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International Mother Language Day on

Because our ability to use and understand foreign languages is so vital to the CIA’s mission, we are honoring International Mother Language Day on Feb. 21.

In today’s CIA, foreign language capabilities are key to our recruiting and success. The CIA’s Corporate Language Hiring Bonus Program provides bonuses to newly hired employees for exceptional foreign language ability—up to $35,000 per person. In mid-2012, the Agency opened a state-of-the-art language immersion facility designed to expand its ability to deliver critical language training to CIA officers.

If you have language skills and are interested in career opportunities that will let you put those skills to use in protecting U.S. national security, visit the Careers page.

To complement these initiatives, we have launched in to eight languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish and Korean. We will add more language sites this year.

Test your knowledge of languages around the world with this quiz based on The World Factbook content.

  1. How many languages are spoken around the world?
  2. What are the six official UN languages?
  3. How many official languages does the European Union have?
  4. What are the three most widely used languages in the world? Combined they are the first languages of more than 20 percent of the world population.
  5. What Southeast Asian nation is linguistically the most diverse country on earth with some 860 languages spoken (roughly 12 percent of the world's total)?
  6. What are the two official languages of Madagascar?
  7. Dhivehi is the official language of what country?


*Quiz requires browser to have Javascript enabled.

Posted: Feb 21, 2013 08:38 AM
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2013 12:18 PM