Language Books & Guides
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is an incredible 1,600-page tome that has been used for reference by authors ranging from Terry Pratchett to J.K. Rowling in its 148-year history. This latest edition is edited by Countdown's Susie Dent and features a brand new Collection of Curious Words.
- RRP £45.00
- Save £34.00Save 74.99999999999999772626324556767940521240234375%
The huge hardback contains a catalogue of absurdities that have acquired near-mythical status and covers everything from customs to the world of newspapers and political alliances of yesteryear. The eccentric nuggets range from the Keystone Cops to the KGB!
This coffee table book really is unlike any other reference book and invites you to take the scenic route to knowledge.
CELS 9 years +9 years +
Whether you're learning Spanish for a holiday, a business trip or for your GCSE exams, the Collins Easy Learning Spanish Dictionary will help you master the basics of the language!
- RRP £9.99
- Save £7.20Save 72.00%
Covering everyday Spanish themes, the dictionary also highlights those key curriculum words that will help with exam preparation. There are clear and concise language notes that provide information on common grammatical errors and words some may find confusing, while the book also looks at key cultural differences.
All presented in Collins' accessible style, the dictionary will help you have confidence when it comes to speaking Spanish!
Featuring a host of limericks about Britain's kings and queens, this book recounts their reigns in rhymes, covering all their lives and times.
- RRP £9.99
- Save £6.50Save 65.00%
Pocket-sized and bursting with fun illustrations, each entry has a limerick and then gives further details on the events that happened during the ruler's times.
There's even a fact box that shows you how long they reigned, the reason they took the throne and their age at accession.
Please note this book contains mature themes and content unsuitable for younger readers.
It's always surprising just how many feelings and concepts that we British just don't have the words for. This gift book shows how other languages don't have this oversight.
- RRP £9.99
- Save £6.50Save 65.00%
From the vague desire to be far away to that feeling of euphoria at the start of a love affair (forelsket - thanks, Norway), this book has words you can use in everyday life from other countries to sum up your thoughts.
Part glossary, part amusing musings, with Andrew Taylor's The Greeks Had a Word For It, you'll never be lost for words again.
When a golfer hits a shot that's a bit thin, they refer to it as 'Kate Moss'; refuse collectors call maggots 'disco rice'; and when a flight attendant is carrying out the seatbelt check, they're almost certainly thinking about it as 'crotch watch'...
- RRP £14.99
- Save £10.00Save 65.9999999999999982946974341757595539093017578125%
Written by Countdown's Susie Dent, this book will help you decipher the different private languages that are used by people all around the country. Unique and witty, it reveals why every football manager speaks the same way, how ticket inspectors discreetly request back up and what a cabbie means when he says the Houses of Parliament.
Describing how we are surrounded by hundreds of tribes who all speak their own 'slanguage', this is an idiosyncratic phrasebook that reveals why different groups speak in such different ways.
Covering idioms, proverbs, word origins and the history of the English language, this four-book collection will make a perfect present for anyone who loves words.
- RRP £35.00
- Save £31.00Save 88.00000000000000682121026329696178436279296875%
- Just £1.00 per book
If you've ever noticed that 'out of sight, out of mind' and 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' can't both be true, these books are for you. They look at where these pieces of wisdom come from and how their meanings have changed and evolved over time.
Linking hundreds of words with historical upheavals and minor social changes, these books also provide explanations and meanings for thousands of rather illogical-sounding idioms.
'Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don't abandon the book.' Patti Smith, 2010.
- RRP £30.00
- Save £25.00Save 83.0000000000000017053025658242404460906982421875%
Featuring quotes from the likes of William Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and Ellen DeGeneres, 1,001 Quotations to Inspire You Before You Die is a book that you'll be fascinated by. It will be a very special gift for anyone you know who loves history and culture.
Stretching from the ancient world right through to the present day, it's full of big ideas, witty observations and important musings. The quotes cover topics including art and literature, culture, philosophy, politics, psychology and religion.
Beautifully designed, the quotations are all placed in historical context and there is detailed information regarding from where each one came.
