Death of a language website: [UPDATED: It’s back online and there are at least 3 mirror sites]

UPDATE: The site is back online!!! All of the files are also 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!

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  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

    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.

  • Jennie Wagner

    Thanks for the those links!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Shaun LeBlanc

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

  • 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”.

  • 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.

  • 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! :)

  • 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.

  • Justin L. Smith

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

  • Jennie Wagner
  • 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

  • Eoin

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

  • the appreciator

    your effort is much appreciated

  • 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.

  • Jennie Wagner

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Jennie Wagner

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Vincent

    Very good work! Merci beaucoup!

  • 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.

  • 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…

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.


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