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www.adaptcentre.ie/ailo All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad The Problem Solvers’ Challenge Test your mind... against the world’s toughest puzzles in logic, language and linguistics Win the opportunity to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in India Run by

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  • www.adaptcentre.ie/ailo

    All Ireland Linguistics OlympiadThe Problem Solvers’ Challenge

    Test your mind...

    against the world’s

    toughest puzzles

    in logic, language a

    nd linguistics

    Test your mind...

    against the world’s

    toughest puzzles

    in logic, language a

    nd linguistics

    Win the opportunity

    to represent Ireland

    at the International

    Linguistics Olympiad

    in India

    Run by

  • Toχranoñe’ẽi ŠEŠI

    Ráði

    Tenji

    Quechua

    Guaraní

    Lithuanian

    Faroese

    Blissym

    bolics

    Hieroglyphics

    What is the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad?Do you think you can use your ingenuity to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, interpret Tenji (the Japanese equivalent of Braille), or break the code of an Armenian railway map?

    The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is a national contest in which students must develop their own strategies for solving complex problems. These problems are based on fascinating languages from around the globe.

    No prior knowledge of linguistics or a second language is required, as even the hardest problems require only logical ability, patient work, and a willingness to think around corners.

    AILO introduces students to the application of logic and linguistics (i.e. the study of human language) to problems of language understanding and translation. The goal is to develop students’ problem-solving skills and to inspire them to consider the fascinating range of careers at the intersection of computing, language and linguistics.

    The History Since the mid-1960s, problem-solving competitions in linguistics for secondary school students have been taking place, in Russia, Bulgaria and other eastern European countries. In more recent years, Linguistics Olympiads have spread to Western Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Winners of these competitions qualify for the International Linguistics Olympiad, which has taken place annually since 2003.

    The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad was established in 2009 and Ireland has competed in the International Linguistics Olympiad since then. AILO’s appeal to both students and teachers means that it has grown quickly and drawn more than 10,000 participants to date.

    Who is eligible? All second level students from schools in Ireland, both North and South, are eligible. There are Junior (under 16) and Senior (16 and over) categories, so students at any stage in their second level studies can participate. Both Junior and Senior Category students will take the same puzzles and be marked in the same way. However, we will award prizes and trophies to the winners of each category. The overall top four students will be invited to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad.

    Do you think you have a knack for logic, lateral thinking and languages? Could you decipher an ancient script, or decode the logical patterns of Swahili or Aymara?

    Develop your own strategies for decoding problems in fascinating languages from around the world.

    All Ireland Linguistics OlympiadThe Problem Solvers’ Challenge

  • Why take the challenge?

    • Most importantly, because it’s great fun! You’ll enjoy solving the challenging puzzles while learning about the languages of the world.

    • Sharpen your problem-solving skills. This will benefit you whatever career path you take, but it will be particularly useful if you are thinking of a career in computing, linguistics, languages, engineering, maths, science or – better still – a combination of these disciplines. Job prospects in these areas are among the strongest of all industries.

    • Participating in AILO is an excellent extra-curricular experience to add to your CV or university application form. It shows that you have a logical mind and an ability to think outside the box.

    • Representing your school at the national finals in Trinity College Dublin gives you the opportunity to pit your wits against problem-solvers from all over Ireland and can be a great source of pride.

    • There’s also the little matter of the fantastic prizes on offer! In addition to the opportunity to win the title of AILO Individual Champion in the Junior and Senior categories, the overall four top performing students in the individual contest at the national finals of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad will be selected to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in India.

    “I found the puzzles challenging but worthwhile.

    Unknown languages make sense when you think about them. I especially liked

    the Egyptian question – it was so cool, I felt transported back in time.”

    Bessie Pilinci, Presentation Secondary School, Thurles

    “It is a great way to hone problem-solving skills.

    Being involved in AILO helped teach me some of the necessary problem-solving

    skills used in software programming. Some of the AILO questions have even been used by my lecturers to demonstrate how to approach problems you have never seen before.”

