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Spanish Conjumania

Version 1.2

Written by Jon Sargeant

Copyright © 1999-2003

E-mail: delta17@cox.net

Webpage: members.cox.net/~delta17/spanish/


Features:

  • Verb Tutor: Perhaps the best way to learn verb conjugation is through repetition. This utility is a great way to become familiar with verbs. Set up the level of difficulty to suit yourself, then specialize in one or more tenses. When you finish typing the verb, hit enter and you will immediately know if you got it right. If you entered the verb correctly, the next verb appears. If not, the box will turn red momentarily and the correct conjugation will appear.

  • Print Report: This is useful if you are installing the program in a school computer lab and you wish to know how many exercises your students completed. The report shows the student's name, the date, the exercises he completed, and the number he answered correctly.

  • Conjugation Wizard: This utility displays every imaginable conjugation of a verb. Enter a Spanish infinitive and the computer does the rest. I organized the conjugations into five tabs so that you can rapidly find the conjugation you're looking for. Use this utility as a quick reference.

  • Translator Utility: This feature translates verbs from English to Spanish and vice versa. Enter the verb phrase and the computer produces a list of matches. The utility is somewhat limited, however, because it only translates subject pronouns, auxiliary verbs.

  • Spanish Verb Manager: I built this program after I completed Spanish Conjumania. Use this utility to add new verbs and add additional meanings for verbs. Quickly set up the verb's conjugation by selecting the stem change or irregularity from a list. Then view a list showing the verb's conjugation in each test to make sure the verb is setup correctly.


Installation:

Spanish Conjumania consists of 4 files:

spanish.exe

spanverb.txt

spanvm.exe

spanhelp.doc


Spanish.exe is the main program. Spanverb.txt is the database consisting of about 500 Spanish infinitives and their English counterparts. Both of these are required to run the program. Spanvm.exe is an add-on application which allows you to manage the verb database. See below for details. Copy these files into the same directory. No further installation is required.


Using the Verb Tutor:

When you run Spanish Conjumania, you are greeted with a colorful menu. Below the title are two boxes titled "Language" and "Difficulty". The "Language" box is fairly self-explanatory. If you select "Translate from Spanish to English", you are presented with a Spanish verb, and you must enter the English translation. If you enter "Conjugate Infinitives", you are presented with an infinitive, a tense, and a subject, and you must conjugate it correctly. The Difficulty box has a slider bar with four settings. Each IS described below:

  • Regular Verbs: This setting uses a handful of elementary verbs with no orthographic changes, irregularities, stem changes, etc. Use this setting if you are learning a new tense, and you only want to conjugate really easy verbs.

  • Easy: These are the easiest verbs in the database. "Easy" consists of verbs you might learn in second-year Spanish.

  • Medium: This level corresponds to third-year Spanish. Use this setting if you are fairly fluent in Spanish.

  • Hard: This setting utilizes all of the verbs in the database. Use "Hard" if you are looking for a real challenge.


Once you select the language and difficulty, choose one of the eleven categories of tenses from below. A few deserve special mention. “Perfect Tenses Part 1” only employs present perfect. “Perfect Tenses Part 2” employs all perfect tenses (i.e. pluperfect, future perfect, conditional perfect). The same goes for Subjunctive Parts 1 and 2. “Subjunctive Part 1” uses only present subjunctive. “Subjunctive Part 2” uses all forms of the subjunctive tense. Finally, “Prepare Custom Lesson” lets you design your own lesson. Select this option if you want to concentrate on a certain group of verbs or tenses. When you click “Prepare Custom Lesson” a window appears divided into two sections. The top half lets you choose the verbs you wish to conjugate. Drag the desired verbs from the box on right to the box on left, or click the button pointing to the left. To remove a verb from the selection, drag the verb to the right box, or click the button pointing to the right. If you wish to conjugate all of the verbs or remove all of the verbs from the selection, use the buttons labeled “<<” and “>>”. Once you have chosen the verbs, choose the tenses in which you wish to conjugate these verbs using the two boxes beneath.


