International Linguistics Olympiad

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The International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) is one of the International Science Olympiads for secondary school students. Its abbreviation IOL is deliberately chosen not to correspond to the name of the organization in any particular language, and member organizations are free to choose for themselves how to designate the competition in their own language.[1] This olympiad furthers the fields of mathematical, theoretical, and descriptive linguistics.


The setup differs from most of the other Science Olympiads, in that the olympiad contains both individual and team contests. The individual contest consists of 5 problems, covering the main fields of theoretical, mathematical and applied linguistics – phonetics, morphology, semantics, syntax, sociolinguistics, etc. – which must be solved in six hours.

The team contest has consisted of one extremely difficult and time-consuming problem since the 2nd IOL. Teams, which generally consist of four students, are given three to four hours to solve this problem.

Like nearly all International Science Olympiads, its problems are translated and completed in several languages and as such must be written free of any native language constraints. However, unlike other olympiads, the translations are provided by the multilingual Problem Committee, a body of experts independent of the delegates' team leaders. Because competitors could gain some advantage if they are familiar with one or more of the language groups which are the subject of some of the assignments, problems are increasingly based on some of the world's lesser known languages. Fortunately, with more than 6,000 languages spoken world-wide (not including so-called dead languages) there are plenty to choose from. The committee has a policy of not using artificial[contradictory] or fictional languages for its problems. The presence of an independent Problem Committee and Jury means that team leaders do not have to be experts in the field (though most are): they can (and often do) work closely with their teams providing last-minute coaching throughout the week of the competition.

In any case, the most helpful ability is analytic and deductive thinking, as all solutions must include clear reasoning and justification.


The first linguistic olympiad for secondary school students was organised in 1965 in Moscow, Russia, on the initiative of Alfred Zhurinsky (1938–1991), eventually a prominent philologist but then only a fifth-year student of linguistics, in an organizing committee chaired by the mathematician Vladimir Andreevich Uspensky and we with the participation of the linguists Alexander Kibrik, Anna Polivanova and Andrey Zaliznyak.[2] It was held regularly until 1982 and resumed again in 1988.[3] Similar olympiads were founded in Bulgaria (1984),[3] Oregon, USA (1988)[4] and Saint Petersburg, Russia (1995).[3] After the foundation of the Bulgarian olympiad, teams of winners of the Moscow Linguistic Olympiad successfully competed in Bulgaria and vice versa, demonstrating good potential for international cooperation in the field.

Venues, year by year[edit]

IOL 2003[edit]

The first edition of IOL then was realized from September 6 to 12, 2003, in the mountain resort Borovetz, Bulgaria, chaired by Alexander Kibrik from Moscow State University (MSU) and with the participation of six countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Netherlands and Russia.[5] The first International Jury was composed of Ivan Derzhanski (president) (Institute for Mathematics and Informatics of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Alexander Berdichevsky (MSU), Boris Iomdin (Russian Language Institute) and Elena Muravenko (Department for Russian Language, Russian State University for the Humanities).[3] The five problems at the individual contest concerned Jacob Linzbach's "Transcendental algebra" writing system, Egyptian Arabic (Afroasiatic), Basque (Isolate), Adyghe (Northwest Caucasian), and French (Indo-European). The team contest consisted of three problems, on Tocharian (Indo-European), the use of subscripts as indices, and on performative verbs.

IOL 2004[edit]

IOL 2 was held from August 2 to 6, 2004, in the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH), in Moscow, Russia.[6] Seven countries participated, with the first participation of Poland and Serbia and Montenegro. The five problems at the individual contest were in Kayapo, Latin, English, Lakhota and Chuvash. The team problem was in Armenian.

IOL 2005[edit]

IOL 3 was held from August 8 to 12, 2005, in Leiden, Netherlands, with the participation of 13 teams from 9 countries, Finland and Romania for their first time. The five problems at the individual contest were in Tzotzil, Lango, Mansi, Yoruba and Lithuanian. The team problem was in Figuig.

IOL 2006[edit]

IOL 4 was held from August 1 to 6, 2006, at the University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.[7] Chaired by Renate Pajusalu, it received also 13 teams from 9 countries, with Lithuania sending a team for the first time. The five problems at the individual contest were in Lakhota, Catalan, Khmer, Udihe and Ngoni. The team problem was in American Sign Language.

IOL 2007[edit]

IOL 5 was held from July 31 to August 4, 2007, at the Hotel Gelios, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[8] Chaired by Stanislav Gurevich, it received 15 teams from 9 countries; Spain, Sweden and USA came for the first time. In that year, it was decided that each country can send one or two teams, consisting of four students each, with the first team's costs fully covered by the host country. Also, the host country could send a third team.[8] The five problems at the individual contest were in Braille, Movima (Isolate), Georgian (Kartvelian), Ndom (Trans-New Guinea), and correspondences between Turkish and Tatar (Turkic). The team problem was in Hawaiian (Polynesian) and focused on genealogical terms.

IOL 2008[edit]

IOL 6 was held from August 4 to 9, 2008, at the Sunny Beach Resort, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria.[9] Chaired by Iliana Raeva, it gathered 16 teams from 11 countries, including the first time for Germany, Slovenia and South Korea. The Problem Committee was chaired by Ivan Derzhanski. The five individual problems were in Micmac (Algonquian), Old Norse (North Germanic) poetry (specifically, drottkvætt), Drehu and Cemuhî correspondences (Oceanic), Copainalá Zoque (Mixe-Zoquean), and Inuktitut (Eskimo-Aleut). The team problem was about correspondences between Mandarin and Cantonese (Sinitic) using the fanqie system.

