The Ultra Handy Japanese Verb Conjugator was the result of more than 12 years of pent up frustration in not being able reach fluency in Japanese. Ok, I've got the excuse that I don't actually live there, but my wife is Japanese and my son overtook me when he was 4. I can't understand what's going on in my own house half the time.
Why focus on verbs?
I had once reached a reasonable level of fluency in Spanish which made my failure in Japanese even more annoying. Even though I probably knew almost as many words and phrases in Japanese as I do in Spanish, I couldn't string them together quickly enough to partake in any sort of meaningful conversation. However I finally realised where the missing link to fluency lay - in the ability to quickly conjugate verbs.
Why the website?
A bit of investigation led me to discover that Japanese verb conjugation follows strict rules, once you know the rules you can conjugate any verb. I found the easiest way to get my head round the rules was to write it out in pseudo-code. Once I'd written out the pseudocode the next logical step was to actually produce the program to do it. I figured that this would act as extra revision and who knows - someone else might find it useful!
How does it work?
A number of functions (attempt to) do the right stuff to the dictionary form of a Japanese verb in order to conjugate it into the different tenses. This is done on the fly - you can even make up a verb as long as it looks like a Japanese verb (ends in 'u', basically).
The list of verbs is stored on a database. If I add a new verb to the database it will appear on the list and can be conjugated by clicking on it.
This is still a work in progress - both linguistically and technically - so if you see an error, or have any other comments, post a comment