The International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) is an annual international competition that brings together secondary school students and experts from various fields of linguistics. Since its inception in 2003, the IOL has been hosted in a different country each summer. The competition challenges participants to analyze the grammar, structure, culture, and history of different languages and to demonstrate their linguistic abilities through puzzles and problem-solving challenges.
The IOL encourages creativity and imagination and helps participants develop skills in language analysis and problem-solving. By promoting awareness and understanding of diverse cultures and histories, the competition plays a vital role in nurturing future linguistics experts and contributing to the development of this academic field. No prior knowledge of linguistics or languages is required, as even the most challenging problems only require logical ability, patient work, and a willingness to think outside the box.
Why not give some of our past problems a try and see if you have what it takes to compete in the world’s toughest puzzles in language and linguistics?
The 20th Anniversary IOL, hosted by Bansko, Bulgaria, has successfully concluded on July 29th, 2023. A total of 205 contestants of 52 teams representing 38 countries competed in IOL 2023. You can find more information here.
Click here to find out the full list of the countries/regions that have participated in the IOL.