IOL 2009[edit]

IOL 7 was held from July 26 to 31, 2009, at the University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland.[10] Chaired by Michał Śliwiński, it received 23 teams from 17 countries, with Australia, United Kingdom, India and Ireland sending teams for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Todor Tchervenkov (University of Lyon, France). The subject matter of the five individual problems covered: numerals in the Sulka language (Isolate), Maninka and Bamana (Mande) languages in the N'Ko and Latin scripts, traditional Burmese (Sino-Tibetan) names and their relation with dates of birth, stress position in Old Indic (Indo-Aryan) and the relation between grammar and morphology in classical Nahuatl (Uto-Aztecan). The team problem was in Vietnamese (Austroasiatic).

IOL 2010[edit]

IOL 8 was held from July 19 to 24, 2010, at Östra Real Hostel, Stockholm, Sweden.[11] Chaired by Hedvig Skigård, it received 26 teams from 18 countries, including first time for Norway and Singapore. The Problem Committee was chaired by Alexander Piperski. The individual contest consisted of five problems covering: relations between various verb forms in Budukh (Northeast Caucasian), the Drehu (Oceanic) counting system, Blissymbolics, mRNA coding, and the connection between Sursilvan and Engadine dialects in Romansh (Western Romance). The team problem involved translating extracts from a monolingual Mongolian (Mongolic) dictionary.

IOL 2011[edit]

IOL 9 was held from July 25 to 30, 2011, at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.[12] Chaired by Lori Levin, it received 27 teams from 19 countries, including Brazil, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Adam Hesterberg. The problems of the individual contest required reasoning about Faroese (Germanic) orthography, Menominee (Algic) morphology, Vai (Mande) syntax, Nahuatl (Uto-Aztecan) semantics and the structure of the barcode language EAN-13. The team contest involved the rules and structure of Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan) poetry.

IOL 2012[edit]

IOL 10 was held from July 29 to August 4, 2012, at the University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.[13] Chaired by Mirko Vaupotic, it received 34 teams from 26 countries, first time for China, Greece, Hungary, Israel and Japan. The Problem Committee was chaired by Ivan Derzhanski. The five problems at the individual contest were in Dyirbal (Pama-Nyungan) syntax, Umbu-Ungu (Trans-New Guinea) numbers, Basque (Isolate) pronouns, Teop (Austronesian) syntax, and Rotuman (Austronesian) semantics. The team problem involved recognizing country names in Lao language (Tai-Kadai).

IOL 2013[edit]

IOL 11 was held from July 22 to 26, 2013, at the Manchester Grammar School, Manchester, UK.[14] Chaired by Neil Sheldon, it received 35 teams from 26 countries, including first time teams from Isle of Man, Taiwan and Turkey. The Problem Committee was chaired by Stanislav Gurevich. The five problems at the individual contest were about Yidiny (Pama-Nyungan) morphology, Tundra Yukaghir (Yukhagir) semantics, Pirahã (Mura) phonology, Muna (Austronesian) syntax, and telepathy based on English. The team problem involved translating Martin Seymour-Smith's list of the 100 most influential books from Georgian (Kartvelian) written in the 9th century Nuskhuri script.

IOL 2014[edit]

IOL 12 was held from July 21 to 25, 2014, at the Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China.[15] Chaired by Jiang Yuqin, it received 39 teams from 28 countries, with Pakistan and Ukraine sending teams for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Jae Kyu Lee. The five problems at the individual contest were about Benabena (Trans-New Guinea) morphology, Kiowa (Tanoan) morphophonology, Tangut (Tibeto-Burman) kinship, Engenni (Niger-Congo) syntax, and Gbaya (Niger-Congo). The team problem involved matching the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to their translations in Armenian (Indo-European).

IOL 2015[edit]

IOL 13 was held from July 20 to 24, 2015, at the American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.[16] Chaired by Aleksandar Velinov, it received 43 teams from 29 countries, with Bangladesh, France and Kazakhstan sending teams for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Bozhidar Bozhanov. The five problems at the individual contest were about Nahuatl (Uto-Aztecan) and Arammba (South-Central Papuan) numbers, morphology in the Besleney dialect of Kabardian (Abkhaz-Adyghe), Soundex, Wambaya (West Barkly) syntax and the rules of Somali (Afroasiatic) poetry. The team problem involved using extracts from a monolingual Northern Sotho (Bantu) dictionary to build a grammar and lexicon of the language.

IOL 2016[edit]

IOL 14 was held from July 25 to 29, 2016, at the Infosys Development Center in Mysore, India.[17] Chaired by Dr. Monojit Choudhury and Dr. Girish Nath Jha, it received 44 teams from 31 countries, with Nepal and Sri Lanka sending teams for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Boris Iomdin. The five problems at the individual contest were about spatial deictics in Aralle-Tabulahan (Austronesian), Luwian hieroglyphic script (Indo-European), Kunuz Nubian (Eastern Sudanic) morphosyntax, Iatmül (Sepik) semantics and Jaqaru (Aymaran) morphology. The team problem involved matching over 100 utterances in Taa (Tuu) to their IPA transcriptions.

