The following links will take you to some sample linguistics puzzles. These puzzles are copyrighted by the University of Oregon Department of Linguistics, but may be copied or printed for personal or classroom use. The puzzles are grouped according to degree of difficulty, using the international system for rating downhill ski runs. Green circle puzzles are for everyone; blue square puzzles are for those who need a little more challenge; black diamond puzzles are the most challenging.
The double black diamond puzzles are the toughest of the tough -- extreme caution necessary! These should only be attempted by experienced Challengers. The puzzles on this site were designed for students whose native language is English.
If you speak one of the languages represented, you may or may not find that puzzle as challenging as English speakers will. You may find many linguistics puzzles in other languages at the International Linguistics Olympiad website.
No additional resources dictionaries, etc. Some, especially the "black diamond" puzzles, are very challenging, but each one is solvable with no special knowledge or outside references.
It often helps to use lots of scratch paper. Every language is unique, and every puzzle in this selection is unique. Therefore there is not a single approach to solving all of the puzzles.
Just use common sense, logic and patience. Sometimes you will find that a particular hypothesis or line of reasoning does not work. In such cases, try again using a different approach. Perhaps some languages are written right-to-left, or the verb may come at the beginning, or the end, of the sentence.
It is these kinds of discoveries that make doing such problems an exceptional learning experience. Agtaa seriously endangered minority language of the Northern Philippines. Kurmanji Kurdisha major language of Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Classical Nahuatlthe language of the Aztec Empire, Archian endangered minority language of Daghestan, Russia.
Czech the time in the language of the Czech Republic. Even your French teacher will find this puzzle challenging! Hawaiianthe Polynesian language spoken by native Hawaiians. Learn how to do math problems in the major language of the country of Indonesia. Luvianan ancient language of the Middle East written in a hieroglyphic script. Quechuathe language of the ancient Inca Empire, and one of the national languages of Modern Peru. Sanskritan ancient language of Northern India and the sacred language of the Hindu Vedas.
Shugnanan Indo-Iranian language of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. A problem involving dates in the major trade language of East Africa. Decipher an educational document in the cuneiform writing system. Georgiana modern language that uses an ancient script. Ancient Inscriptions. Unlock the secrets of mysterious inscriptions on five Bronze-age gravestones.The Military does not release specific details regarding what is on the DLAB, and for this reason you may be unsure of what to expect.
You can expect the DLAB to be difficult, but preparing well for the test will set you up for success. Continue reading for more information on what the DLAB is, how to take it, how to study and answers to more of your questions.
The Defense Language Aptitude Battery is a test given to individuals to judge their ability on learning a foreign language. You do not need to know a foreign language to take this test, it is to test your ability to learn a language using audio and written test questions. The purpose of the test is to ensure those who are wishing to train for certain foreign relations positions, can adequately learn the language for their specific area.
Questions on the test range from selecting words that have different sounds and applying basic grammar rules to made-up words. While you should always aim to get the highest score you can, a minimum score to enter into the Defense Language Institute is Each language is divided into a category and has a different minimum score based on that category.
The DLAB is proctored by Military personnel and your testing site will be based on the Military branch you have joined. Audio clips will play one time and you are required to answer questions related to the sound. You will be asked questions surrounding which word sounds different or has different stress points.
During this time you will be given grammar rules that you must use to apply to the audio clip and question. This portion includes applying words to pictures of items and deducting a sentence from the translated words.
DLAB Study Guide
You will not use the previously set up grammar rules from the section before, but can depend on using some English grammar rules. To get into the Defense Foreign Language Institute you must receive a minimum score of at least 95, regardless of the branch. As previously mentioned, each language is placed into a category based on how hard it is for an English-first speaker to learn. The category also describes the length of the basic course taught at the Defense Language Institute.
Category I is considered the easiest and has the shortest course, with Category IV being the most complex and the longest course. It was seized by America is and has been used by the Military in varying ways since that time. The teachers over 1, mostly consist of individuals who are native speakers in the language that they teach.
The Defense Language School will not only teach individuals to speak, write and hear the language, they will teach them about the culture. They will learn how to negotiate, how to haggle, how to dress, how to cook the food, listen to music and attend special events. It is important that students learn not only the language, but how to act and interact in that area.
