Yale Institute of Far Eastern Languages


Yale Institute of Far Eastern Languages (IFEL) - This website is a compilation of information related to training of US Air Force airmen in Asian languages during the early part of the Cold War. The focus is primarily on IFEL - the Yale Institute of Far Eastern Languages (IFEL) with related links to the US Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) where language skills learned at Yale IFEL were put to use. Information is also available for the smaller number of Asian language students trained at Indiana University and the Sanz Language School, using the Yale method and textbooks.


From 1951 through early 1965, during the presidencies of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, the US Air Force contracted with Yale University for training in selected Asian languages for Cold War intelligence operations performed by USAFSS under NSA direction.  In the 14 year period, over 3,000 airmen completed intensive language courses, primarily in Chinese and Korean, at IFEL in New Haven, Connecticut. IU students were trained in Bloomington, Indiana and the Sanz School students were in Washington, D.C.


The site is intended to be more a history of the language schools and the environment in which they were created and operated than a history of the students who attended.