About the Ethnologue

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Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a comprehensive reference work cataloging all of the world’s known living languages. Since 1951, the Ethnologue has been an active research project involving hundreds of linguists and other researchers around the world. It is widely regarded to be the most comprehensive source of information of its kind.

The information in the Ethnologue will be valuable to anyone with an interest in cross-cultural communication, bilingualism, literacy rates, language planning and language policy, language development, language relationships, endangered languages, writing systems and to all with a general curiosity about languages.

Language descriptions in the Ethnologue

  • are organized by world area, UN region, and country

  • indicate region of use within countries

  • list alternate language and dialect names

  • specify the three-letter code from ISO 639-3

  • estimate speaker populations

  • give genetic classification of the language

  • describe language use and viability

  • identify writing scripts used

  • cite availability of literature and other products of language development

Other key features of the site:

  • statistical summaries by world area, language size, language status, language family, and country

  • extensive bibliography of references cited

  • over 200 color language maps