Defense Language Institute

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) provides language training for all military branches and Department of Defense civilians. Enacted during World War II, the DLIFLC has grown dramatically in response to U.S. needs around the world. New training methods and qualified instructors have improved language education. The DLIFLC also supports the language needs of deploying troops. This entry discusses the history, facilities, and programs of the DLIFLC.


The DLIFLC was created out of need shortly before the United States entered into World War II. There was an immense need for Japanese speakers when the U.S. Army created a clandestine school in San Francisco. On November 1, 1941, 60 students, mostly second-generation Japanese (nisei), and 4 instructors began school in an old airplane hangar.

The school ...

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