On Tuesday morning, as the snow was descending upon Royal Russell, 35 students were deeply engaged in intellectual endeavour. Our second Linguistics Olympiad was underway with enthusiastic codebreakers attempting to solve linguistic puzzles and problems.
Within a more layered and flexible structure, ranging from Breakthrough to Foundation and Intermediate,teams from all age groups had fun with puzzles like Karelian numbers, Georgian places, Old English and Runes, the last of which generated a lot of excitement when finally unlocked. A lively, friendly atmosphere of collaboration and compelling involvement was evident. The Advanced level students worked diligently on some challenging tasks, from Japanese to Finnish and Murrinhpatha; Georgian verbs proved to be the hardest to break, whereas bot speech needed to be adjusted in order to write filtering software for Zoink!, a website from where real users of widgets get their reviews. Student responses have been sent off to UK Linguistics Olympiad for marking.
All tasks were attempted and their variety and ingenuity was again well appreciated. We are all now eager to find out the results. In the meantime preparation for next year’s competition can begin at the Linguistics Club held during Friday lunchtimes.