Book Review: Berlitz Brazilian Portuguese Phrase Book & Dictionary

Berlitz Brazilian Portuguese Phrase Book & Dictionary, by Berlitz

Berlitz has acquired a good reputation for their efforts to instruct others in foreign languages, and this book certainly demonstrates why that is the case.  This book doesn’t approach Brazilian Portuguese (whose differences with mainland Portuguese I must admit I do not know very well) with a great deal of frills involved, but there is sound advice that cautions readers not to take Brazil’s love of the sun and beach as being signs of moral laxity and a great deal of assistance in seeking to help the reader with Portuguese pronunciation, which is by far the most difficult part of the Portuguese language that I have personally encountered in my own studies of the language.  All of this makes the book a handy and small phrasebook and dictionary to have as a resource when traveling to Brazil, especially if one has modest goals in terms of one’s communication and simply wants to be able to express oneself and understand menus and engage in basic conversations with others.  And as this is a worthwhile achievement in a worthwhile goal, this is an easy book to recommend to the casual reader who will be traveling to Brazil.

In terms of its contents, this book is between 200 and 250 pages long and is organized topically.  The book begins with notes on pronunciation as well as consonants and vowels and how to use this book.  After that there are various words and expressions provided with pronunciation for survival, including arrival and departure, money, getting around, places to stay, and basic communications.  After that there are expressions for eating out, meals & cooking, drinks, and what is on the menu.  A couple of sections with expressions for friendly conversation and romance cover the next section about people.  After that there are some expressions for leisure time that are organized by sightseeing, shopping, sports and leisure, and going out to enjoy the nightlife.  Another section includes special requirements for business travel, traveling with children, and asking for assistance as a disabled traveler.  After that there are various expressions for dealing with emergencies, including talking to the police, dealing with health concerns like finding a doctor and getting medicine and going to the hospital, and dealing with the basics of grammar, numbers, time, days, months, seasons, holidays, and measurements.  Finally, the book ends with both an English-Brazilian Portuguese and Portuguese Brazilian-English dictionaries which include the words spoken about in alphabetical order.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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