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Phrase book


I am spending some time with some CDs to learn some basic spanish and I an thinking it could be useful to bring along a phrase book with me as well. Can anyone suggest a good phrase book? I'm planning to walk a portion of the Camino Del Norte and I understand that there are fewer people that have some english along that Camino.





Active Member
Hi John, I have bought the Collins Gem Spanish Phrase Book ( cost about AU$12 and only weighs 90gms although I plan to rip off the front cover and the intro pages.) It is very small, has a reasonable dictionary in the back and covers the usual subjects - travel, getting around, driving, shopping, staying somewhere, lesisure, communication, health, practicalities, menu reader etc. It's a british publication from Collins and the back cover lists the price in pounds for 3.99 so hopefully you can find one where you are, cheers, Jane


Active Member
I have carried a dictionary on several trips and found I used it very rarely - I know the basics and most words I didn't know were not in the Collins gem anyway. If you are just looking for a few key phrases I would suggest asking other pilgrims you meet in the first few days to write down what you need. Generally you need to ask/say the same things every day and most of a phrase book would be irrelevant. Depends how much you want to be able to say I guess.

I have just bought a Franklin electronic translator which is about the size of a small calculator and weighs 3 1/2 ounces. It translates between English, Spanish, French, German and Italian and although it doesn't have a huge memory I thought it would be fun to be able to communicate a little more with other non Spanish/ English speaking pilgrims.

It hasn't arrived yet so I can't tell you yet if it was a good buy or not, but would be interested to hear if anyone else has used one of these and how they got on with it.



Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
Laura - that's my experience too and I still have my original list of phrases I wrote on a piece of paper. You're absolutely right - we need to know how to find the route, where the yellow arrows are if we lose them - where the albergue/shop is and how to find a room if needs be. One up from that is asking directions and understanding the answer and the more complex words on a menu! Very quickly we learn what we need to and often that inspires confidence to learn more of the language.


Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
May I suggest a lighter solution? Take an electronic dictionary.
If you planned to carry a mobile phone, you can get one that has Windows Mobile or Palm or RIM operating systems and install a dictionary.
On my camino I took the Sovoed dictionary.
I used these for busness travel and found it very convenient. PLUS you can purchase additional dictionaries and have one for French, German, Italian, or Dutch. These can come in even more handy when you consider all the different nationalities you meet on the Camino. The weight of these phones is about the same as a small phrase book, but provide so much more value.
Currency conversion
ebook reader
electronic journal
clothing size converter
map holder
oh yea, phone!

I used a Treo 650, but would suggest the Blackberry Curve that has a GPS built in. Get a SIM card in Spain to make local calls and you are all set.



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