Linguistic Olympiad-problems up on the internets, in 16 languages!

(Re-blogging from the blog of the IOL (International Linguistics Olympiad), with added gifs ^^! The IOL is a contest for secondary school students in linguistics, read more here.)

All the problems from the 12th International Linguistics Olympiad that took place in Beijing this July 2014 are now up on the official IOL-website!


The problem set is multilingual, as it has been since the start in 2003. This year we have 16 different languages: Bulgarian Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, Hungarian, Japanese, Latvian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian.

We are, as always, extremely grateful to and impressed by the Problem Committee and the Jury.

The problems are not written wholly in one language, but in a kind of “solverese”. If you want to read more about how that works, read this:

Derzhanski, Ivan (2013) Multilingual Editing of Linguistic Problems, In Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Teaching NLP and CL August 2013 Sofia, Bulgaria Association for Computational Linguistics 27–34 

Ivan Derzhanski is one of the founders of the international contest, a constant member of the problem committee and jury and co-chair of the board of the IOL.

Remember, the contestants do not only receive the problem set in different languages, they also submit (in handwriting mind you) their solutions in different languages. The jury is not divided into different subsections by language, but by problem. This means that one jury member or a group of them grade all solutions for one problem, in all languages (no doubt with the help of those with more expertise in specific languages, but still).


This is pretty impressive, to say the least, and something that we in the IOL are very proud of.

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