speak to is just staring at you. Things worked much better when I whipped out my handwritten phrases and asked my direct question. Just remember that you probably won't understand what their answer is unless it's a simple yes or no.

After this trip my advise is to borrow basic language books from the library, type out what you need and get a good pocket dictionary if you need, something with substance which this dictionary is not. Use Google translator for the most used phrases you think you'll need and go from there. Save your money on this book.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great take-along phrase book!, May 31, 2000
By A Customer
Contains the words and phrases you will actually use on a trip. Organized for easy, quick reference. Highly recommend Rick Steve's guidebooks as well. Have used them with great success in the past!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun book, June 20, 2001
By 
This book provides a myriad of helpful phrases and is convenient in size. He even includes phrases that other phrase books won't even touch (you'll know what I mean). It's very easy to use and well organized.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best travel phrase book I've come across, November 9, 2011
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This review is from: Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary (Paperback)
My wife and I were preparing a trip to Tuscany and had used some Rosetta Stone learning for our Italian. However, as we got close to departure we realized we needed something to fall back on and ordered this phrase book. It was awesome! Condensed into pocket size were all kinds of phrases that came in handy when we shopped, ate at restaurants, ordered taxis or buses etc. It also has a small dictionary at the back when you are looking for that special word but can't remember it. On top of it the author has included some outrageosly funny phrases that you would probably never use but which will give you a good laugh as you go through the pages. This is well spent money. My wife and I bought two so we could both have one in our pocket.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trip to Italy, December 9, 2012
By 
Jody Reynolds (Binghamton, New York, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary (Paperback)
I found this dictionary extremely helpful while touring Northern Italy. I do not speak any Italian and did not have a problem using the phrases in the book. The phrases are broken down by how and when you will need them like restaurant and menu items, hotels etc. Very helpful and informative.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Italian You'll Need, December 5, 2012
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This review is from: Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary (Paperback)
This is a great, pocketable phrasebook. It's well laid out for quick references, and includes a handy dictionary (both to and from Italian) in the back. Some of the best features:

* A handy "tear-out" page with the essential essentials. Pop this in your wallet, and you'll be able to communicate any time, anywhere.
* Lots of truly useful phrases other guides leave out. In the food section, you'll even learn how to tell servers about your food allergies.
* The simplest pronunciation guide I've ever encountered.
* Italian gestures. For example, if you want to indicate you want one of something, use your thumb. (You'll also learn some gestures to avoid.)
* Humor. You'll pick up a few phrases you definitely won't use in your travels... but you'll enjoy the light-hearted touch they add to learning a little Italian.

If you're middle-aged or older, you'll probably need your reading glasses to use this guide. But it'll be worth the effort. This phrasebook should make your trip to Italy a lot more fun.
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Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary
Rick Steves' Italian Phrase Book and Dictionary by Rick Steves (Paperback - November 11, 2008)
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