When you choose an item, a tutor window appears. Enter the correct translation in the box and press ENTER or click "OK". If you wish to return to the menu, click "Menu". To enter accents, click on the row of buttons or type CTRL plus the letter. I included the latter feature because I know how annoying it is to repeatedly position the mouse and click. To enter a tilde of the n, type CTRL + 'n'. To enter a direthesis over the 'u', type CTRL + SHIFT + 'u'. The number of verbs you conjugated correctly appears on the right. After you conjugate twenty verbs, you are returned to the menu.


How to translate a verb:

  • Subjects: It is difficult to translate Spanish subjects because the subjects, tú and vosotros, have the same meaning in English. To make matters worse, a Spanish subject's connotation often varies with the context. For example, third person singular corresponds to "he" and "you" (formal). Third person plural corresponds to "they" and "you" (plural). So, to eliminate the ambiguity between subjects, I assigned each Spanish subject one or more unique English subjects. If the Spanish subject has more than one meaning in English, you may choose any subject you like. Use the chart below to translate Spanish subjects to English and vice versa.


Spanish: English:

First person singular (yo) I

Second person singular (tú) you

Third person singular (él) he

she

it

one

First person plural (nosotros) we

Second person plural (vosotros) you guys

Third person plural (ellos, ellas) they

you all


  • Parenthetical expressions: You will notice many words in parenthesis as you are translating verbs. Do not translate these words, however. These words are here simply to show the connotation or sense of the sentence and eliminate any ambiguity. When you translate verbs in the subjunctive tense, you will see the expression "It's possible that..." or "Es posible que...". I added this to illustrate a sense of doubt, thus requiring the subjunctive. After the verb, you might see a subject in parenthesis or a direct object.

  • Commands: Commands are a bit tricky since English commands are conjugated the same way for all subjects. Hence, "Go!" might correspond to "va", "vaya", "id", or "vayan". To overcome this ambiguity, I added a clarifier to the end of the verb. Use the chart below to select the correct subject. If you see "let's" plus a command, this implies first person plural. (i.e.Vámonos! = Let's go!)


English: Spanish:

(What you will see) (What subject you should use)

[command] (familiar) Second person singular (tú)

[command] (sir) Third person singular (Ud.)

let's [command] First person plural (nosotros)

[command] (you guys) Second person plural (vosotros)

[command] (gentlemen) Third person plural (Uds.)


I employed a similar set of parenthetical expression to distinguish Spanish verbs from the present subjunctive and the present indicative (i.e. "va" by itself might be a command in the tú form or an action in third person singular). When conjugating commands alone, this does not pose a problem; however, there is a room for ambiguity when conjugating "All Tenses". Here are the expressions which indicate that the verb is a command:


(Ud.)

(Uds.)

(Vd.)

(Vds.)

(por favor)


  • General nformation about entering a translation: I tried to make the tutor as forgiving as possible. No punctuation or capital letters are necessary. In many cases the English verbs will correspond to many Spanish verbs or vice versa. For example, "to walk" is translated as "caminar", "andar", "marchar", or "pasear". If this is the case, you may choose any synonym you like. The computer will check your entry against all of the synonyms for that verb in its database.

  • Entering English verbs: You will generally enter the translation in the form:


subject + verb + [reflexive pronoun]


The subject is always required unless the verb is a command. For more information on entering a subject, see the section labeled Subjects above. To enter a command, omit the subject if the subject is "you". For example, if you see "va (por favor)", simply enter "go". If the subject is "us", precede the verb with "let's". So, if you see "vámonos", enter "let's go".


Occasionally, you will come across a reflexive English verb. For example, "mirarse"means "to look at oneself". If the verb is reflexive, add the correct reflexive pronoun to the end of the verb. In most cases, this is self-explanatory. See the chart below:


English subject: English reflexive pronoun:

I myself

you yourself

he himself

she herself

it itself

we ourselves

you guys yourselves






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