Mexican Spanish Phrasebook By Lonely Planet
Do you have plans to take a vacation or business trip to Mexico? If you do, you might want to pack this handy little Mexican Spanish Phrasebook. It's about the size of a wallet, so you can carry it with you as you travel around Mexico, and then you'll always have the certain phrase or word you need to express that particular thought in Spanish. This is a combination phrase book and dictionary from Lonely Planet. It's full of phrases for dozens of common situations, and it includes a 2,000 word Spanish/English - English/Spanish dictionary.
I was wondering what it's like to use this book. So I imagined I was on vacation, shopping in a store in Mexico, and that I wanted to know how to ask the store clerk how much something cost. Even though I had never used this book before, it took less then 10 seconds to find the phrase I needed. To do it, I simply flipped through the color-coded pages to the section called "Shopping", and under sub-heading called "making a purchase", the 3rd phrase is "how much is this". It really is a fast way to get the phrase you need to communicate with Spanish speakers when you find yourself out and about in Mexico.
What's In The Book?
Here's a quick cover-to-cover look at what you get in this book... By the way, to get to all the sections in the book, you don't waste time finding the table of contents, looking up your section, (social, tools, etc.) and then turning to the page st starts at. You don't have to do all that because the book is all color-coded. The book is made for speed, designed to deliver that certain phrase you need quickly.
After the introduction, which includes a map of Mexico, the book begins with the
- Tools Section - This has the information you need to handle communicating in Mexican Spanish. It begins with pronunciation, pointing out some differences between the Spanish of Spain and the Spanish of Mexico. There's a chapter designed to help you build your own sentences, so you could be able to customize the phrase in the book exactly the way you need them. Different parts of speech get touched upon, as well as sentence word order, etc. There's also a chapter on numbers and amounts, times and dates, money, etc. These are items that are common to all types of communicating in Spanish.
- Next is a section called Practical. With this section the actual phrase book begins. These are common, practical phrases for surviving in Mexico. You get phrases for getting around by bus or taxi, crossing the border, getting directions, making hotel arrangements, sight seeing, etc. There are also business-related phrases for if you go to Mexico on a business trip. Also shopping, banking, and other phrases.
- The Social section comes next. Most any time you are going to interact with other people, you'll find what you need to do it in this group of phrases. This is phrases for meeting people, going out to a restaurant or bar, talking about politics, etc. Other scenarios covered here include: expressing feelings and opinions, romance, art, sports, interests, etc.
- Food section is next. Plan on going out to enjoy some real Mexican cooking and restaurants. Bring your phrasebook. As you'd expect, you get all things food in this section. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all the phrases you need to talk about food, order food in a restaurant, and just enjoy yourself while dining out.
- The final section of phrases is something called Safe Travel. The phrases here deal with handling health issues, emergencies, talking to the police, etc. Hopefully you never have to use the phrases in this section, but it's good to know there here if you ever do need them.
- The phrasebook ends with a 2,000-word dictionary in the back of the book.
A Word About The Format
All the phrase entries begin with the English. Then the Spanish translation, thirdly the phrase is spelled out phonetically so you know exactly how to pronounce it. In fact, if you prefer, you could use this book by only looking at the English and then the phonetic spellings. No real need to look at the Spanish spelling unless you want to learn it, or need to write it out.
Word Groups Highlighted In Sections
Within the sections (Practical, Social, Food, etc), are some word groups you'll find useful. These are little groups of words with a certain theme that appear in most of the phrase sections. Here's a quick overview of the groups you'll see...
- Local Talk - It's in all the sections and it's a good source of the common, street Spanish you want to understand and be able to use. Local talk is popular expressions used in the streets of Mexico.
- Sticky Situations - This group warns you of language trouble spots you want to stay clear of. Pitfalls like similar words, words that sound the same with different meanings, etc.
- Signs - Prepares you for the words on all the various signs you'll see as you travel in Mexico. Very helpful if you plan on driving there, or just want to know your way around.
- Listen for - Alerts you to common expressions you're likely to hear. This group prepares you so you know it when you hear it.