Free Mandarin Audio Phrasebook from Lonely Planet

by Bert Maxwell / Jul 31, 2008 /
Bert Maxwell's picture

Always on the lookout for deals for our wandering educators, we recently learned of a new promotion by one of our partners, Lonely Planet. Until August 24, 2008, for the Olympics in Beijing, Lonely Planet is offering free downloads of their Mandarin Audio Phrasebook! Read below for the full details. All information is provided courtesy of Lonely Planet.

Lonely Planet today announced its Audio Phrasebooks for iPhone and iPod touch are now available for sale on the Apple App Store, providing travelers with mobile access to its best-selling phrasebook content in 10 languages.

“The iPod touch and iPhone are exciting new devices for travelers that can serve a number of their needs when on the road. In combination with the Apple App Store we now have a complete ecosystem for developing and distributing a new generation of compelling travel products to our community," said Chris Boden, Lonely Planet’s director of global business development.

“It’s obvious that travelers are increasingly using technology to enhance their journeys. No matter where you are in the world, with your iPhone or iPod Touch and a little help from Lonely Planet, you'll be conversing like a local,” said Boden.

Each Audio Phrasebook application includes over 600 spoken (and phonetically written) phrases, covering everything from health (I’m allergic to antibiotics.) to going out (Where can I find a pub?). Applications are currently available for English speakers with phrase translations in Mandarin, Cantonese, Czech, Thai, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Vietnamese – with the Mandarin Phrasebook offered free for a limited time to coincide with the Beijing Olympics.

Drawing heavily on the intuitive layout of Lonely Planet’s print phrasebooks, the iPhone applications allow users to easily select a relevant phrase category such as Greetings or Eating Out, by simply tapping that category on the iPhone's touch screen and then flicking through corresponding phrases using the iPhone's innovative Multi-Touch feature to find the phrase they need. A further tap shows the foreign language translation and plays the audio through the iPhone’s speakers - enabling the phrasebooks to be used as both a translation and learning tool.

Like their much-loved guidebooks, Lonely Planet's phrasebooks have become an indispensable tool for travelers, with a portfolio covering over 100 languages from Arabic to Zulu, and annual sales of 1 million copies. The iPhone applications take the company's paper-based phrasebooks to a new level with the inclusion of spoken audio recorded using native language speakers.

Lonely Planet also plans to provide more language combinations over the next few months, such as French to Mandarin.

In a 2008 Lonely Planet survey of over 18,000 travelers worldwide, 80% said they use their mobile phone ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ when traveling. And 56% said they took their iPod with them when on holiday.

Lonely Planet’s Audio Phrasebooks are available for US$9.99 / AU$12.99 / £5.99 / €7.99  from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at

To celebrate the launch of iPhone 3G and the Beijing Olympics, free downloads of the Mandarin Audio Phrasebook are available until August 24, 2008.

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