Item description for Berlitz Hebrew Phrase Book (Berlitz Phrase Book) by Berlitz Guides...
The Berlitz Hebrew Phrase Book is the easiest, fastest way to understand basic Hebrew words and phrases. Providing insight into Israeli customs, culture, and cuisine, this phrase book is perfect for both business travelers and vacationers. Color-coded sections, a pronunciation guide, and a dictionary will help you communicate easily, intelligibly, and comfortably with native speakers. The Berlitz phrase book is the unparalleled market leader in its category. Author: Berlitz Publishing Book Info A Hebrew phrase book designed to help you master basic expressions, accommodations, and be able to be understood by those you come into contact within Israel. Softcover.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Berlitz Hebrew Phrase Book (Berlitz Phrase Book)?
Good for older, American travellers - but not the best Feb 25, 2007
I have the 2004 edition of the phrase book and I find that it has a few features that are nicer than other phrasebooks currently on the market, but that is lacking some important ones - especially if you want to use it to help you learn Hebrew while in Israel. Since the other main publisher of phrase books is Lonely Planet, I will specifically compare these two.
On the plus side, this Berlitz phrase book has: - Color-coded sections for some ease in finding topics (with icons on the top that can be helpful in locating a topic) - Uses American English (with British English in brackets) - Has a more extensive section if you plan on doing a lot of driving or renting a car (which younger travellers probably will not use) - Emergency numbers and phrases conviently located on the last page for quick access - A reference section for reading signs in Hebrew - A Hebrew menu reader section (with food groups) with the Hebrew in a large print - A dictionary that lists the gender of the Hebrew words - Conversions for clothing sizes and distances between US-standard to metric (but no temperature conversions!) - Larger Hebrew print than the Lonely Planet phrase book (though neither uses vowels - so you must rely on the English transliteration if you are not at least somewhat fluent in Hebrew)
The cons of this phrase book include: - The dictionary only goes from English to Hebrew (the section icons and Hebrew sub-headings may make it possible for a Hebrew speaker to find a phrase or word to show to you, but it would take some time) - There is very little grammer given (so you will have trouble creating your own phrases, if you do not already have a basis in Hebrew grammer) - The numbers are only shown in the masculine form (so you will be incorrect when telling time, counting, or referring to feminine items) - The phrases are only in the masculine form (so you will be incorrect if you are a woman speaking, or if you are speaking to a woman) and there is insufficient grammer for you to say it correctly if you do not have a background in Hebrew
Overall, because of the usefulness of the American-Hebrew phrases, (slightly) larger Hebrew print, larger-print sign and menu readers and a better section on driving terms and phrases, this may be a better choice for older Americans planning only to use this for emergencies and occassionally in Israel. For everyone else, I would recommend the Lonely Planet phrasebook.
don't fix something that's not broken Nov 21, 2003
Berlitz has an older edition of this book with a different ISBN number (283150872X.... also available here on this site) which is superior to this edition. Unlike its predecessor, this book does not include a Hebrew index or even the vowels. Also unlike the earlier edition, there is no expanded section on how to pronounce the letters and letter combinations and there are no references to the script/cursive letters - only the block/printed letters. People in Israel do not write in block - they write in script. The script looks nothing like the block in most cases, so if someone writes you a note in Hebrew, it might as well be in cuneiform, because you won't be able to decipher it with this book!
This book does add some fun features - some exploded drawings of a car and a motorcycle, with Hebrew names for all parts of a car (brake pads, clutch, gasket, etc.)... but if you are just travelling to Israel, is this information you're ever going to need?
There is a truncated section on feminine numbers, but not on masculine numbers - the complete opposite of what they did in the previous edition.
While the book is color coded by section, the Hebrew labels for these sections are no longer present, and without even a Hebrew index, a confused traveller can't even hand the book to an Israeli to ask for help when communicating.
Why Berlitz would do this is beyond me - they had already done all the hard work in the earlier edition and only needed to add the few missing items in the new edition - but instead stripped it down into a flashier, yet useless shell of its previous existence.
There are worse books to get, but why get this one when you can have a much more useful book by getting a slightly older model.
This newer edition has a few extra "modern" words like "e-mail," but the additions are few and far between and as a whole, this newer edition borders on useless because of the critical pieces that are missing.