IOL 2017[edit]

IOL 15 was held from July 31 to August 4, 2017, at Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland.[1] Chaired by Dr. Cara Greene, it received 43 teams from 27 countries, with Canada sending a Francophone team for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Hugh Dobbs. The five problems at the individual content were about Berom (Plateau) numbers, Abui (Timor-Alor-Pantar) possessives and semantics, Kimbundu (Bantu) morphosyntax, Jru' (Austroasiatic) written in the Khom script and Madak (Meso-Melanesian) morphophonology. The team problem involved establishing correspondences between 87 emojis and their descriptions in Indonesian (Austronesian).

IOL 2018[edit]

IOL 16 was held from July 26 to 30, 2018, at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic.[18] Chaired by Vojtěch Diatka, it received 49 teams from 29 countries, with Malaysia and Denmark competing for the first time.[19] The Problem Committee was chaired by Maria Rubinstein. The five problems at the individual contest concerned Creek (Muskogean) stress, Hakhun (Sal) morphosyntax, Terêna (Arawakan) phonology, counting in Mountain Arapesh (Torricelli) and kinship in Akan (Atlantic-Congo). The team problem examined phonological correspondences among the three languages Mẽbêngôkre, Xavante and Krĩkatí.

IOL 2019[edit]

IOL 17 was held from July 29 to August 2, 2019 at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Yongin, South Korea.[20] Chaired by Minkyu Kim and Yoojung Chae, it received 53 teams from 35 countries, with Nepal, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan and Colombia competing for the first time.[21] The Problem Committee was chaired by Tae Hun Lee. The five problems at the individual contest concerned Yonggom (Ok) morphosyntax, Yurok (Algic) colours, Middle Persian (Iranian) written in Book Pahlavi script, West Tarangan (Aru) reduplication and Nooni (Beboid) morphosyntax and day names. The team problem involved the symbol notation used by judges in rhythmic gymnastics.

IOL 2020[edit]

IOL 18 was to take place from July 20 to 24, 2020, in Ventspils, Latvia. Due to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, the International Board of the IOL decided to postpone the event to July 19 to 23, 2021, on which it was successfully held. The competition was organised remotely in the respective countries of each team, marking the first time that the mode of competition was adopted at the IOL. [22] Chaired by Vladimir Litvinsky, it received 54 teams from 34 countries, with Azerbaijan competing for the first time. The Problem Committee was chaired by Aleksejs Peguševs [et]. The five problems at the individual contest concerned Ekari (Paniai Lakes) numerals, Zuni (Isolate) semantics with special focus on food, Kilivila (Oceanic) morphosyntax, Agbirigba (a cant language) and its derivation from the Ogbakiri dialect of Ikwerre (Atlantic-Congo), and Rikbaktsa (Macro-Jê) morphology. The team problem involved matching sentences in passages written in Garifuna (Arawakan) with its translations, as well as acknowledging the difference between the language's male and female registers and establishing their relationships with Kari'ña (Cariban) and Lokono (Arawakan), respectively.


The different editions of IOL can be summarized on the following table:

No. Year Location Country Dates Countries Participants Webpage Problems
1 2003 Borovets  Bulgaria September 6 September 12 6 33 Link Link
2 2004 Moscow  Russia July 31 August 2 7 43 Link Link
3 2005 Leiden  Netherlands August 8 August 12 9 50 Link Link
4 2006 Tartu  Estonia August 1 August 6 9 51 Link Link
5 2007 Saint Petersburg  Russia July 31 August 4 9 61 Link Link
6 2008 Slantchev Bryag  Bulgaria August 4 August 9 11 63 Link Archived March 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Link
7 2009 Wrocław  Poland July 26 July 31 17 86 Link Link
8 2010 Stockholm  Sweden July 19 July 24 18 99 Link Link
9 2011 Pittsburgh  United States July 24 July 30 19 102 Link Archived June 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Link
10 2012 Ljubljana  Slovenia July 29 August 4 26 131 Link Archived June 30, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Link
11 2013 Manchester  United Kingdom July 22 July 26 26 138 Link Link
12 2014 Beijing  China July 21 July 25 28 152 Link Link
13 2015 Blagoevgrad  Bulgaria July 20 July 24 29 166 Link Archived May 19, 2017, at the Wayback Machine Link
14 2016 Mysore  India July 25 July 29 31[23] 167 Link Link
15 2017 Dublin  Ireland July 31 August 4 29 180 Link Link
16 2018 Prague  Czech Republic July 25 July 31 29 192 Link Link
17 2019 Yongin  South Korea July 29 August 2 35 209 Link Link
2020 Ventspils  Latvia Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[22]
18 2021 Ventspils  Latvia1 July 19 July 23 34 216 Link
19 2022 Castletown  Isle of Man July 25 July 29 Link
  1. a The competition was held remotely.

