1968 – 1969
At the beginning of the IChO mother tongues were used in the competition as well in discussions during the sessions of the International Jury. The organizer prepared the competition tasks and all necessary accompanying texts in the mother tongue of the competing students and accompanying teachers had to check whether the texts prepared by the organizers are translated correctly. Discussions in the jury were also held in the language of the organizer and with a help of official interpreters the discussion contributions were translated into mother tongues of the participating countries.

1970 – 1974
In this period the official languages of IChO were introduced: English, French, German, and Russian. The translation into mother tongue was still guaranteed by the organizer.

In 1975 (7th IChO) simultaneous translations were introduced as a novelty during the discussions of the international jury.

In 1976 (8th IChO) the competition tasks were prepared in four official languages. For the first time the mentors had to translate the tasks very quickly into the mother tongues of competing pupils and they even had to produce the tasks in four copies on the type machines. The era of well known “long nights” began.

The 9th IChO in the year 1977 was similar to the preceding one, but with such a difference that the mentors were requested to prepare only one copy of the competition problems in the mother tongue which were translated from one of the official languages. The organizer had to prepare four xerox copies of the competition tasks.

A substantial change was introduced in 1984. The Jury discussions were held for the first time in one language (English) without interpreting them into the other so-called official languages (German, French, Russian). The English versions of the competition problems were only at the disposal to the mentors and they had to translate them into mother tongue of the participating students. This is the system which works till today.

Compiled and edited by A. Sirota (IChO Intern. Information Centre)

Contact us

Dr. Anton Sirota|Director of the IChO IIC
NIVaM – National Institute for Education and Youth
Hálova 6, 851 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
E-mail:|Phone: +421 907 473 367

Dr. Martin Putala|Department of Organic Chemistry
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Comenius University, Bratislava, Ilkovičova 6, Slovakia
E-mail:|Phone: +421 918 669 092