How can I compete?

Each participating country sends 1-2 teams of four contestants each. The methods of choosing these contestants and composing the teams differ from country to country; in most cases a country’s contestants are chosen from the winners of their national Linguistics Olympiad. Check here to find out how contestants are chosen in your country.

What do I need to do to prepare?

No prior knowledge is necessary to compete at the IOL: every problem is self-contained.

The best preparation possible is to attempt as many past problems as you can. Start with the samples if you’re new to IOL problems and when you’re ready take a stab at our past problems. If you’ve done all those and can’t get enough, the national olympiads below also keep archives of past problems.

What if my country doesn’t participate?

  • If you are an organization interesting in setting up a national contest and sending a team: contact us via this form.

Note that organizations wishing to set up a national contest must be not-for-profit. No association which aims to run its national competition for financial gain will be accepted.

  • If you are a student interested in competing: We might know teachers in your country who are willing to help you assemble a team. Ask a teacher or parent to contact us

Note that the IOL is a contest for secondary-school students; current university students are ineligible to compete.

What is the accrediation status of my country?

Below is the complete list of currently accredited countries and regions as of February 2024.

Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada Anglophone, Canada Francophone, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America.

How is my country’s team chosen?

Click here to see the full list of national competitions.