Participant countries[edit]

Countries ever participating in the IOL
  Hosts (minimum once)

Individual medalists[edit]

Year Location Gold Silver Bronze
2003 Borovets, Bulgaria Bulgaria Alexandra Petrova Russia

Boris Turovsky Russia
Eddin Najetović Netherlands

Mirjam Plooij Netherlands

Maria Skhapa Russia

Polina Oskolskaya Russia

Ivan Dobrev Bulgaria

2004 Moscow, Russia Russia Ivan Dobrev Bulgaria

Alexander Piperski Russia
Ralitsa Markova Bulgaria

Maria Mamykina Russia

Todor Chervenkov Bulgaria
Tsvetomila Mihaylova Bulgaria
Tymon Słoczyński Poland

Alexandra Zabelina Russia

Xenia Kuzmina Russia
Alexei Nazarov Netherlands
Margus Niitsoo Estonia
Natalja Hartsenko Estonia
Nikita Medyankin Russia
Sophia Oskolskaya Russia

2005 Leiden, Netherlands Netherlands Ivan Dobrev Bulgaria
Eleonora Glazova Russia
Nikita Medyankin Russia

Tsvetomila Mihaylova Bulgaria
Alexander Piperski Russia
Ivaylo Grozdev Bulgaria

2006 Tartu, Estonia Estonia Maria Kholodilova Russia

Ivaylo Dimitrov Bulgaria
Pavel Sofroniev Bulgaria

Yordan Mehandzhiyski Bulgaria

Eleonora Glazova Russia
Mihail Minkov Bulgaria
Daniil Zorin Russia
Sergey Malyshev Russia
Alexander Daskalov Bulgaria

Yuliya Taran Russia

Nikita Medyankin Russia
Diana Aitai Estonia
Paweł Świątkowski Poland

2007 Saint Petersburg, Russia Russia Adam Hesterberg United States

Łukasz Cegieła Poland

Kira Kiranova Russia

Mihail Minkov Bulgaria
Arseniy Vetushko-Kalevich Russia
Sander Pajusalu Estonia
Teele Vaalma Estonia
Angel Naydenov Bulgaria

Anna Shlomina Russia

Yordan Mehandzhiyski Bulgaria
Elizaveta Rebrova Russia
Maria Kholodilova Russia

2008 Slanchev Bryag, Bulgaria Bulgaria Alexander Daskalov Bulgaria

Hanzhi Zhu United States
Milan Abel Lopuhaa Netherlands

Anand Natarajan United States

Maciej Janicki Poland
Morris Alper United States
Dmitry Perevozchikov Russia
Łukasz Cegieła Poland
Andrey Nikulin Russia
Marcin Filar Poland

Guy Tabachnick United States

Joon Kyu Kang South Korea
Radosław Burny Poland
Diana Sofronieva Bulgaria
Jeffrey Lim United States
Karol Konaszyński Poland
Yordan Mehandzhiyski Bulgaria
Rebecca Jacobs United States
Tatyana Polevaya Russia
Georgi Rangelov Bulgaria

2009 Wrocław, Poland Poland Diana Sofronieva Bulgaria

Łukasz Cegieła Poland

Vitaly Pavlenko Russia

Andrey Nikulin Russia
Yordan Mehandzhiyski Bulgaria
Arturs Semenyuks Latvia
Irene Tamm Estonia
Łukasz Kalinowski Poland
Witold Małecki Poland
Aakanksha Sarda India
Rebecca Jacobs United States

Deyana Kamburova Bulgaria

Szymon Musioł Poland
Elena Volkova Russia
Laura Adamson Estonia
Alan Huang United States
Ben Caller United Kingdom
Tomasz Dobrzycki Poland
John Berman United States
Jun Yeop Lee South Korea
Sergei Bernstein United States
Hye Jin Ryu South Korea

2010 Stockholm, Sweden Sweden
Vadim Tukh Russia

Andrey Nikulin Russia
Ben Sklaroff United States

Martin Camacho United States

Tian-Yi Damien Jiang United States
Daria Vasilyeva Russia
Allen Yuan United States
Aleksejs Peguševs Latvia
Łukasz Kalinowski Poland
Krzysztof Pawlak Poland
Daniel Rucki Poland
Maciej Dulęba Poland

Mirjam Parve Estonia

Miroslav Manolov Bulgaria
Alexander Iriza United States
Alan Chang United States
Vitaly Pavlenko Russia
Artūrs Semeņuks Latvia
Mona Teppor Estonia
Jakob Park Germany
Diana Glazova Russia
Szymon Kanonowicz Poland
Roman Stasiński Poland
Ellen Sinot Netherlands
Younus Porteous United Kingdom
Ana Pavlović Serbia
Song Jeeun South Korea

2011 Pittsburgh, USA United States
Morris Alper United States

Eva-Lotta Käsper Estonia
Daria Vasilyeva Russia
Aleksey Kozlov Russia

Wesley Jones United States

Allen Yuan United States
Jekaterina Malina Latvia
Anton Sokolov Russia
Alexander Wade United States
Victor Valov Bulgaria
Duligur Ibeling United States
Paul Lau Australia

Min Kyu Kim South Korea

Elena Rykunova Russia
Artūrs Semeņuks Latvia
Hyun Park South Korea
Rok Kaufman Slovenia
Vadim Tukh Russia
Daniel Mitropolsky Canada
Nik Moore United Kingdom
Daniel Rucki Poland
Aaron Klein United States
Dimitar Hristov Bulgaria
Mihhail Afanasjev Estonia
Ralf Ahi Estonia

2012 Ljubljana, Slovenia Slovenia
Anton Sokolov Russia

Alexander Wade United States
Vadim Tukh Russia
Anderson Wang United States
Konrad Myszkowski Poland
Jonathan Hongsoon Kim South Korea
Marin Ivanov Bulgaria
Kristian Kostadinov Bulgaria

