The Best Phrase Books are more difficult than the Easiest Travel Phrases on www.easiest-foreign-languages.com that feature foreign words similar to English.
THE BEST PHRASE BOOKS have certain characteristics that make them helpful for travelers:
PRINT SIZE large enough to read easily.
THICK PAGES sturdy enough for repeated use while traveling.
PRONUNCIATIONS to help you say each word, with dividers between syllables, and stressed syllables indicated clearly, along with simplified pronunciations using letters of the alphabet rather than unfamiliar linguistic symbols.
COLOR CODED borders for the pages of each section, with labels, for easy access when opening the book.
COLOR PRINT for foreign words so they stand out for easy access.
MENU READER to look up foods in foreign restaurants.
DICTIONARY for dual access alphabetically, both by foreign words and by your language.
MANY LANGUAGES in the series for consistency when you visit several countries.
LIMITATIONS OF PHRASE BOOK
Best Phrase Books must be small enough to slip in a pocket, and contain almost all the foreign words you'll need to get by in foreign countries.
Best Phrase Books must be small in size and thickness to be convenient to carry for quick and easy use while traveling. With size a limiting factor, there is a necessary trade-off between print size and comprehensiveness.
Some Phrase Books include as many foreign words as possible, but are forced to use tiny print size to do so, making readability difficult. And they make pages thin to include as many pages as possible, resulting in flimsy books.
Since ease of reference is so important when trying to use a Phrase Book in a foreign country, having print size large enough to read easily is more important than including the maximum number of travel words.
INFERIOR PHRASE BOOKS have certain characteristics that make them less useful for travelers:
PRINT SIZE so small that it is difficult to read.
THIN PAGES not sturdy enough for repeated use while traveling.
NO PRONUNCIATIONS to help you say each word, or no dividers between syllables, or stressed syllables not indicated clearly.
NO COLOR CODED borders with labels for the pages of each section, making access difficult when opening the book.
NO COLOR PRINT for foreign words, so they do not stand out for easy access.
NO DICTIONARY or only one-way by foreign words, so you cannot look up in your language to find foreign word.
FEW LANGUAGES in the series, resulting in inconsistency when you visit several countries and need different Phrase Books from different series.
Currently the Best Phrase Books that have the most desirable characteristics are the latest ones from the Berlitz Phrase Books series.
(But avoid older phrase books from Berlitz, which have similar drawbacks as in other series of Phrase Books from different publishers. So choose new editions of Berlitz Phrase Books, rather than unknown used versions if you cannot inspect them in person.)
Berlitz claims to have: "The world's best-selling-phrase books."