Qu' est-ce que c'est Le Verbiage?
El Chipo de Silicio fecit . --- This page was revised as recently as 4 Jan 98.
CAVEAT SURFER! By "Verbiage" we do NOT refer to either
(1) http://www.verbiage.com -- MailBank e-mail service
(2) http://www.boutell.com/verbiage -- a defunct web(a)zine,excellent links those both of these no doubt are (or were, or might have been).
By "Verbiage" we at El Chipo de Silicio DO refer to a series of foreign language verb-drill programs for Windows 3.1 or later that share a common general format. These programs are entirely unconditional (but also entirely unvouched-for) freeware that can be downloaded from this present page. They will be of primary interest to more advanced students of the languages in question, since they do not contain any sort of built-in graduation, and thus assume that you already know the whole verbal system of Language X. Most of them can, however, be restricted to certain verbs or types of verbs or moods or tenses: the details depend on which language is involved and also on how well developed the software is, for most of these programs are still under development. If you boldly venture to download them, you are to some extent volunteering as a guinea pig. More details on this will appear below.
Here is the link:
Once this archive is downloaded into a suitable PC subdirectory and unzipped, there will be a series of executable (.EXE) files that can be run from Windows immediately: no separate SETUP or INSTALL procedure is required. If there are additional files associated with a given language, they will be explained in the archival README or runtime Help-file material for that language.
As to the evolutionary status of the individual programs,
(1) The ARABIC program (ARV.EXE) should be 99.44% accurate grammatically. It now (4 Jan 98) knows about genuine Arabic script, but it doesn't yet exactly know about it right. Running the executable will automatically install a freebie TrueType font for Windows.
(2) The (Attic) GREEK program (GKV.EXE) is just getting started and is posted here mainly in the hope that Hellenists will respond with good ideas about how it ought to be designed. Source code will be traded for such ideas. Technical persons may care to know that part of the suchness of this program (and also mutatis mutandis of its Turkish and Latin colleagues) is to use no special Greek font, executing accents and breathings and iota subscripts and so on entirely out of the vendor-provided SYMBOL.TTF font.
(3) The LATIN program (LTV.EXE) is, we hope, at least 95% correct, but it has never been thoroughly checked out. Never, indeed, even negligently checked out! Source code will be traded non sine gaudio for nit-picking feedback. If you don't want the code, please consider picking the nits anyway, just for the glory of establishing to yourself and the Muses that you know more and better Latin than we software artisans. Plus score thirty-five bonus points if you know where we swiped that "to yourself and the Muses" bit from.
(4) The TURKISH program (TKV.EXE) is in a special category, because we're trying to develop it without seriously knowing or planning to learn any Turkish worth mentioning ourselves. We would be very pleased (infinitely rejoiced?) to find a native speaker who is also a programmer.
(5) Even if you're not a student of any of these four Mediterranean languages, you might conceivably be interested in having the English-language component that is common to them all, namely plain vanilla C code for generating English verb phrases in terms of grammatical parameters, including an array of English strong verbs. There exists now VERBIAGE for four-and-a-half languages: the quintum quid, the program ENV.EXE is English-only. There's enough in it to indicate how these programs work, even if we haven't quite managed to make English look quite altogether as bewildering as Turkish.
Please address fan mail, morphological and paedagogical brickbats, and requests for additional whatever to