ShaoLan Hsueh, a Taiwanese entrepreneur based in London, couldn't find an effective way of teaching her children Chinese, so she developed a groundbreaking visual method to make reading characters fun and easy. By learning the most commonly occurring characters - the building blocks of the entire language - readers of all ages can swiftly grasp basic concepts and words. Chineasy Everyday teaches over 400 of the most used and useful Chinese characters, phrases and sentences. Organized into eleven themes that reflect our daily lives, it brings the stories and myths behind the characters to life, providing a unique perspective into Chinese history and culture. "Learning Mandarin just got Chineasy...May revolutionize the teaching of Chinese around the world". (The Sunday Times).
- RRP £19.95
- Save £3.99Save 19.000000000000000710542735760100185871124267578125%
Learn British Sign Language quickly and easily with this essential guide and CD-Rom. This lively guide introduces the key hand shapes and gestures you need to communicate in British Sign Language. The illustrations depict both the actions and facial expressions used to sign accurately, while the companion CD-Rom features real-life BSL conversations in action to further your understanding. With these practical tools, you'll become an expert signer in no time! "British Sign Language For Dummies" includes: Starting to sign - learn about deaf communication and practise simple signs to get you going; Learning everyday BSL - develop the grammar and vocabulary skills that are the building blocks to using British Sign Language; Getting out and about - sign with confidence in a wide range of real-life situations, from travelling to dating; Looking into deaf life - learn about the history of the Deaf Community and how they've adapted their technology and lifestyles to suit their needs.
- RRP £19.99
- Save £3.50Save 17.00%
The British Museum's collection is one of the worlds finest and broadest, ranging from prehistoric times to the present in ancient and modern cultures around the globe. This new and updated edition includes many recent acquisitions and new discoveries, such as Picasso's stunning Vollard Suite and the intriguing Vale of York Viking hoard, and showcases a selection of more than 250 of the most beautiful and important objects drawn from across the Museum. Each object is presented with its own fascinating story and is strikingly illustrated in full colour. From the Warren Cup to Durers Rhinoceros, the Lewis Chessmen to the Aztec turquoise serpent and the Gayer-Anderson Cat, the iconic objects of the British Museum are here presented in an exciting and accessible new way, highlighting the superb craftsmanship and ingenuity of those who created each of these splendid pieces. Grouped into sections based on cross-cultural themes, such as rulers, mythical beasts, dress and the human form, the resulting juxtapositions offer intriguing new insights into these widely varied masterpieces. Introduced by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, this is a stunning overview of artistic and cultural achievement around the world.
- RRP £18.99
'More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to...' Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its mongrel origins to its status as the world's most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its deceptive complexity; its vibrant swearing to its uncertain spelling and pronunciation, Bryson covers all this as well as the many curious eccentricities that make it as maddening to learn as it is flexible to use. Bill Bryson's classic "Mother Tongue" is a highly readable and hilarious tale of how English came to be the world's language.
