Reviews

My current review of Verbarrator version 1.1 2009.03.06, a very important tool for learning Spanish.

Verbarrator Version 1.0 is a software tool designed to let you build custom practise lessons to help you learn and practise Spanish verbs. It is designed for English speakers learning Spanish. It lets you do lessons, such as, where they give you the English sentence or verb and you respond with the Spanish sentence or verb, or they give you Spanish, and you respond with the English equivalent.

In February 2009, Version 1.0 was pre-released to a select number of customers who agreed to purchase the product at retail price, and in return, got to get their hands on the product before it is released generally to the public. It is a great first version that got even better with Version 1.1 in early March 2009 and, in talking with staff at the company, the 2 things I thought it needed to become excellent are on target for their Version 1.2 release. One of the biggest features in Version 1.1 was - Mac compatibility. Obviously a very important feature for any Mac user!

Who should NOT buy Verbarrator version 1.1 or later?

Who should buy Verbarrator version 1.1 or later?

Want more details on learning Spanish verbs using Verbarrator? Read on! But, please note: While I do recommend the product, I make *no* money from the product. I do not make a commission So I think my comments are completely unbiased. If you travel using a link to their site from mine, I don't get any "points" or cash - they don't even know you came from my site. So unless, you tell them that you found them from Madman Pierre, they have no way to know you came from me even if they wanted to!

So what IS Verbarrator? In simple terms: Verbarrator is a tool that helps you learn Spanish Verbs.

If you are just starting Spanish, you may not realize that verbs in Spanish are "declined" meaning that any one verb changes it form (its spelling and pronunciation) depending on its grammatical significance (I eat, you eat, they eat, to eat etc..,) and the tense (I eat, I ate, I will eat, I ate and I'm continuting to eat, I'll be eating). Some verbs are regular (and there are 3 types of regular verbs), some verbs are irregular (they follow their own sets of rules, for at least one form - it seems to me, this is most common in the standard present tense)

For most people, like me, simply being told what verb tenses are isn't enough, I need to be told, but then I need to practise, practise, practise. Verbarrator is a tool that helps you and me practise. In simplest terms, you can pick which verbs and which tenses you want to practise, then Verbarrator creates a custom lesson for you.

You can tell it to pick from the most practical "need to know" verbs, or the AR, ER or IR (the 3 regular types of verbs), and there are several other ways you can pick which verbs.

You can tell it to pick only one verb tense (Present, Future, Subjunctive Imperfect etc..,) or pick several, or pick all.

You tell it which "person" (I, you familiar, you formal etc..,) or all, or all except vosotros (the vosotros form is only used in some countries).

You tell it whether to give them in standard order, or whether to give them random. I like to use standard order when I am first learning, then random for my practise, practise, practise!

You can go from English to Spanish, or Spanish to English. I need both - some words/forms I'm better at hearing the Spanish and figuring out what the English is, others I'm better at hearing the English and coming up with the Spanish. Verbarrator lets you create the lesson YOU need.

If you have ever used a lesson that says the phrases in One language, pauses so you can say it in the other language - have you ever noticed that when you FIRST do a lesson, the pause is REALLY short - there isn't enough time to figure out how to reply, but then as you start to get better, the pause is really long and you seem to wait forever - even though the pause length stayed the same? Verbarrator lets you pick both the pause length BEFORE you reply the 1st thime, as well as the pause length to repeat the phares after you hear it. This means that if you are working on a brush up for some that you know pretty well, you can set the delays to be quick, and if you are just starting on those verbs/forms, you can set the delay to be longer. This helps you, well it helps me anyway, learn much quicker, and makes it more likely that I'll practise

That's not a complete list of the features, but it gives you the idea of what Verbarrator is all about and why it is so important to be in your toolbox if you are serious about learning Spanish. As a first release product for English people learning and practising Spanish verbs, the Verbarrator 1.0 (and now 1.1) is a great product, and the tweaking planned for Version 1.2 is also very exciting. It fits a learning niche that no other product that I am aware of fills.

The version of Verbarrator that I started with was called Version 1.0. It was the first release to early adopters. It had a limited run of only 1000 copies after which the sales were stopped to give the company time to get feedback from the early adopters and then make adjustments to the product before releasing it to the general public.

When I put my first review up, I included 3 of what I considered significant issues in my review. I explained that 'significant' did not mean that you shouldn't buy it - in fact, I still recommended that people buy it if they were serious about learning Spanish - you need it as it is and it will only get better. The folks that make Verbarrator saw both my video YouTube review and this review here and they commented, very politely, that I was in error on one (I was), and that the other two have been requested by so many people that the developers are hard at work on them for version 1.2!

There are two issues that I think should, and thankfully are being addressed:

First: Version 1.2 will be adding the ability to create MP3 files that you can use to practise while you walk, drive, stand in line in the shopping centre. This will give you the choice between creating lessons to practise by hearing them only and the current method- where you get to see as well as hear the lesson, and where you can change the lesson immediately while it is running...

Second: Verbarrator 1.1 doesn't do well at remembering you. Every time you start it, everything goes back to the defaults and you have to create the lesson from scratch. Version 1.2 is going to fix this. The suggestions I had for the Verbarrator team were:

On the really "nit picky" fronts, there are some minor irritants such as:

I can't speak much to the accuracy of the translations, after all, I'm just learning Spanish, that's why I bought the product! But when I look at the online comments, it appears that there are very few mistakes and as I understand it, all known errors - there weren't many for a product this large - where fixed in Version 1.1. And certainly, for my level of knowledge, I haven't found any mistakes in translation. The Verbarrator team was VERY quick to fix these - they obviously take their job seriously.

I'm glad I bought the product. I will continue to use it as it is, and will use it even more (by downloading to my MP3) when version 1.2 comes out. I expect it is going to be a very well received product and I am recommending my friends learning Spanish, that they sign up.

For more information from the source, visit Verbarrator

BUT IT'S NOT FOR SALE RIGHT NOW! You need to sign up!

Big Suggestion: Visit their site now, and when you decide, like me, that you should buy the product (you will if you are serious about learning Spanish)- sign up to their mailing list. This is a reputable company and they will only send you emails that are relevant to the product, and if you ask to be removed, they will remove you. This is not one of those spam email collection sites! So: sign up. That way you will be given whatever their best offer is when they start selling the general release version of the product.