While there is no way to know exactly what you will see on the DLAB there are a few things that you can do to help prepare. Having an understanding of these rules will assist in your ability to make determinations about the questions being asked. In the section above, How do I take the DLAB, we covered how the test is presented and what types of questions you may be assigned. Understand that you will be using the rules that they provide and use the process of elimination to apply these rules to the answers available.
While the Military does not offer an official DLAB practice test, there are a few sites that do, including dlabprep. There is not a comparison to the real test, because it consists of a made-up language, but taking a practice test will help you become familiar with how questions may be asked and how to listen intently. It is also important to note that places such as dlabprep.
You may find that you need to keep your eyes closed in order to focus on audio or you need to place a marker to the one that you initially hear a difference on. Higher scores are generally obtained by those who have previous foreign language training and those who score high on entrance testing.
If you are not scoring high in entrance exams or performing well, you will not be asked to take the DLAB. While it is possible to take the test as a civilian, you cannot take it unless you work for a government agency or are required to take it by a government agency. If you do not get a satisfying score on your initial DLAB test of at least 95 you can take the test again in six months. The second retest third time taking the test can be taken without any additional authorizations after an additional six months.
After that you must place a request, and depending on the branch, receive signatures from Commanders or other higher level individuals. A score of 95 is considered passing because it is the minimum requirement for some basic languages as well as getting into the Defense Language Institute.Army forms include a request to be administered a DLAB test.
These forms describe the program as follows:. Those who have an interest in languages and want to join the military to explore that interest will need to have a different conversation with an Air Force recruiter, Army recruiter, etc. Those who pass DLAB testing are then eligible to attend technical school, advanced training, etc. What do you need to know to decide whether a job requiring language skills is for you?
Part of that decision making process involves taking the Defense Language Aptitude Battery test itself to see what kinds of skills are required. There are two kinds of foreign language testing military members are most likely to encounter while serving. A different kind of language testing happens for service members after they have been tested, approved, and trained in a new language.
Language Proficiency tests are administered on a regular basis for those drawing proficiency pay in another language. Military linguists who have been trained in Mandarin, for example, and use Mandarin in their military work are retested to ensure they still have the appropriate level of proficiency required for the job and for the incentive pay. We are not covering that kind of testing here. The idea behind DLAB testing is that untrained and untested candidates are evaluated on their raw ability with language concepts.
DLAB testing typically happens at the beginning of a military career, or at the beginning of a new military career for someone who is already serving in a different capacity. This kind of testing is basically a screening process to find the best candidates with the right language abilities.
The first thing to know about DLAB is that timing is everything. If you want to take DLAB, make sure you have a test scheduled for you prior to going to basic training.
The going advice indicates that new recruits opting for DLAB tests should not let the recruiter schedule you to depart for the Military Entrance Processing Station to ship out to boot camp if you have not taken the test yet. You should have a conversation about DLAB as early as possible with a recruiter—some may not be as familiar with the program and may need to do research on which forms to fill out, who to schedule testing with, etc.
Last-minute efforts to initiate this process are discouraged. Specialized testing and screening for unique military jobs requires more time than for recruits coming into the military without an assigned career field yet.
Why is it so different? A made-up language is just one of the challenges of this test; in spite of not needing to know any second language prior to test day, the scoring rules for DLAB can be quite unforgiving. How much so?
Those who do not score 95 or better are welcome to retest again following a six-month waiting period. Past descriptions of Defense Language Aptitude Battery tests have included mention of a reading section of the test and a listening portion. Tests are always subject to review, but past descriptions of the DLAB test experience include mention of a minute testing period administered online. There are also descriptions of the test featuring more than questions.
Earlier in this article we mentioned the need to discuss scheduling this test with your recruiter before you go to basic training. All recruits must take the ASVAB to enter military service, but not all are required to undergo DLAB tests and your recruiter must make a special effort to get the testing date you need.
