A pocket-size English to French dictionary will come in handy, especially when you're trying to decipher a menu or other writing in French.
We recommend a couple of things. First, a good French phrasebook to help you with what you really know how to say. Second, a small English to French dictionary to look up French words.
For instance, what the heck does that sign mean that's a red-bordered circle with a red slash through it and the words "Sauf Riverains". You may know that sauf means except, but still… "Except Rivers"? "Except River Dwellers"?
But you're prepared. You pull out your handy pocket dictionary and find that riverains means residents. So the sign means, "No Entry Except Residents".
Here are our recommended French phrasebooks and English To French dictionary for travelers.
This is our favorite of French phrasebooks. It has all the standard (and necessary) things, like phrases to use in various situations, but it also starts out with a simple, easy-to-follow grammr lesson that comes in very useful when you're trying to modify some of the phrases.
Another plus are the MP3 downloads that allow you to listen to the correct pronunciations. You can use them for a little practice before you go, and then carry them with you on your iPhone.
This is currently the most popular French phrasebook and English to French dictionary. Rick Steves products are well-known and well-produced and this guide is no exception.
There are about 200 pages of useful French phrases grouped into sections such as Sleeping, Eating and Chatting. Then there are another 50 or a pages of a basic English to French dictionary, communicating tips, and travel information.
If you're going to buy just one book (either a phrasebook or an English to French dictionary) this might be the one. First of all, it's a perfect pocket size at just over 3¼ by 4½ inches.
It uses easy-on-the-eyes type colors – black for English, blue for French. There are over 300 pages of phrases (how to say English phrses in French) and then another 300 pages of French to English dictionary. There are also lists of verbs, numbers, and more.
For an English to French dictionary to take to France we usually prefer the Berlitz products. They are easy to read, even their compact dictionaries, with clear type and color differentiation between French words and English words.
This pocket size English to French dictionary (and vice-versa) is just about the biggest you'd want to carry in your pocket, purse or bag – 3¾ by 6 inches.
Although not as well known as other dictionaries, we really like the Langenscheidts. This one is geared specifically to beginning and intermdediate users, so it's perfect for travelers.
We like the size (about 4 by 6 inches) and feel of the book. The text is very easy to read and the layout is great. The dictionary covers everyday language, which makes it particularly useful. There's an extensive collection of idioms (in both French and English) that we find useful in understanding how French speakers say certain things.
This small book (64 pages) contains a basic French to English dictionary (with, as you might have guessed, 1001 words), a section of words by category, and vocabulary tips.
A little too big (width-by-height) to carry in your pocket, this is a simple guide for travelers and others who need to know only a little bit of French. But, at a price of about $2, it's hard to go wrong.
|Romantic Seine River Cruises||
The Best of
The Best Hotels
Food & Wine