Check out the Me No Speak language guides. Currently available for Japan, Thailand, and China (just in time for the Olympics!), the Me No Speak tourist guides allow you to communicate with the locals without having to learn the language. Just flip to the page you want containing pictures and English written common tourist questions, phrases, destinations, and foods, then point to the phrase written in the country’s native language.
No need for botched pronunciations from weak transliterations or crazy foreigner miming like a drunk game of charades- just point at the phrase. It’s that easy. Each guide is tailored to the specifications of the country it’s for, so these are not generic one size fits all guides- they are well thought out and useful. A great idea!
Buy them for under $10 at Amazon: Me No Speak Guides