defense language institute

For many years the U.S. Defense Language Institute based out of Monterey, CA in the United States. These courses are primarily meant for military personal who want to learn how to communicate effectively in both a military and civilian setting in foreign countries. Some of the material is very specific to the military, but other portions of the courses are much more general and can be used by the general public. Of course, even the general public can work through the military specific material as they are great ways to practice the imperative (giving commands) in English! Please read the disclaimer below with regards to this material.

U.S. Defense Language Institute Archive Updates

May 4th, 2016

Done and done. All the DLI material is now in the database. This means you can now access the new pages to read and listen to the audios at the same time.

February 1st, 2015

It’s all up! We were finally able to get all the files up and linked. Let us know if you find any broken links!

January 20th, 2015

We had an unexpected delay in December so we are still working on getting up all the information and files. Today we finished column 3! Just 6 more languages to go till it is all up. Stay tuned.

December 13th, 2014

We have the first 2 columns of languages up and live. At our current pace we should be able to get the next two columns up by January, 1st, 2015. Keep checking back!


The DLI language course material is now live. Since there is some question of whether some of this material is public domain or not, we have chosen to not to host all the DLI language course material on our site as we have done for our DLI language course material. The material that says explicitly that it is public domain are hosted here, while for the other material we have instead provided links to where you can find this material on other sites. Here is a list of the sites we reference.


As far as we are aware the material we link to on these sites are public domain. If that is not the case, please let us know by contacting [email protected] and we will remove the material and/or link to it right away.

How long is Defense Language School?

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, commonly known as the Defense Language School (DLI), is a prominent institution in the United States military. It plays a crucial role in training service members in foreign languages and cultures to enhance national defense and security efforts. One of the most frequently asked questions about DLI is, “How long is Defense Language School?”

The duration of training at DLI can vary significantly based on the language, course type, and the proficiency level required by the military service member. It’s important to note that DLI offers a range of language courses, from basic to advanced levels, which influence the length of the training program.

DLI is renowned for its comprehensive language programs, and the duration of each course reflects the complexity of the language and the proficiency goals set by the Department of Defense. On average, most DLI courses last between 26 and 64 weeks, but there are exceptions.

How long is the DLI Intermediate Course?

The Defense Language Institute (DLI) offers a variety of language courses designed to equip military personnel with the language skills necessary to perform their duties in a global context. Among these courses, the DLI Intermediate Course is of particular interest to those seeking to bridge the gap between basic language proficiency and more advanced levels.

The duration of the DLI Intermediate Course can vary depending on the language and the specific curriculum. Generally, the Intermediate Course is designed to be more intensive and comprehensive than the basic courses, equipping students with a higher level of language proficiency.

On average, the DLI Intermediate Course lasts for approximately 26 to 32 weeks. However, the exact length may vary based on factors such as the language’s complexity and the student’s prior language learning experience.

What is DLI in the Army?

DLI, which stands for the Defense Language Institute, plays a vital role in the United States Army and other branches of the U.S. military. This institution is instrumental in teaching military personnel foreign languages and cultural awareness, and it contributes significantly to the readiness and effectiveness of the armed forces.

DLI is an educational institution within the Department of Defense, and its primary mission is to provide high-quality foreign language education and training to military personnel. It offers a wide range of language courses to meet the diverse needs of the military, including both basic and advanced levels.

One of the essential functions of DLI in the Army is to train service members to achieve proficiency in languages critical to national security and military operations. This proficiency is achieved through rigorous training programs that include not only language learning but also an in-depth understanding of the culture and customs of the target language’s native speakers.

How long is the Chinese course at DLI?

Learning Chinese is a significant undertaking, and the Defense Language Institute (DLI) offers Chinese language courses to help military personnel gain proficiency in this critical language. However, the duration of the Chinese course at DLI, like other DLI language courses, can vary based on several factors.

The Chinese language is known for its complexity, which makes the course longer in comparison to some other languages. On average, the basic Chinese language course at DLI can last from 64 to 88 weeks. This extended timeframe is due to the intricacies of the Chinese writing system, tonal nature of the language, and the depth of cultural understanding required.

The duration of the Chinese course at DLI is further influenced by the student’s prior language learning experience and the specific proficiency goals set by the military. In some cases, students may undertake additional training after completing the basic course to reach more advanced levels of proficiency.

In conclusion, the Defense Language Institute is a critical institution within the U.S. military, offering a variety of language courses to prepare service members for their roles on the global stage. The length of training at DLI varies based on factors such as the language’s complexity, proficiency goals, and prior language learning experience. Whether it’s the basic or intermediate course, DLI provides an essential foundation in language and culture to support national defense and security efforts.

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