Darryl Wu United States

Allan Sadun United States
Eva-Lotta Käsper Estonia
Tom White United Kingdom
Daniel Rucki Poland
Aaron Klein United States
Max Allmendinger Germany
Ilya Pogodaev Russia
Ivan Tadeu Ferreira Antunes Filho Brazil
Rok Kaufman Slovenia
Hong Bum Choi South Korea
Ji Wook Kim South Korea
Sagar Sarda India

Pedro Neves Lopes Brazil

Erik Andersen United States
Magdalena Dakeva Bulgaria
Ants-Oskar Mäesalu Estonia
Omri Faraggi United Kingdom
Anna Sarukhanova Russia
Melanie Duncan United Kingdom
Baichuan Li United Kingdom
Anita Mudzhumdar Russia
Estere Šeinkmane Latvia
Yash Sinha India
Amelia Shaye Lim Jin Singapore
Edyta Gajdzik Poland
Mette-Triin Purde Estonia
Erik Tamre Estonia
Anne Ng Yin-Yi Singapore

2013 Manchester, UK United Kingdom
Alexander Wade United States

Anton Sokolov Russia
Matyas Medek Czech Republic
Gabriel Alves da Silva Diniz Brazil
Michał Hadryś Poland
Iva Gumnishka Bulgaria
Estere Šeinkmane Latvia

Omri Faraggi United Kingdom

Yash Sinha India
Polina Pleshak Russia
Kuzma Smirnov Russia
Martyna Siejba Poland
Aaron Klein United States
Airika Arrik Estonia
Boryana Hadzhiyska Bulgaria
Ivan Zverev Russia
Huisu Yun South Korea
Jeffrey Ling United States
Yulia Markova Bulgaria

Nilai Sarda India

Vesko Milev Bulgaria
Marin Ivanov Bulgaria
Ivan Lyutskanov Bulgaria
Jacob Karlsson Lagerros Sweden
Tom McCoy United States
Martyna Judd Australia
Ants-Oskar Mäesalu Estonia
Milena Velikova Bulgaria
Jeong Yeon Choi South Korea
Ekaterina Novikova Russia
Maciej Kucharski Poland
Daniel Lovsted Canada
Maximilian Schindler United States
Jiyun Sung South Korea
Sarah Tham Singapore
Jan Bajer Poland

2014 Beijing, China China
Milo Andrea MazurkiewiczPoland[note 1]

Darryl Wu United States
Daniel Lovsted Canada
Elysia Warner United Kingdom
Anastasiia Dmitrieva Russia
Danila Shumskiy Russia
Dan Mirea Romania

Ada Melentieva Ukraine

Catherine Wu United States
Chen Tianlu China
Yan Huang Canada
Alexander Babiak United States
Zhang Ming China
Lara Jerman Slovenia
Chen Run China
Keisuke Yamada Japan
Stanisław Wilczyński Poland
Hampus Lane Sweden
Deven Lahoti United States
Xue Dailin China

Anindya Sharma India

Elena Chaparova Bulgaria
Maciej Kocot Poland
Matyáš Medek Czech Republic
Rajan Dalal India
Yoojin Jang South Korea
Dmitrii Zelenskii Russia
Annika Kluge Estonia
Emma Johansen Sweden
Kevin Li United States
Gleb Nikolaev Russia
James Bloxham United States
James Abel Australia
Yulia Markova Bulgaria
Šonita Koroļova Latvia
Eliška Freibergerová Czech Republic
Yang Heran China
Vitālijs Gusevs Latvia
Glenn Ee Je Hong Singapore
Simon Huang Canada
Maria Aristova Russia

2015 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria Bulgaria
James Wedgwood United States

Samuel Ahmed United Kingdom
James Bloxham United States
Danail Penev Bulgaria
Kevin Yang United States
Liam McKnight United Kingdom
Ada Melentyeva Ukraine

Kevin M Li United States

Ying Ming Poh Singapore
Conor Stuart-Roe United States
Valentin Dimov Bulgaria
Daniil Vedeneev Russia
Stanisław Frejlak Poland
Jiu Xu China
Julian Gau United States
Dan Mircea Mirea Romania
Katarzyna Kowalska Poland
Ralitza Dardjonova Bulgaria
Anthony Bracey United Kingdom
Ivan Oleksiyuk Ukraine
Teodora-Elena Solovan Romania
Jan Petr Czech Republic
Ruowang Zhang China
Tina Vladimirova Bulgaria

Bálint Ugrin Hungary

Nilai Sarda United States
Piotr Gajdzica Poland
Zdravko Ivanov Bulgaria
Anastasiia Alokhina Ukraine
Pim Spelier Netherlands
Naomi Solomons United Kingdom
Anna Tatarenko Russia
Jaeyeong Yang South Korea
Aalok Sathe India
Anthony Bruce Ma Australia
Diana Murzagaliyeva Kazakhstan
Luke Gardiner Republic of Ireland
Nadezhda Dimitrova Bulgaria
Radina Dobreva Bulgaria
Emma McLean Canada
Irina Česnokova Latvia
Isabelle Yen Taiwan
Matija Lovšin Slovenia
Naoki Nishiyama Japan
Samvida Sudheesh Venkatesh India
Timurs Davilovs Latvia

