The newest wave of phrase books supply so much more than simple pointers on speaking a foreign language—they offer insider information only a native would know. SpeakOut ($11.95, Map Group) provides tips on French, German, Italian, and Spanish, as well as sample menus with pictures of dishes. Also included with each book: a pen that has a built-in flashlight. • All the put-downs and come-ons your high school teacher wouldn't tell you ("Quel gros lard!" in French; "¡Ella es una zorra!" in Spanish) are revealed in the Hide This Book series ($9.95, Berlitz). Plus, you'll learn the latest technology slang.
—H. Scott Jolley