- RRP £9.99
- Save £1.80Save 18.00%
Sound and speak like a native. ideal for practising pronunciation, listening and becoming more confident, not just in speaking but in understanding others when abroad. Free ebook version with every copy. In all of the most common travel situations, you need the reassurance that you can communicate with ease. A reliable, portable and easy-to-use phrasebook is a travel essential, and with Collins Gem Italian Phrasebook and Dictionary, the right word will always be at your fingertips. This indispensable language guide covers the topics and phrases that crop up every day on holiday, from finding a hotel and setting up your wifi, to going shopping. Includes: * Travel information and tips * 3000 word dictionary * Comprehensive menu decoder * Grammar section * Free ebook version You will never be lost for words in your travels around Italy again. Download your free ebook at collins.co.uk/ebooks
- RRP £4.99
- Save £0.50Save 10.00%
Sound and speak like a native. Ideal for practising pronunciation, listening and becoming more confident, not just in speaking but in understanding others when abroad. Free ebook version with every copy. In all of the most common travel situations, you need the reassurance that you can communicate with ease. A reliable, portable and easy-to-use phrasebook is a travel essential, and with Collins Gem Spanish Phrasebook and Dictionary, the right word will always be at your fingertips. This indispensable language guide covers the topics and phrases that crop up every day on holiday, from finding a hotel and setting up your wifi, to going shopping. Includes: * Travel information and tips * 3000 word dictionary * Comprehensive menu decoder * Grammar section * Free ebook version You will never be lost for words in your travels around Spain again. Download your free ebook at collins.co.uk/ebooks
- RRP £4.99
- Save £0.50Save 10.00%
Sound and speak like a native. Ideal for practising pronunciation, listening and becoming more confident, not just in speaking but in understanding others when abroad. Free ebook version with every copy. In all of the most common travel situations, you need the reassurance that you can communicate with ease. A reliable, portable and easy-to-use phrasebook is a travel essential, and with Collins Gem French Phrasebook and Dictionary, the right word will always be at your fingertips. This indispensable language guide covers the topics and phrases that crop up every day on holiday, from finding a hotel and setting up your wifi, to going shopping. Includes: * Travel information and tips * 3000 word dictionary * Comprehensive menu decoder * Grammar section * Free ebook version You will never be lost for words in your travels around France again. Download your free ebook at collins.co.uk/ebooks
- RRP £4.99
- Save £0.50Save 10.00%
Agitated about apostrophes? Struggling with spelling? Dithering over dangling participles? Stumped by the subjunctive? Relax. Help is at hand...For native English speakers who realise that there is more to good English than meets the eye, but don't know where to start; for parents struggling to explain the finer details to their kids; and for English- language students everywhere ...this is the only book you need. "Grammar for Grown-Ups" guides you through the perils, pitfalls and problematic aspects of the English language, with fun test-yourself sections all the way.
- RRP £12.99
"The Rough Guide German Phrasebook" is the definitive phrasebook to help you make the most of your time in Germany. Whether you want to book a hotel room, ask what time the train leaves or buy a drink from the bar, this new phrasebook has a dictionary of over 5,000 words and will help you communicate with the locals in no time. The free audio downloads, recorded by native German speakers, can be downloaded to your computer or MP3, allowing you to listen to the correct pronunciation of essential dialogues, ideal for practicing before you go or while you're there. There is even a regional pronunciation guide and Rough Guide travel tips, so wherever you are you can get around and speak the lingo. "The Rough Guide German Phrasebook" has an extensive two-way dictionary packed with vocabulary and a helpful menu and drinks list reader, perfect for choosing the right dish in any restaurant. With this phrasebook in your pocket you will never run out of things to say! Make the most of your trip to Germany with "The Rough Guide German Phrasebook".
- RRP £5.99
- Save £0.10Save 1.0000000000000000710542735760100185871124267578125%
Whether you're learning alone or attending classes, you'll find this complete Russian language course for beginners both accessible and indispensable. Designed to provide the student with an excellent command of basic Russian (the equivalent of A level standard) this book features thirty lessons punctuated by revision exercises to ensure you have fully understood what you have learned. The emphasis is on acquiring vocabulary, experiencing conversational language and learning useful grammar. This book also includes a vocabulary of 1,500 words and a glossary of grammatical terms.
- RRP £12.99
- Save £2.60Save 20.00%
This reissue of the second edition of the Collins COBUILD English Usage has been specially designed for upper-intermediate and advanced students and teachers of English. Its comprehensive coverage of different areas of the English language helps learners to use the language naturally and effectively. The second edition of the Collins COBUILD English Usage has been thoroughly revised and updated to make it easier to use, and to include hundreds of new, updated examples, taken directly from the Bank of English corpus. It offers improved coverage of American English, numerous warning notes highlighting particular problems and graded lists of words to help learners build their active vocabulary. Presented in a clear, user-friendly style, and with logically organized Usage, Grammar and Topics sections, the Collins COBUILD English Usage gives you three books in one and is the indispensable reference tool for learning English today.
