The Bottom Line
- Compact, pocket sized
- Divided into useful, travel-related chapters
- Includes pronounciation
- Short texts give cultural background information about Germany
- Not useful for actually learning German
- Writing is very small
- 10 chapters, divided into sections on practical matters (such as Socializing, Accommodations, Sightseeing, Emergencies etc.)
- Each chapter contains background information
- 256 pages
Guide Review - Langenscheidt's Universal Phrasebook German - Review
If you look for a practical German phrasebook to take along on your Germany travels, Langenscheidt's Universal Phrasebook German is a good choice.
It is small in size, but comes with more than 1000 essential phrases, accompanied by 2500 additional words.
You'll find useful example sentences that are practical in many travel-related situations. The book is divided into 10 chapters, and an index at the page border helps to localize the individual sections.
I was especially impressed by the "Food and Drink" chapter; it is very detailed and includes translations for each and every dish (even regional variations) you might find on a German menu.
Another great feature: Langenscheidt does not only provide useful German phrases for you to use, but also possible responses you might hear ("Die Fahrkarten bitte!" – Tickets please!).
In addition, Langenscheidt offers short texts with useful tips and cultural information about Germany.
Don't expect to learn German with this phrasebook – although there is a grammar section at the end (that Langenscheidt describes as "concise and easy-to-understand"), it is actually too short and superficial to explain the complexities of German grammar.
The small size makes the book a practical companion for your travels, but the writing is also pretty small and you might find it a bit hard to read.