Linguists Compete in National Olympiad

Linguists Compete in National Olympiad

By Ankita Mediratta (L6, W)

Fifth and Lower Sixth Form students sat the UK Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO) at College, a national competition for students to solve very challenging linguistic data problems. In the paper that we tackled, there was a range of problems in languages from Somali-Arabic to Estonian. The idea is that these are very rare languages, spoken in very few parts of the world and therefore you must rely on your logic and problem solving skills. In some of the tasks, we were presented with sentences in a different language, such as Somali-Arabic, and then asked to translate some English sentences into Somali-Arabic using the given sentences to fit the pieces together. In others, such as the challenge in Estonian, we had to look at verb charts and conjugate a range of verbs into different tenses by identifying the patterns.

As for the results; the award levels are split up into three categories; gold, silver and bronze, each requiring a certain amount of marks to achieve that particular certificate. Additionally the top 16 competitors from around the UK will then be invited to a residential weekend and undergo training in order to take the second test. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and try something new. Personally, I really enjoyed the olympiad and would like to thank the Modern Foreign Languages department for getting us involved in this event; good luck to everyone waiting for their results!

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