Review of the The Chinese Talking Travel Guidebook.


International travel can be daunting.  Working to get around a language barrier can be a very challenging dimension to traveling, especially with complicated languages.  Traveling to China is no exception: Chinese is a difficult language to pick up (studies show that Mandarin Chinese is the hardest language for native English speakers to learn).


To help ease your mind when traveling to China, check out the The Chinese Talking Travel Guidebook.


This set features not only an extremely comprehensive language dictionary and guidebook, but also cultural tips, and country facts and information helpful to understanding the Chinese people.  In addition to being a fabulously well-thought out guide book, a talking pen (yes, you read that right) speaks quotes from the books out loud in both English and Mandarin Chinese.


To use the pen is simple: you simply tap on the power button, touch the parrot icon on top of the guidebook, and then place the pen on any phrase in the book.  The pen then states the Mandarin translation for what you are trying to say in a very clear, native speaker dialect.



  • Books and pen are pretty lightweight and would easily fit in your carryon bag.
  • Incredibly comprehensive
  • Speaks what you want to say, out loud, in perfect Mandarin Chinese
  • Can easily function as a language learning tool if interested
  • Offers tips & helps understand cultural differences
  • Detailed and well written: covers every typical travel interaction including dining out, getting around, and even unplanned emergencies and how to seek help.




  • Multiple books (although they are small) could be awkward to carry.
  • Finding your phrase could take a lot of time because the books are so comprehensive.



Overall, I recommend this product to anyone uneasy with the idea of traveling to China without any knowledge of the language.  You can feel confident that your family’s needs will be articulated with complete accuracy by using this book.  It is truly like carrying a translator in your pocket.


Disclosure:  I received a guidebook and pen for the purpose of this review.  I was not required to state any particular view; all opinions are my own.

updated: August 23 2012 by filmdncr

About the author

Katie Bodell is Trekaroo’s Blog Editor, a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. She loves the Bible, learning & research, musical theater, indy music, artsy films, languages, and diverse cultural encounters. Her husband is thankful that google can now answer all of her perpetual random questions.

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