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Ethnologue: Languages of the World
Sixteenth Edition

M. Paul Lewis, editor

ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6
1,248 pp., $100.00

Ethnologue is the comprehensive reference volume that catalogs all the known living languages in the world today. The Ethnologue has been an active research project for more than fifty years. Thousands of linguists and other researchers all over the world rely on and have contributed to the Ethnologue. It is widely regarded to be the most comprehensive listing of information of its kind. A new edition is published approximately every four years.

Ethnologue 16 book cover
Buy the Ethnologue


  • 6,909 language descriptions organized by continent and country
  • 41,186 primary names, alternate names, and dialect names
  • 208 color maps showing location and distribution of languages
  • Unique three-letter identifier for each language from the International Standard ISO 639-3
  • Statistical summaries with numerical tabulations of living languages and number of speakers by continent, by language size, by language family, and by country
  • Quality 7"x10" hardbound single volume

What others are saying

"…the Ethnologue has grown into one of the most comprehensive catalogs of languages…a source for academics and governments…" Michael Erard, New York Times, July 19, 2005.

"The efforts of numerous researchers result in a large, densely packed work with concise facts and figures. The primary purpose of the work is to provide a list of living languages, where used and by whom, but there are also a number of value-added features. " and "It is very reasonably priced for the amount of information provided." Booklist, November 1, 2006.

"Ethnologue remains one of the most useful scholarly reference sources on languages of the world. Summing Up: Essential. All collections; all levels." J. M. Alexander, Carnegie Mellon University, 2005sup CHOICE web review.

"Close to 7,000 languages spoken in the world today are covered in this one-volume resource culled from the widely regarded SIL International database." Library Journal, September 1, 2005.

"a veritable guide to the world's…languages and cultures, providing a bounty of sociolinguistic and demographic data in addition to linguistic information" ACRL, C&RL News, March 2005.