2016 Mysore, India India
Jaeyeong Yang South Korea

James Wedgwood United States
Liam McKnight United Kingdom
Max Zhang Australia
Jan Petr Czech Republic
Katya Voloshinova Russia
Ivan Samodelkin Russia
Kristian Georgiev Bulgaria
Samuel Ahmed United Kingdom
Polina Nasledskova Russia

Margarita Misirpashayeva United States

Ioana Bouroș Romania
Shuheng Nelson Niu United States
Joonas Jürgen Kisel Estonia
Zofia Kaczmarek Poland
Tina Vladimirova Bulgaria
Matija Lovšin Slovenia
Luo Yiming China
Krzysztof Choszczyk Poland
Erik Metz United States
Anna Tatarenko Russia
Mihail Paskov Bulgaria
Julia Panchenko Russia
Shen-Chang Huang Taiwan
Henry Wu Australia
Maria Aristova Russia
Maciej Paliga Poland

Tsuyoshi Kobayashi Japan

Elena Shukshina Russia
Daniel Vedeneev Russia
Aalok Sathe India
Wyatt Reeves United States
Wang Runze China
David Avellan-Hultman Sweden
Bruno Ozaki Brazil
Amanda Kann Sweden
Agnieszka Dudek Poland
Emil Ingelsten Sweden
Bai Ruiheng China
Zuzana Gruberová Czech Republic
Yu Shuyue China
Claire O'Connor Republic of Ireland
Tsvetelina Stefanova Bulgaria
Theodor Cucu Romania
Li Huihan China
Nadezhda Dimitrova Bulgaria
Mazzag Bálint Hungary
Wojciech Piątek Poland
Siye Annie Zhu United States
Mariia Stepaniuk Ukraine
Roman Skurikhin Ukraine
Isobel Voysey United Kingdom
Yejoo Han South Korea

2017 Dublin, Ireland Republic of Ireland
Samuel Ahmed United Kingdom

Przemysław Podleśny Poland
Liam McKnight United Kingdom
Ruei Hung Alex Lee Taiwan
Zdravko Ivanov Bulgaria
Simeon Hellsten United Kingdom
Brian Xiao United States
Valentin Dimov Bulgaria
Elena Keskinova Bulgaria
Theodor Cucu Romania

Andrew Tockman United States

Takumi Yoshino Japan
Joonas Jürgen Kisel Estonia
Jan Petr Czech Republic
Harry Taylor United Kingdom
Anja Zdovc Slovenia
Eliška Freibergerová Czech Republic
Paweł Piekarz Poland
Tereza Maláčová Czech Republic
Ben Morris United Kingdom
Joseph Feffer United States
Ziyan Heidi Lei United States
Chih-Lun Julian Liu Taiwan
Assel Ismoldayeva Bulgaria
Chinmaya Kausik India
Daniel Vedeneev Russia
Szymon Stolarczyk Poland
Yao Yung-Jui Taiwan

Ekaterina Voloshinova Russia

Emil Indzhev Bulgaria
Chirag C.D. India
Iga Jaworska Poland
Chen Ziche China
Aleksei Starchenko Russia
Ana Meta Dolinar Slovenia
Siye Annie Zhu United States
Emilian Toma Romania
Can Yeşildere Turkey
Sonia Reilly United States
Alicja Maksymiuk Poland
Emil Ingelsten Sweden
Tanya Romanova Russia
Ștefan Răzvan Bălăucă Romania
Tina Vladimirova Bulgaria
Matei Costin Banu Romania
Yuito Yoneyama Japan
Liu Yuyang China
Nazar Semkiv Ukraine
Aleksej Jurca Slovenia
Martin Nikolov Bulgaria

2018 Prague, Czech Republic Czech Republic
Przemysław Podleśny Poland

Liam McKnight United Kingdom
Swapnil Garg United States
Viktor Baltin Bulgaria
Zdravko Ivanov Bulgaria
Benjamin LaFond United States
Diego Król Poland
Rujul Gandhi India
Pranav Krishna United States
Alicja Maksymiuk Poland
Benedict Randall Shaw United Kingdom
Angikar Ghosal India
Andrew Tockman United States

Jakub Petr Czech Republic

Chih-Chun Wang Taiwan
Tanya Romanova Russia
Mihir Singhal United States
Yeoh Zi Song Malaysia
Simeon Hellsten United Kingdom
Ugrin Bálint József Hungary
Emil Ingelsten Sweden
Patryk Sapała-Niedzin Poland
Tung-Le Pan Taiwan
Elena Keskinova Bulgaria
Ethan A. Chi United States
Aparna Ajit Gupte India
João Henrique Oliveira Fontes Brazil
Russell Emerine United States
You-Kuan Lin Taiwan
Illya Koval Ukraine

David Avellan-Hultman Sweden

Vlada Petrusenko Ukraine
Tsvetelina Stefanova Bulgaria
Brian Xiao United States
Ken Jiang Canada
Ye Liu China
Edmund Lea United Kingdom
Hari Raghava Prasad United Kingdom
James Phillips Australia
Yana Shishkina Russia
Gustavo Palote da Silva Martins Brazil
Ekaterina Voloshinova Russia
Eliška Freibergerová Czech Republic
Sean White United Kingdom
Vári-Kakas Andor Hungary
Árvay-Vass Iván Hungary
Takumi Nishino Japan
Angellika Vojevodina Latvia
Arkādijs Šaldovs Latvia
Kevin Liang Canada
Shinjini Ghosh India
Bianca-Mihaela Gănescu Romania
Pranava Dhar India
Martin Puškin Estonia
Hansol Pi South Korea
Georgi Yotov Bulgaria
Ziche Chen China
Tiago Scholten Netherlands
Kristina Vashpanova Russia
Danyar Kasenov Russia

