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06 May 2006

THE PYRENEES

Comedian and writer Tony Hawks bought a house in the Pyrenees to be nearer the skiing and to get a bit of tranquillity to practise the piano.  In his new book A Piano in the Pyrenees, Tony recounts how successful his search for peace and the piste has been.

PHRASE BOOKS
"Is there a restaurant, bar or pub nearby that would welcome English supporters?"; "Do you think Michael Owen will get the Golden Boot?"; "My six year old could have saved that!"  These are all phrases for a crash course in learning German for England supporters at the World Cup. But how useful is it to try and brush up on a schooldays grasp of a foreign language before we visit a country?

Sandi Toksvig is joined by Elisabeth Smith,creator of the language series "Teach Yourself Instant..." and Vince Docherty, the publisher of Berlitz's language programme, who are behind two of the last minute language courses and phrase books devised to help us try and order a meal or find a cashpoint in foreign parts.


Presented by Sandi Toksvig

Pyrenees mountains, France


This week's guests:

Tony Hawks, Comedian and author

A Piano in the Pyrenées - The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains
Publisher: Ebury Press
ISBN: 0091902673 

Elisabeth Smith was born and educated in Germany. During the last 30 years she has taught French to English children, English to Zambian students, German at evening classes and Italian to her daughter "just for fun".  Since moving to Spain she had to learn Spanish in a hurry - cutting across traditional learning methods.  This gave her the inspiration for the highly successful "Teach Yourself Instant...".  A series of books and audio visual material are aimed at those about to go somewhere foreign on holiday but who don't speak the language and want to prepare themselves without having to spend weeks on learning the language.

Vince Docherty is the publisher of Berlitz's language programme which includes language CDs, school books and courses as well as phrase books, with over 30 languages from the African to the Scandinavian and they have just added Tamil the phrase book series.  Vince speaks German, French and Spanish, and currently lives in Munich.
 
Roy goes Spanish
Take part in BBC Radio Norfolk's guide to learning Spanish with Roy Waller. Download your lesson pack from this website and then enjoy the course at your leisure as we publish them online week-by-week. 

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Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig:
The daughter of a foreign correspondent, Sandi has been travelling all her life more info

John McCarthy John McCarthy is a widely travelled journalist and presenter with a particular interest in the Middle East.
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