Universal Communicator.


96 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 978-2-89464-852-0
DDC 418




Reviewed by Lori A. Dunn

Lori A. Dunn is a ESL teacher, instructional designer, and freelance
writer in New Westminster, B.C.


The Universal Communicator from Ulysses Guides is an itty-bitty little book to fit in your back pocket while travelling to the corners of the Earth, no training required. Using pictograms, simple drawings, and even simpler photographs, the traveller can easily point to express many basic needs and desires.


While no words are necessary, the basic headings are in English, French, and Chinese characters. Some of those headings include “Travel,” “Food,” “Entertainment,” “Shopping,” “Conversing with People,” and “Health & Security.” The sturdy cover flaps have icons for both everyday and more urgent needs, and a very useful negotiating tool, with symbols for money and numbers. The index and the corresponding pages are clearly and cheerfully colour-coded, making the navigation through this 94-page booklet a breeze. Each page has its pictures and icons that can be pointed to singly or in combination to establish a specific meaning.


The Universal Communicator is not a substitute for an attempt to learn a few basic phrases in a target language, but it is a handy tool in a pinch, not to mention a great starting point for a beginner’s vocabulary list.


Janvier, Nicole, and Guy Lassonde., “Universal Communicator.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/27533.