    Robert Devereux, Computer Applications student at Dublin City University

    “I think that the Linguistics Olympiad is a very

    good exercise to develop your logic. If you are interested in languages, you will certainly enjoy it because it is not studying them, it is turning them into a “game” to challenge you.”

    Alessia Cipparrome, St. Kilian’s Deutsche Schule, Dublin

  • AILO TimelineThe AILO season runs from September to March. Registration closes on 25th January 2016 but it is important to register as early as possible to receive monthly sample puzzles for your students to sharpen their problem-solving skills.

    The first round of the competition will be held in your own school on 1st February 2016. The top 100 students from the first round will qualify to compete at the national final on 15th March 2016 at Trinity College Dublin.

    In addition to trophies and prizes for the winners, the top four students from the individual contest will win a weeklong trip to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in India.

    AILO is run by The ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology (www.adaptcentre.ie). ADAPTis a multi-disciplinary academia-industry research centre funded by Science Foundation Ireland and based at Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology.

    International Linguistics OlympiadThe International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) draws students who have won national linguistics contests in their home countries. To date, students from 30 countries have competed in the international contest. As well as competing in individual and team competitions, the students enjoy a weeklong agenda of sightseeing, parties and cultural experiences. IOL 2016 will be held from 25th–29th July 2016 in Mysore, India. Visit the IOL website at www.ioling.org.

    Register Now! Teachers and individuals can register online at www.adaptcentre.ie/ailo

  • NǏ XǏHUĀN FOOTBALL MA?

    Chinese words are written in symbols (“characters”) that represent meaning rather than sound, and the Chinese writing system consists of thousands of these characters. When writing foreign names in Chinese, a selection of these characters is used based not on what they mean, but on how they sound. In the table below you will see how some names of English football teams are written in Chinese. The transliteration system is not entirely straightforward however:

    (1) Generally each character represents a syllable (V, CV or CVC), but

    (2) some English consonant combinations are not possible in Chinese, so they are split into two syllables, e.g. “spin” might be “s(u)+pin”.

    (3) Chinese does not have the same set of vowel and consonant sounds as English, so some sounds are mixed up – you probably know that R and L sound the same to a Chinese speaker. There are a few other pairs like that.

    (4) Finally, sometimes meaningful characters are used instead of phonetic ones. For example, in the Chinese for “Liverpool”, the sign for “pool” is used – it’s not pronounced “pool”.

    (2) How do you think the place name Boston would be written in Chinese?

    (3) Fill in the table below showing the correspondence between individual characters and English sounds

    KA

    LA

    Try out this sample puzzle for yourself!

    To view the solutionto this problem,

    and to try out more puzzles,visit www.adaptcentre.ie/ailo

    Study the following examples. Remember that the renderings are phonetic: they are based on pronunciation, not spelling.

    a.

    b.

    c.

    d.

    (1) Identify the following four names from the list of seven possible answers given on the right.

  • The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is run by:Dr. Cara GreeneNational Coordinator, AILOADAPT CentreDublin City UniversityDublin 9Tel: +353 1 700 6704Email: [email protected]: www.adaptcentre.ie/ailo

    This project has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the SFI Research Centres Programme.

    “This competition has granted me an amazing opportunity

    to represent my country, and has really improved my problem-solving skills.”Daniel Herlihy, Douglas Community

    School, Cork

    "Wow! What an amazing brain workout!"

    Daria Biel, Presentation Secondary School, Limerick

    Could you be Ireland’s top young problem solver?The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad challenges students to apply logic and reasoning skills to solve complex language puzzles in unfamiliar languages. No previous knowledge of linguistics or foreign languagesis required. Instead, we’ll put your problem-solving skills to the test!

    Enter the search for Ireland’s top language decoder atwww.adaptcentre.ie/ailo

    Win the opportunity to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad!The top four performers will be selected to represent Ireland at theInternational Linguistics Olympiad in Mysore, India in July 2016. There, you will test your wits against talented language sleuths from around the world during a week packed with puzzles and cultural experiences.

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