Death of a language website: [UPDATED: There are at least 3 other sites with the same files]

By   February 26, 2013

UPDATE: All of the files are available at,, or, or you can use this torrent if you’d like to download everything.

If anyone knows what happened to, please let me know! It was the site that included all of the Foreign Service Institute courses in the public domain, and where I downloaded the courses in order to turn them into HTML pages for my FSI Project. For about a month the site has been unavailable with a 403 Forbidden message. There haven’t been any new files added since January 2011, but the site was still online as of this January. (Thanks Internet Archive!), where have you gone?, where have you gone?

For those who have been downloading the FSI files for a while, you may remember that was actually created when the webmaster of stopped updating the site. The files are no longer available through that original site either. I downloaded many of the courses, but not all of them, and although some are available as torrents, I don’t know of another way of downloading the materials. Were any mirror sites ever created?

If anyone has any information about – I believe the webmaster went by VagabondPilgrim on the forums – or if the files are available to download in another location, please leave a comment or email me. A lot of people spent MANY hours digitizing the books and cassettes in order to share them with other language learners, so we need to get them back online!



Try these sites (first three are mirror sites that should contain everything that is on the original site):

  1. – includes everything that was available on
  2. – includes everything that was available on
  4. – directory listings for both FSI and Defense Language Institute public domain courses
  5. – just the DLI courses
  6. Scribd
  8. Wayback Machine

If you want to download all of the FSI files that were available, Joni has created a torrent (20.8 GB) from a site rip done in January 2011. Please help seed it for others to download too!


Thanks everyone!

  • joni

    I have 21 gigabytes worth of FSI material from that site. It might be close to the full site. Let’s hope the administrator is just sleeping. I’d gladly donate a little if it keeps the site running.

    • Jennie Wagner

      My fingers are crossed that it’s a simple problem the webmaster can fix. I really hate when websites disappear!

      • Aisha

        Thanks for the info on where to find the public domain ones. it looks like the site that used to be up was taken down because a new site is selling the public domain versions (those are not free) as digitally remastered ones. www(dot)foreignserviceinstitute(dot)com . Hopefully since they were originally public domain no attempts to take the free ones off the web will be made. Download the freebies, skip that expensive version.

        • Rod

          Looked at www(dot)foreignserviceinstitue(dot)com today. I believe that the site will tell you that their price (currently $39) is “going up to $99 tomorrow” *** no matter what day you land on the site***. I was not aware that FSI courses had gone public domain and I almost took the “buy-it-now-before-price-goes-up” bait.

  • Jedd Haberstro

    The site went dead a couple of months ago also and then it came back up; hopefully the same thing will happen!

    As for other locations where you can download the FSI programs, some are available on and many people have been uploading what they have in this thread at how-to-learn-any-language:

    Hopefully we can collectively come up with a complete backup of the website!

  • Thinkerelle

    I have found a lot of the information at I’m not sure if they have the entire course, but a lot of languages are on there.

    Also, I am currently working on getting recordings for FSI Le Monde Francophone on Rhinospike.

  • Andrew

    Those files have to be available elsewhere, I’d be shocked if all of them aren’t available via torrent, in fact I’d be shocked if they weren’t all on TPB.

    • Jennie Wagner

      I was surprised that they’re not all torrents already, but only a few languages are available on TPB. Somebody really needs to make torrents for all of them.

  • Natalie

    Noooo I loved this website so much! I really hope those recordings are available somewhere else and that the site will be up again soon.

    • Jennie Wagner seems to have a lot of them. We’re working on making them all available. It would be such a shame for that site to disappear.

  • Jennie Wagner

    Thanks for the those links!!!

    • Jedd Haberstro

      No problem! There are few different threads about FSI being down, so be sure to search around as people aren’t (yet) posting their uploads all in the same place.

  • Jennie Wagner

    Awesome, thanks!!

  • Shaun LeBlanc

    I think the government finally decided to make some money on these. Check out this site: It looks like the same thing, but for sale. It also states the $19 price will go to $99 on 2/27. Booooooo!!!!!!! I’ve used FSI for Hungarian and it’s amazing.

    • Jennie Wagner

      That’s not a government site. A lot of companies actually sell the FSI materials for a profit since a lot of people don’t know they are in the public domain and can be downloaded for free.

      • Shaun LeBlanc

        Thank you Jennie for the clarification. That’s pretty sneaky of them.

      • Artur Gurgul

        I would like to improve these materials, make them more actual, more interactive, and re-share them using very liberal licence, but I need to be sure that it is worth to take effort, and nobody will claim any rights to the work. I will be grateful for the link to government site where is such information, or point the law that says it is public domain.

  • Guest

    Hi Jennie,

    Did you have a master list of what was/was not available? I’m checking now to see what I’m missing. I have a list of languages that I downloaded the materials to below.

    Here’s the list of languages I downloaded:

    chinese (cantonese)
    chinese (mandarin)
    english (pdf – adapting and writing lessons)

  • Jennie Wagner

    You are my hero!!!

    • Jason Willson

      I should probably leave a way to be contacted – you should be able to click on my Disqus profile now. Looks like it saved as “guest”.

      • Eoin

        Hi Jason, that’s some haul. Did you get all the audio for those languages from archive?

  • joni

    I have put up a torrent at

    My firewall is quite restrictive so uploading could prove difficult, but at least for now it’s uploading at a good rate.

    • Jason Willson

      Awesome! Did you have everything from the original site? I’ll see about posting my downloads and we can make sure we get a comprehensive list. I’m double checking the internet archive to see if I’ve missed obscure languages.

      • joni

        Unless there were silent updates on the site since I did the downloading (about a year ago, definitely after Jan 2011 when the last update was supposed to have been), it should have everything that was hosted on, including the site html. Of course I never thoroughly checked so it’s not %100 certain.

