A phrasebook is a collection of ready-made phrases which are usually written in a foreign language and have their own translation. They usually appear in the form of questions and answers.
A phrasebook is used, above all, by tourists who travel to foreign destinations. It is often divided into several sections such as interpersonal relationships, food, shopping and hotel, and contains different background information regarding the travel destination culture as well as customs and pronunciation guidelines. Additionally, it contains a brief grammar and an index for quick reference.
A phrasebook is usually easy to read and, by having colour coded sections, it enables the user to quickly communicate and understand. Usually, this type of book comes with audio materials to support the individuals’ pronunciation and comprehension.
Hand-written phrasebooks started being used during the Mediaeval time in Europe by pilgrims who were going to the Holy Land. The languages covered at that time were Greek, the major European idioms and Hebrew. Nevertheless, printed phrasebooks started appearing in the late 15th century.
Nowadays, due to digital development, electronic phrasebooks are available online as well as on smart devices.
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