Welcome to the IOL

The IOL is one of 13 International Science Olympiads for secondary school students, and has been held annually since 2003. Each year, teams of young linguists from around the world gather and test their minds against the world’s toughest puzzles in language and linguistics.

No prior knowledge of linguistics or languages is required: even the hardest problems require only your logical ability, patient work, and willingness to think around corners. Give some of our past problems a try!


We would like to inform you that the local organizers of this summer's IOL in Latvia and the International Board of the IOL are currently discussing the current world-wide health situation, and considering plans for various contingencies. Of course we all hope that the event will be able to go ahead, but all options are currently being considered. Meanwhile, we understand that in many countries, plans for final selection rounds for students may be disrupted. The local organizers understand that information about names of individual competitors may therefore be delayed, and the Board accepts that some countries may have to select their team members on criteria other than those usually adopted. We appreciate everyone's continued understanding and cooperation, and are hoping for a happy and satisfactory outcome, whatever happens.

March 16, 2020

Board of IOL

Click here to find out the full list of the countries/regions that have participated in the IOL.

Ventspils 2020

Ventspils, Latvia has been chosen as the host of the 18th International Linguistics Olympiad on July 20 - 24, 2020.You can find the official website here.

More ›