Could I just say here how very very wonderful Kauderwelsch phrasebooks are? They have grammar explanations and morphological glosses as well as long lists of colloquial expressions and obscenities. They are the O’Reilly books of phrasebooks. Anyone who is serious about languages should make sure to learn German just in order to be able to take advantage of the series. I have about 20 of them, including Mongolian, Armenian, Irish Gaelic, Yiddish, and “Hochchinesisch.” The Finnish one was the single most useful Finnish learning aid in my first year here.
This is absolutely true, and reminds me that I should be telling my faithful readers about these marvelous books. When I was in Vienna I picked up Wolof, Kurdish, and Georgian, and I wish I’d gotten more. They are attractively laid out, use colloquial (not to mention vulgar) speech, give morpheme-by-morpheme versions as well as overall translations of sentences, have cultural explanations, and in general are as good as tiny little books that fit in your shirt pocket could possibly be. If you know German, get hold of any that strike your fancy; you won’t regret it. (And like the lady said, you might consider learning German just for this purpose. They’re that good.)