The introduction to the new Lonely Planet Mandarin phrasebook begins, “It may surprise you to learn that Mandarin is not really the name of a language.” Then comes the usual nonsense about “dialects.”
Talk about getting off to a bad start!
The book takes a few more wrong turns. First, it drops Hanyu Pinyin altogether in favor of a Lonely Planet romanization that seems to have been created for this volume.
For example, “wǒr hwáy‧shwōr ēe‧dyěn” for “wǒ huí shuō yīdiǎn”.
“Wor”? “Shwor”? The whole book is like this, making the unwary traveller speak like a parody of a native of Beijing, which is not the way most people speak Mandarin.