Thankfully verbs in Chinese don’t conjugate depending on who’s doing them, so the memories of hours and hours spent learning verb conjugation tables are still a fairly distant memory for me. However, learners of other languages – particularly romance languages – are not so lucky. These languages not only have different verb endings depending on the subject of the verb, but several different verb types. Let’s take French as an example: it has -er, -re, -ir verbs, as well as irregular and reflexive verbs. Now multiply all these verb types by the number of different verb tenses for each one (present, passé composé, imparfait, futur simple, etc.) as well as the indicative and subjunctive moods for each type and tense… you suddenly have yourself a pretty lengthy list of verb stems and endings that you simply need to know in order to communicate effectively.
The most effective way to learn these types of things is simply rote learning. However, that doesn’t mean you have to do it by mind-numbingly reading and reciting verb tables over and over again to drill them into your mind – and this is where Conjuguemos comes in.
Conjuguemos is a web site that gives you a verb, a pronoun and a tense, and asks you to compile the correct form of the verb from those clues. You can tailor your testing so it only asks you for specific verbs, specific pronouns or specific tenses. They also have flashcards for learning vocabulary, as well as vocabulary lists to help increase the number of words you know along with perfecting your verb conjugations.
The site includes tests for French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. It also includes Latin tests, but these are unfortunately not available for free users. The site does, however, work via an ‘honor system’ of sorts, in that teachers and schools can pay what they think is a fair price for unlimited use of the site.
Rote learning is never fun, but making it into some kind of game like this really does help you with your language drills. I have also mentioned memrise.com on this blog before, which is another great way to make otherwise dull drills more fun.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start testing yourself!