2019 Yongin, Republic of Korea South Korea
Ken Jiang Canada

Wesley Zhang United States
Takumi Yoshino Japan
Zdravko Ivanov Bulgaria
Matey Petkov Bulgaria
Haokun Wu China
Sam Corner United Kingdom
Simeon Hellsten United Kingdom
Benedict Randall Shaw United Kingdom
Andrew Tockman United States

Diego Król Poland

João Henrique Fontes Brazil
Ziyan Lei United States
Tianqi Jiang Canada
Elena Keskinova Bulgaria
Jakub Petr Czech Republic
Nathan Kim Canada
Denis Korotchenko Russia
Skyelar Raiti United States
Russell Emerine United States
Gustavo Palote Brazil
Ishan Ganguly India
Harrison Moore United Kingdom
Tsvetelina Stefanova Bulgaria
Maxim Barganov Russia
Zi Song Yeoh Malaysia
Jeremy Zhou United States
Pranav Krishna United States
Jinru Bai China
Kristian Terlien Netherlands
Daniel Turaev United Kingdom

Tatiana Romanova Russia

Kövér Blanka Hungary
Ekaterina Kozlova Russia
Stanislava Khizhniakova Russia
Wang, Chih-Chun Taiwan
Vlada Petrusenko Ukraine
Viktor Baltin Bulgaria
Matei-Costin Banu Romania
Ekaterina Kropanina Russia
Angikar Ghosal India
Aparna Ajit Gupte India
Haenaem Oh South Korea
Hant Mikit Kolk Estonia
Takumi Ose Japan
Tsubasa Takahashi Japan
Dana Ospanova Kazakhstan
Nestors Starostins Latvia
Daria Kryvosheieva Ukraine
Marko Ivanov Bulgaria
Kilian Meissner United Kingdom
Blaskovics Ákos Hungary
Rok Tadej Brunšek Slovenia
Zhe Ren Ooi Malaysia
Alex Walker United Kingdom
Kristina Vashpanova Russia
Lanruo Xie China
Antara Raaghavi Bhattacharya India
Seonoo Kim South Korea
Lee, Yu-Hsuan Taiwan

2021 Ventspils, Latvia Latvia
Roman Shabanov Netherlands

Daria Kryvosheieva Ukraine
Jonathan Huang United States
Ritam Nag India
Hibiki Sugawara Japan
Jan Tryka Poland
Takamichi Hoshii Japan
Chun-Chi Lin Taiwan
Antara Raaghavi Bhattacharya India
Xie Lingrui Hong Kong
Mihai-Alexandru Bratu Romania
Elvira Ageeva Russia

Aleksandra Limonova Russia

Tam Lok Hang Hong Kong
Alexander Dimitrov Bulgaria
Bartosz Chomiński Poland
Aleksandra Naydenova Bulgaria
Ip Tsz Oi Hong Kong
Leonid Zaitsev Russia
Toh Jing En Daniel Singapore
Grigorii Solnyshkin Russia
Artem Borisov Russia
Nigel Yong Singapore
Dylan Lim Chun Kiat Singapore
Samantha Kao Taiwan
Ema Grofová Czech Republic
Miklós Gyetvai Hungary
Zijing Wei China
Olga Zinovyeva Russia
Rio Ogawa Japan
Walt Kraeger Netherlands

Lili Probojcsevity Hungary

Shao-Chi Ou Taiwan
Deyana Shevchenko Bulgaria
Kunaal Chandrashekar Canada
Oliver Tennisberg Estonia
Jeremy Zhou United States
Vedant Singh India
Miłosz Muszyński Poland
Riley Kong United States
Ng Truman Toby Hong Kong
Vasilena Lazarova Bulgaria
Matic Petek Slovenia
Mihaela Koleva Bulgaria
Ilya Tarasov Russia
Ivaylo Dimitrov Bulgaria
Nicoleta Dobrică Romania
Toby Collins United Kingdom
Kyuhan Kyung South Korea
Yi-Ning Chang Taiwan
Louis Cho Germany
Jonathan Song United States
Bianca-Maria Crișan Romania
Shashwat Mundra India
Zekai Wu China
Vishruth Ram Konakanchi India
Benjamin Myer Neithardt United States
Kent Do Sweden
Oscar Despard Republic of Ireland
Nestors Starostins Latvia
Noah Gorrell Australia
Yen-Hsi Huang Taiwan
Darya Peressypkina Kazakhstan
Yage Grace Xin China

Team medals[edit]