Discuss this with your recruiter. The test itself is secret, but some limited descriptions of the testing experience reveal interesting details. The same sources say understanding basic grammar and sentence construction is also quite helpful. The ability to visualize words as they are spoken also seems to be useful. How do you study for a language test featuring one somebody made up? There are a variety of study guides including:. The only problem is that your online research for these books turns up lots of them written in or before—contemporary study guides may or may not be available, and its best to use one of the older guides as a general information source with the understanding that in the years since these guides were written there have likely been many program changes to both the agency administering the tests and the exam itself.
Some report turning to YouTube to find videos addressing DLAB prep but the same rules apply—assume these are for general purposes only and ask your recruiter if there is a test prep guide that may serve as a more up-to-date guide when you are ready to explore the option.
All of the information in this article has assumed that a potential applicant for DLAB testing is a new recruit.Quite simply, it tests the individual's current knowledge of a specific language. Many people ask if one can study for the DLAB, or if there are any study guides available. The answers are "yes" and "no. While one cannot study specific practice questions for the DLAB, one can study grammar and English textbooks to ensure they have a solid grasp of English grammar before taking the test.
As a current Army Linguist puts it:. According to individuals who have taken and passed the DLAB, one can improve their scores by:. The DLAB consists of multiple choice questions. Applicable service policies require that each candidate for attendance at the Defense Language Institute be a high school graduate. Individual services or agencies may demand higher qualifying scores, at their discretion.
The Air Force is not currently approving waivers. The highest possible score on the DLAB is Individuals who fail to achieve a qualifying score on the DLAB can apply to re-test after six months.
Requests for re-tests by individuals who have already made a minimum qualifying score are approved only based on documented military necessity, and must be approved by the appropriate commander ie, recruiting squadron commander. The test is divided into two major segments one audio and one visual.
The narrator on the audio tape will pronounce four words. Your task is to indicate on your answer sheet the word which is stressed differently from the rest. For example, the narrator would state " A - Navy B - Army C - Burger D - Replacestressing the second syllable in the word, "Replace".
The next part of the audio segment begins to introduce rules to a modified English language created for the sole purpose of the test. You may be told that the rules of this language consist of all nouns preceded by verbs, and nouns and verbs will always end in the same vowel sound.
You would then translate a given English phrase into a phrase compatible with the modified language. The test will then proceed over several sections, in each section adding a few more made-up rules, covering areas such as how to express possession, or how to express a noun acting on another noun with a verb. The audio Segment finally climaxes by combining all of the introduced rules and presenting entire sentences or long phrases for your deciphering pleasure.
Jake took the DLAB and score a He offers the following advice concerning the audio portion of the test:. In the visual segment, you will be presented in your test booklet pictures combined with words or phrases that hopefully will give you -- after some contemplation -- a basic understanding of this gibberish on the test page.
For instance, on one page might have a picture of a parachute at the top. Underneath the parachute, there might be something like " paca. The man might be labeled " tanner. From that, one can deduct a number of rules of the gibberish language, which you would then apply to the additional pictures on that page of the test booklet.Need a DLAB study guide?
This article can help with that. Find out which are the best headphones for learning a language. Study with comfort and ease you choose the rig DLI is extremely h Learn the 3 easy steps to preparing and studying for the DLAB. With these three simple steps, you will definit The listening portion of the DLAB test is the hardest. However, if you know what to expect and how this secti Even see ho Find out what is a good score on the DLAB test. There are certain DLAB score requirements in order to take ce Don't get caught by surprise and not know what's coming when you take the DLAB.
Instead, start practicing and preparing, and you'll stand a much better chance on not only passing the test, but geting the score you need for the language you want! Need Help Preparing for Test Day? Don't worry, we're here to help. Make sure to check out our recommended study guides, and practice test. Plus find out what will actually be on the test, what format it uses, and the best way to increase your DLAB score so you can not only move on to DLI, but get the language of your choice.
Then check these out. Great, now it's time to start preparing for DLI, one of the hardest schools in the world. Latest Articles.Their hope is that you, the test taker, sit down to the computer completely ignorant of what to expect and experiences what most would say was the hardest test they have ever taken.