- RRP £20.00
The fast, informal way to learn to speak French French is known as perhaps the most beautiful of all languages. Listen to someone speak French-sure, you don't have a clue what they're saying, but aren't you enraptured by the sound of it? French is a beautiful language but quite difficult to learn. Whether you need to learn the language for a French class, or you travel overseas for business or leisure, this revised edition of French for Dummies can help. Written in an easy-to-follow format, it gives you just what you need for basic communication in French* Expanded coverage of necessary grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciations* A fully updated and expanded audio CD (including real-life conversations)* Useful exercises, practice questions, and a mini-dictionary Business, an upcoming class, travel - whatever your reason for wanting to learn a new language but don't have time to take a class, French For Dummies can get you well on your way to becoming fluent in no time!
- RRP £16.99
The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been acrimonious, and those involved have always really been contesting values - to do with morality, politics and class. THE LANGUAGE WARS examines the present state of the conflict, its history and its future. Above all, it uses the past as a way of illuminating the present. Moving chronologically, the book explores the most persistent issues to do with English and unpacks the history of 'proper' usage. Where did these ideas spring from? Which of today's bugbears and annoyances are actually venerable? Who has been on the front line in the language wars? THE LANGUAGE WARS examines grammar rules, regional accents, swearing, spelling, dictionaries, political correctness, and the role of electronic media in reshaping language. It also takes a look at such niggling concerns as the split infinitive, elocution and text messaging. Peopled with intriguing characters such as Jonathan Swift, H. W. Fowler and George Orwell as well as the more disparate figures of Lewis Carroll, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lenny Bruce, THE LANGUAGE WARS is an essential volume for anyone interested in the state of the English language today or intrigued about its future.
- RRP £10.99
Learn and review Italian grammar at a glance Of all the obstacles you face while learning a new language, grammar is one of the toughest. But now there's a way to learn the subtleties of grammar without all the headaches. Side by Side Italian & English Grammar is the perfect tool to help you understand the similarities and differences between English and Italian grammar. By learning Italian grammar through comparisons to your native English language, you are able to build on what you already know. You will be better able to understand and remember Italian grammar while writing, speaking, and being tested on Italian usage. This innovative grammar guide includes: Clear and comprehensive introductions to the parts of speech, explaining their functions and answering common questions about them Quick Check sections that summarize main ideas Appendices that identify possible grammar trouble spots, such as interrogative pronouns and adjectives, familiar and formal commands, and the use of determiners Numerous verb charts with side-by-side Italian and English translations for easy understanding of each tense's meaning An exercise section with answer key to test and review your knowledge Side by Side Italian and English Grammar gives you a firm grasp of the structure of both languages andsets the stage for true language mastery.
- RRP £13.99
- Save £2.80Save 20.00%
Learn to speak Dutch fast with this practical and entertaining course for beginners Learn to speak Dutch in three short months with Hugo's world-renowned book and CD pack, "The Hugo in 3 Months CD Language Course: Dutch". Practise regularly using the three 70-minute CDs and accompanying book and you'll learn to understand and speak Dutch faster than you thought possible. This title lets you pick up essential grammar and build vocabulary through word lists, key Dutch phrases and model sentences. It helps you develop conversation skills through exercises based on real-life scenarios so whether you are conversing with a tulip seller or asking directions to the Van Gogh museum, you will feel confident in understanding and speaking the language. "Hugo in 3 Months CD Language Course: Dutch" is fun, accurate and great value for money - learning Dutch has never been so easy!
- RRP £27.99
- Save £3.10Save 10.99999999999999971578290569595992565155029296875%
"Introducing Semiotics" outlines the development of sign study from its classical precursors to contemporary post-structuralism. Through Paul Cobley's incisive text and Litza Jansz's brilliant illustrations, it identifies the key semioticians and their work and explains the simple concepts behind difficult terms. For anybody who wishes to know why signs are crucial to human existence and how we can begin to study systems of signification, this book is the place to start.
- RRP £7.99
- Save £1.60Save 20.00%