Nbr Year Location Team Gold Team Silver Team Bronze Winning team in individual competition
1 2003 Borovets, Bulgaria Netherlands Netherlands Russia-StPetersburg Russia Russia-Moscow Russia Netherlands Netherlands
2 2004 Moskva, Russia Russia-StPetersburg Russia Latvia Latvia Bulgaria-1 Bulgaria Bulgaria-1 Bulgaria
3 2005 Leiden, The Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Russia-Moscow Russia Russia-StPetersburg Russia Bulgaria-1 Bulgaria
4 2006 Tartu, Estonia Bulgaria-2 Bulgaria Netherlands Netherlands Poland-1 Poland Bulgaria-1 Bulgaria
5 2007 Sankt-Peterburg, Russia USA-2 United States
Moscow Russia
Bulgaria-1 Bulgaria
Bulgaria-2 Bulgaria
None Awarded Estonia Estonia
6 2008 Slantchev Bryag, Bulgaria USA-2 United States
Bulgaria-East Bulgaria
Netherlands Netherlands
USA-1 United States
None Awarded USA United States
7 2009 Wrocław, Poland USA-Red United States Korea-1 South Korea Russia-Moscow Russia Russia-Moscow Russia
8 2010 Stockholm, Sweden Latvia Latvia Russia-Moscow Russia Poland-2 Poland USA-Blue United States
9 2011 Pittsburgh, USA USA-Red United States Russia-StPetersburg Russia Russia-Moscow Russia USA-Red United States
10 2012 Ljubljana, Slovenia USA-Blue United States Netherlands Netherlands Poland-2 Poland Russia-StPetersburg Russia
11 2013 Manchester, UK USA-Red United States Russia-StPetersburg Russia Bulgaria-1 Bulgaria
Romania Romania
USA-Red United States
12 2014 Beijing, China USA-Red United States Russia-StPetersburg Russia Russia-Moscow Russia USA-Red United States
13 2015 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria UK-West United Kingdom USA-Red United States Poland-White Poland
Netherlands Netherlands
USA-Red United States
14 2016 Mysore, India Sweden Sweden Australia-1 Australia UK United Kingdom USA-Red United States
15 2017 Dublin, Ireland Taiwan-TaiTWO Taiwan Poland-Ą Poland Slovenia Slovenia UK-K United Kingdom
16 2018 Prague, Czech Republic USA-Blue United States USA-Red United States
Bulgaria 1 Bulgaria
Pões Brazil
UK-U United Kingdom
Tým křivopřísežníků Czech Republic
USA-Blue United States
17 2019 Yongin, Republic of Korea Slovenia Slovenia China KUN China
Russia Strelka Russia
Poland Bóbr Poland
Russia Belka Russia
Malaysia AMalaysia
USA Red United States
18 2021 Ventspils, Latvia Ukraine і Ukraine USA Red United States India Saffron India
Canada Moose Canada
Hong Kong EAT Hong Kong

All-time medal table[edit]

Only countries with at least 1 gold medal are listed. The data is accurate up to 2021.[24]

Rank Country Appearances Gold Silver Bronze Total Honorable Mentions
1  United States 14 20 35 24 79 22
2  Bulgaria 18 19 22 33 74 23
3  Russia 18 17 31 40 88 21
4  United Kingdom 12 13 8 14 35 16
5  Poland 17 10 23 18 51 30
6  India 12 4 6 16 26 11
7  Romania 10 3 3 8 14 4
8  Japan 9 3 3 6 12 12
9  Netherlands 18 3 3 4 10 19
10  Taiwan 8 2 7 6 15 11
11  Czech Republic 11 2 7 4 13 10
12  South Korea 13 2 3 15 20 20
13  Canada
(after 2016, Canada Anglophone)
10 2 3 7 12 12
14  Ukraine 7 2 3 7 12 11
15  China 9 1 9 12 22 18
16  Estonia 18 1 7 16 24 14
17  Brazil 8 1 4 3 8 6
18  Latvia 18 1 3 11 15 13
19  Australia 12 1 2 5 8 8
20  Hong Kong 2 1 2 1 4 0

Media coverage[edit]

  • Newspaper article in The Age "It may be semantics, but linguistics can be a team event". July 27, 2012.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The medalist was transgender and is credited under deadname on the IOL website.


  1. ^ a b "International Linguistics Olympiad FAQ". Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "International history". United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad. June 3, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "First International Olympiad in Linguistics (2003)". Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moscow State University. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  4. ^ "History of Linguistic Challenges". NACLO. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  5. ^ "IOL 2003". International Linguistics Olympiad official website. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Second International Linguistic Olympiad (2004)". Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Moscow State University. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  7. ^ "Fourth International Linguistics Olympiad for Secondary School Students". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "The Fifth International Linguistics Olympiad". Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "6th International Linguistics Olympiad". Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  10. ^ "7th International Olympiad in Linguistics". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  11. ^ "IOL10". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  12. ^ "IOL 2011: Venue". Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "The 10th International Linguistics Olympiad". Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  14. ^ "The International Linguistics Olympiad 2013". July 29, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  15. ^ "The International Linguistics Olympiad 2014". Archived from the original on July 31, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  16. ^ "The International Linguistics Olympiad 2015". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  17. ^ "International Olympiad for Linguists 2016". Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "International Linguistics Olympiad 2018". Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  19. ^ "IOL 2018 Participants". IOL. IOL. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "IOL Yongin 2019". IOL 2019. IOL 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "IOL 2019 Participants". IOL. IOL. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Ventspils 2021". Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "Participants". IOL 2016. Archived from the original on July 9, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  24. ^ "Results". International Linguistics Olympiad. International Linguistics Olympiad. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  25. ^ "It may be semantics, but linguistics can be a team event". The Age. Australia. July 26, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.

External links[edit]