To further this, the stakes are extremely high. Your scores will affect your military career. Your results will dictate whether or not you enter the program you want and which language you will take. With so much to lose, do you really want to start the DLAB ignorant? Well no longer do you have to. While some are better than others, each one will help you and be worth the time and or money. So check them out and if you have used these, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Below are a list of the practice tests that exist on the market, as well as online. We'll start with a side-by-side comparison of the major parts to the books, to include their price, our ratings and general information about each of the DLAB study guides in the market. They are ranked from best to worst. Then, below that, you can read more about each one so as to gain a better understanding of the DLAB books, what they offer and their level of study guides.
It gives clear descriptions of the layout of the test and provides key tips and recommendations on how to approach the questions. The audio portion of the exam was a lot tougher in this book and would give the person a better experience.
It is a little out of date in some parts but still has some good exercise questions and examples. Furthermore, due to a recent update on the DLAB test, the grammar rules are no longer exactly like the test. However, the differences are very slight and only a grammar rule or two are incorrect. But still, the extra practice and extra questions will really help. The Defense Language Aptitude Battery appears to have been made by a corporation and lacks important information needed for test takers.
The comments and bad ratings say it all. We do not recommend buying this book unless you have already bought the above-recommended Study Guides and are looking for another source to gauge your level of comprehension.
But even still, these 10 questions are better than nothing and the more experience you have before the test, the better. You can access it here. If you purchase one of the above Study Guides that has a full practice test, it is best to first read the entire book.
This way you can digest what the sections really are, and gain knowledge on any of the key recommendations on how to approach each section. Once you've done that and fully understand the tactics involved in each section, then set aside the time to do the DLAB practice test. The first listening portion of the test, it would be best to to have someone read that section to you, and you select the best answer.
Remember, only allow them to read it once. Also, in order for them to be able to read this section correctly you'll see what we meanit would be best for them to read the study guide as well so as to understand why they are reading something they way they should.
Once you've gone through all the sections of the DLAB practice test, go through and check your answers. It's best to look and identify which section was your weakest. Was it a section in the listening or reading? Once you've identified that, you should now go back to that section, reread it, and see what you did wrong in your approach.
Another thing you can do is look for some external material out there on the area you struggled in. With a second one, you can repeat the process above, this time seeing a different set of questions. Once you are complete, score you practice exam and again see where you struggled.
Hopefully by this go around, you should be well on your way and ready to land the DLAB score you needfor the language you hope to learn. So as you can see, there are great resources out there to help prepare you for the test.The DLAB does not measure your knowledge in any specific language, nor does it measure your determination to succeed.
It is similar to the Scholastic Aptitude Test SAT which attempts to measure the ability of high school students to be successful at college level studies. A wide range of languages are taught at DLI. Some languages are familiar such as Spanish and some are very distant such as Mandarin.
The languages taught are broken down into four categories ranging from 1 those languages closest to English, to 4 the most difficult. The highest possible score on the DLAB is The DLAB is not an intelligence test.
It is a test to see how your mind works. There are different types of intelligence and some very smart people have had difficulty with the test. Unlike tests in high school or college there is no effective way to study for it. However there are some things you can do to improve your score. It is the purpose of this study guide to help you do just that. Review this guide until you are comfortable with its concepts.
Go into the test well rested and confident. Remember, there are more than questions on the DLAB and each question counts for more than one point. You are asked to select the right answer from four or five answers presented to you.
When you take the test, be well rested and alert. It is best if you can take it in the morning after a good nights sleep, a little PT and a lite breakfast. There is no penalty for guessing. If you are not sure which answer is right, but you are can eliminate two answers as incorrect, go ahead guess! This is not cheating, it is good test taking.
The questions come at you quickly, do not get overly concerned with any one question. Take your best shot and keep moving on. It is important to have a good base in the English language. You will need to know all parts of speech and how they work. If you are rusty on your English Grammar, get a copy of Grammar for Dummies. Having a very clear understanding of English grammar.
Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) Testing
You may wish to get your hands on a good college level grammar text book and study that for awhile before taking the test. It helps! Understand how English sentences are constructed i. Fooling around with this construction will help you on the DLAB.
Be able to recognize accentuation and stress patterns in words. Know where syllable breaks are in words. It is very helpful to have some experience with a foreign language.
It will help you to understand that different languages use sentence structures differently than English.