The International Linguistics Olympiad


General information

We at the Leibniz Centre for General Linguistics organise the German participation in the International Linguistics Olympiad (
The International Linguistic Olympiad is one of the more recent competitions among other better known championships such as the Mathematics or Chemistry Olympiad.

The Linguistics Olympiad tests the participants feeling for language, cultural imagination and logical-analytical skills, enabling the best results to not only be achieved by linguistically gifted students, but also generally and multiply gifted students.

The olympic competitions, which last less than a week, take place annually in different countries. They consist of individual competitions (on the day after arrival) in which five tasks have to be solved within six hours. On the following day, you are introduced to the host country and its people as well as the opposing teams. On the fourth day is reserved for the team task, where four students from one country (= one team) work together on a problem for four hours. The tasks usually consist of identifying structures (grammar) or the meaning of words/word groups from unknown languages. At times, solving the problems feels like deciphering hieroglyphics. On the last day, the award ceremony takes place followed by a party.

Germany participated from 2008-2011 and then again in 2018 and 2019.