Although there is no substitute for a really good language teacher (preferably a native speaker), sometimes that isn’t possible or one would like additional practice between lessons.
Many years ago the Berlitz Travel Pack (which consisted of a phrase book and audio cassette in the 1980s) was my introduction to another European language not taught at school, or even at many universities. After learning the cassette almost “parrot fashion” I was immediately understood at my first attempts to use the material in remote travel situations including train stations, bus stations, and small towns. Bravo Berlitz ! I was delighted and greatly encouraged.
Not surprisingly therefore, I searched out the Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack to use together with the Dutch course I joined recently. It didn’t disappoint. The cover illustrated above is from the 1991 version. This is rather dated now, with mention of Dutch Guilders and Belgian Francs – both of which have since been replaced with the Euro. I don’t just love this teaching material for its considerable nostalgic value, but also because it is stuffed full of really practical expressions. Learn these and you won’t have to work out what to say in travel situations – the phrases will just spring to mind. Fantastic !
The downside is that this format is rather limited. Once you’ve learned all the phrases and want to move on to something more advanced, or to understand the grammar, it’s back to the bookshop to search all over again! (I’ve had fun with that step too and will include more suggestions next time.)
The up-to-date version of this Berlitz Phrase Book and CD set is available from Amazon.co.uk (priced £9.02 at the time of adding this post). You can go straight to the Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack on Amazon by clicking here: Dutch Berlitz Travel Pack.