North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition

Why participate in the Linguistics Open Competition?

  • Ever wanted to try deciphering an ancient script, decoding Swahili, or counting in Indonesion?
  • Now you can do it! No prior knowledge of linguistics required, just some curiosity and basic problem-solving skills.
  • Compete for a chance to go to the international competition and meet participants from all over the world.
  • And it's free!
  • Try out the problems on this page--we posted a link to solutions below (you can also download the three problems on our flyer: PDF icon naclo_montreal_flyer.pdf





What is North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition (NACLO)?

If you're interested in language and enjoy problem-solving, come participate in the North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition.  NACLO is a fun and educational contest  for students in grades 6-12 in which you will solve linguistics problems from a variety of languages (natural and artificial).  No prior knowledge of linguistics or any particular language is required.  All you need to bring is your curiosity and enthusiasm!

The first round of the contest will take place in January. Students who perform well on the first round will be invited back for a second invitational round, to take place in March.  The Canadian winners of the invitational round will be eligible to represent Canada at the International Linguistics Olympiad. More information about the competition can be found at the official NACLO website.

If you are interested in entering the French version of the competition in Canada, please visit this website






Practice sessions

Curious? Want to learn more and see some example problems. There will be practice sessions the fall 2023 and early January 2024. They will take place Thursdays from 5:30pm-6:30pm, starting November 2nd (but you can join any week, no prerequesites)

Contact us at naclo.montreal [at] for more information about the practice sessions!



Registration is free, you can register here

Registration Deadline:  Jan 22, 2024  (on-site registration may be possible, but be there 30min early).

Competition: January 25 2024, 10am-13pm, at McGill, building and room: McIntyre Medical Building (3655 Promenade Sir William Osler), room 519

Please arrive 15 minutes early and allow time to find the room.


Who's organizing this?

The olympiad is organized by linguists at universities across the continent. You can learn more at the general NACLO website.

This year's English version of the linguistics Olympiad in Montréal is organized by students and faculty at McGill.

You can reach us at naclo.montreal [at]




 Solutions to the Problems

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