How you actually should use phrasebooks
Phrasebooks are a handy tool for learning foreign languages. They are especially useful if you are planning to travel abroad, but do not have time to improve your English with a tutor. In this article we will tell you how to use phrasebooks as effectively as possible, and also draw attention to the mistakes you should avoid.
What are modern phrasebooks?
A phrasebook is a special collection of phrases and expressions that helps people to communicate in a foreign language. It contains typical expressions for different situations, from greetings to complex dialogues.
In recent years, the quality of phrasebooks has grown considerably and now they can be selected not only by lexical topics (travelling, business trips, business), but also by language proficiency level.
A phrasebook usually includes sample phrases on various topics such as health, restaurant, hotel, shopping, taxi and others. The phrases are often presented in the form of dialogues, which helps you understand the context and situation in which they are best used. Of course, your interlocutor may not always use the same expressions as in the phrasebook, but you will still be able to grasp the general context and clarify any ambiguities with phrases from the relevant section.
What is the best way to work with a phrasebook?
- Decide what you need it for. If, for example, you are travelling abroad, you will probably find yourself in situations where you need to ask for directions, find the right bus, check into a hotel, buy souvenirs, and so on. Based on this list, it is worth highlighting in the phrasebook the main topics that you will focus on first. If you have very little time before your trip, learn only those phrases that cannot be explained using gestures or other non-verbal means.
- Gradually increase the complexity. Start with simple phrases and gradually move on to more complex ones. Do not try to memorise all expressions at once, it will only confuse you and discourage any desire to learn anything
- Pay special attention to words and phrases related to health and safety. It is good if you do not have to go to the hospital or the police, but an emergency situation can happen completely unexpectedly, but a minimum knowledge of the necessary vocabulary will help to avoid panic in a foreign country.
- Use different methods of memorisation. Some people use cards with words and phrases, others prefer to make up associations or take notes. Find the method that works best for you and apply it.
- When memorising phrases, be sure to say them out loud as if you were already speaking to someone. This practice will help you overcome the language barrier and speak to a foreigner faster. Many online phrasebooks provide voice-overs from native speakers, which you can follow to achieve good pronunciation.
- Don’t forget about grammar. Phrasebooks often contain ready-made phrases, but do not always explain grammatical rules. Therefore, it is also important to take the time to study the grammar of the language to understand how to construct sentences and use phrases from a phrasebook.
- Use a variety of sources. A phrasebook is a good start, but don’t limit yourself to it. Use additionally textbooks, online courses or conversation practice with native speakers. This will help you expand your vocabulary and improve your speaking skills.
A phrasebook is a useful tool for learning a foreign language, but you need to use it correctly to succeed. use it correctly. use it. Learn phrases by topic, practice pronunciation, gradually increase the difficulty, use phrases in real situations, don’t forget about grammar and use different sources to learn the language – these are all the tips we wrote about above. And remember that only practice will help you consolidate what you have learnt and start to communicate more fluently and confidently in a foreign language.
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