Lunch Break: Turn of Phrase

Planning to travel abroad soon? Not planning to travel abroad soon but like to try your tongue with foreign languages? Inside, a handy and super cute little tool I found that makes speaking another language even more fun…

Collecting books with cute covers has become a hobby of mine. I blame Anthropologie and Coralie Bickford-Smith. (And by blame I of course mean thank.) The F. Scott Fitzgerald collection is the perfect whitegoldblacksilverdecodottedluxe touch for the bedroom — I’ve read every single of one of those books many times as Fitzgerald is my favorite author, though these copies will probably remain un-opened — while the Penguin Hardcover Clothbound editions likewise are the perfect timeless antidote to all the modern technology in my media center.

I like to stroll through the Union Square (NYC) Barnes & Noble once a week or so, usually after hitting up the Greenmarket on Saturday mornings. It’s a peaceful hunt for my next read. A few weeks ago I stumbled across the adorable phrasebooks you see above, which Anthropologie is now stocking. Everything about these books is adorable — the cover, the size (about the footprint of a postcard and the width of a stick of butter), the phrases within. Each phrase is written in English, then the foreign translation, then spelled out phonetically to ease pronunciation. These books are not Coralie Bickford-Smith covers but they do have the same fun whimsy to them.

I picked up the French and Italian books at Barnes & Noble that day. This past weekend my guy and I were having some good times throwing funny phrases at each other and decided it would be even more fun to see if other versions exist. To our delight, there are more! German, Portuguese and Spanish to be exact. We were a little sad not to find Japanese (our initial thought) or Russian, or a any other language we hoped to find. We settled on the German and the Spanish versions for my burgeoning collection.

These little books would be easy to throw in your tote while traveling. I know there are mobile apps and Google Translate, but a book is so much more romantic! And speaking of romantic, on Sunday night we had a lovely date night reading romantic phrases to each other from the romance language books. (German — fun to speak, not very romantic-sounding. Sorry Germans, we love you!) Hearing the man you love say something like Que mes baisers soient les mots d’amour que je ne te dis pas can stir quite the passionate feelings! Highly recommended.

(Translation: My kisses are the words of love I do not say.)

Looking for Something?