        A lot of the material was hosted off site though, and the torrent only has some of it. I remember some files hosted on ERIC had become unavailable “due to the discovery of personally identifiable information” (, but they might be back online now.

        • Jennie Wagner

          Could you check the DLI Japanese Headstart Modules 1-5 PDF? My antivirus flagged it for a trojan.

          • joni

            I ran the file through and it came clean. See which hopefully is still up when you get around to reading this

            I run Linux and virustotal found nothing wrong with my copy so it’s unlikely it got infected on my machine. It could be your antivirus has found a false positive or it could be there is some malware on your machine infecting files. The SHA-256 sum of the file (as computed by virustotal) is:


            if your copy doesn’t match that it would be worrying.

          • Jennie Wagner

            Ok thanks, it’s probably just a false positive.

    • the appreciator

      your effort is much appreciated

  • Yahya

    the courses may be acquired through a combination of and for example. hopefully, website returns… stay away from this thug site: : they are web crooks!

  • Jason Willson

    I’m so glad someone finally posted an article about this. Thanks Jennie!

  • St. Thomas

    Somebody please download Swedish?????? This was a great site!!!

    • Jason Willson

      I just found out that you can access all of the materials from the wayback machine:

      Enjoy! :)

      • Jerome Rowley

        The wayback machine produces a fascimile of the previous webpage, but none of the links to the original materials worked.

        • Jennie Wagner

          It’s weird, some of the links work and some don’t. It seems very random as to which ones were saved or not.

  • Justin L. Smith

    It appears that the site may have been taken down because the FSI is now going to be charging people again for the materials.

    What greedy swine they are! It’s ok though, I have mostly everything I wanted anyways.

  • Justin L. Smith

    The wayback machine is not working for Korean…. could not download any of the materials.

  • Jennie Wagner

    That site is not affiliated with the FSI. it’s just a company that sells public domain materials for a profit. There are quite a few companies that sell FSI courses for hundreds of dollars since a lot of people don’t know the courses are in the public domain.

  • Richard

    I’ve been wondering about this for weeks but couldn’t find anyone talking about the death of fsi online. Good to know it’s not just me.

    Thanks to everyone that’s posted directions on how to access content

  • Krieger

    Good morning, good afternoon or good night!

    My girlfriend is learning Brazilian Portuguese with the Brazilian Portuguese Fast book from FSI, but now she is unable to study (we only have Book 1, nothing else).

    Could someone tell me how to download the Brazilian Portuguese materials? I tried the above mentioned torrent (around 20 gb, called “fsi”) but Portuguese is not available there.

    Could someone please help us? Thank you very much.

    • Jennie Wagner

      Brazilian Portuguese FAST Volumes 1 and 2 are available in the torrent. I am downloading them right now.

      • Krieger

        Hey Jennie, thank you for your reply!

        I still couldn’t find Brazilian FAST in the torrent. Are you talking about this:

        It’s not there!

        Could you give me a link? Your help is much appreciated.

      • krieger

        Jennie, thank you for your reply!

        I just double checked now and they are not there ( ).

        Perhaps you are talking about a different torrent? Would that be possible for you to give me a link? I really really really appreciate your help.

        • Jennie Wagner

          Yes, that is the correct torrent. Have you downloaded all of the files in the torrent already? They are in the folder labelled Portuguese. There are the two books and 30 mp3s.

          You can also download them at this site: The two books labelled Portuguese in the main directory are in fact the Brazilian Portuguese books, and the mp3s are in the correct folder.

          • Krieger

            Jennie, THANK YOU! I hadn’t download the torrent because I couldn’t find “Portuguese” in the files but, after your e-mail, I did download everything and then, only then, I found the material I was looking for. Thank you so much for your help, may good karma return to your life soon!

          • Jennie Wagner

            I’m glad to hear you were able to get what you needed! :)

  • Wombat

    Maybe someone could contact the Internet Archive and see about setting up a collection on there?

  • Justin L. Smith

    I found this awesome website that offers stuff that wasn’t on the fsi-courses website (like Iraqi and Syrian Arabic! Persian even!)

    Scope it out!

    • Jennie Wagner

      Sweet, I think that’s where found them too so they are in two places already. Downloading now! Thanks!

  • Taxxbiex

    Fabulous work. You deserve loads of thanks. A wonderful resource up and running. Happy days and sweet dreams to all involved.

  • Nathalia

    thank you so much!!!!
    I got so scare when I went to the website and got this error. Appreciate your effort to put everything in one website again.

  • raegenius

    Great Job putting this back together! I was just going to refer the fsi site to a friend since I used it in the past and found out that it was down.

  • kathryn northover

    Thank you so much for getting this together. Things like this need to stay available to everyone.

  • Vincent

    Very good work! Merci beaucoup!

  • gil

    HI, thanks for the material Im brazilian learning english and chinese. Im looking for the chinese pdf book. I cant find it. by the way… if anyone wants to practice portuguese let me know…

  • Helper

    Sad to see it taken down, (been away for a month).

    Going to seed, seed and seed! :)

  • Jo

    I wanted to download Igbo, but alas it is not on the new host site…

  • Raymond Blakney

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Ray, and I run a small site called Live Lingua. I also noticed like the rest of you that the FSI site was down about 2 weeks ago. I have a backup of all the books and materials and am currently uploading them to my site at:

    I will also try to make the format a bit more up to date (compared to the old FSI site) so that the page can be viewed via mobile devices. I started work on the page today, and am uploading the files as we speak – over 20 gigs (so it will take a few day). I hope to have it ready by the end of next week. I hope this helps.

    • Jennie Wagner

      Thanks for uploading the materials! I’ll add your link.

  • vic

    its back and i tried going to website today and was so happy again to see it working