Show and tell: Verbix

Another site to remind us of linguistic diversity

A while ago, I posted about the online tool Forvo, a pronunciation guide and an online repository of spoken language. I am always happy to discover resources dedicated to conserving linguistic diversity and keeping the knowledge alive that there are many languages spoken in this world.  Happily, my social media feeds delivered Verbix right to my doorstep (via the Conversis Facebook page).

Verbix is a non-profit site concentrating on verb conjugation in a variety of languages. It doesn’t feature verbs from all languages of the world – which would still be an impossible feat – but it features many more languages beside the dominant European and Asian ones that usually hog all the attention.

3 things Verbix can do for you

1) You can conjugate verbs online should you be so inclined. For a very reasonable price you can download a full version for Windows that will let you look up verb forms for more than 300 languages. That might be an interesting feature for the many language learners among you. No more poring through endless dictionaries trying to find that one elusive verb form that refuses to be decoded.

2) The page on constructed languages (conlangs) might be worth your while. There were a few languages described there that I had never heard of. What kind of language do you think British is? You might be surprised. The sheer audacity of conlang creators of in trying to design something as complex as a human language from scratch makes sites like this endlessly fascinating to me.

3) The linguistic maps are my favorite part of the site, though.

  • “Where on Earth do they speak that language?”: Click on a language from an alphabetical list and see on a map where that language is spoken. Do you know where people speak Bolo or Zemba? Go have a look.
  • “Languages of the World”: An interactive map. Zoom in to an area to see which languages are spoken there. This map quite nicely illustrates the linguistic hotspots like New Guinea and Indonesia.

The confusing site structure is a shame. On the bright side, you’ll always discover something new while stumbling around on the search for a certain page. And who doesn’t like surprising new finds?

Do you know any similar sites?

Translator show and tell: Presenting little bite-sized nibbles of information of interest for translators

Image source: Unsplash, Canva

The Show and tell series is dedicated to pointing you to share-worthy people, projects, resources, tools, events and whatever else catches my eye.

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Else Gellinek is a German-American, bilingual linguist and translator specializing in PR, marketing and corporate communications as well as non-native editing. She blogs about the translation industry, freelancing, language and anything else that might tickle her fancy.

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