In recognition of International Mother Language Day, we are happy to be able to update the Ethnologue to its 18th edition.

Happy New Year from all of us here at Ethnologue Central!

Our overlords and task masters have ordered us to take a break here (not even to answer emails!), so this post will be short. As I write, we are all resting in our cells getting ready for the exciting things to come in 2015.

Ethnologue booksWe're happy to announce that the Ethnologue, 17th edition, is now available in print.

Along with the online edition of the Ethnologue, we have been working hard here at Ethnologue Central to create a number of print and printable products for those who still prefer the feel of paper between their hands.

Last month we launched a new way for Ethnologue users to interact with the editors by adding a feedback function to the website. In the short time period since that feature was introduced a few people have found it and we have begun to receive some very helpful contributions.

Well, as you can tell, we didn't make our goal of getting the updated data online by International Mother Language Day. As with many computer-based operations, we are Real Close though and expect to see not only new data but new online features in place Real Soon Now.

The updated website went online in February 2013 with the publication of the 17th edition of the Ethnologue data.

Why are there some countries without a language map?

Some countries have no language map(s) for one or more of the following reasons:

1. All the languages are widespread throughout the whole country.

2. There is only one language spoken in the country.

3. The data available to us is not reliable enough to publish.

4. Map production is underway for the country but has not yet been completed.

Previously, SIL bibliographic references were listed for each language displayed on the language entry page. They are no longer there in this new edition. Where are they now, and will they be added to the new website?

The Ethnologue is published by SIL and so and were tied together in some interesting ways in the past.  In creating the new sites (SIL has a new site too if you have not seen it –, some features were moved from the site to  These resources are now hosted at as they are SIL publications.  Including them on was a source of confusion for some.

When will the next edition of the Ethnologue be published? Is it still once every four years?

In the past, new editions of the Ethnologue were published every four years.  Beginning with this edition (17th), we will release a new edition online in the spring of each year with a range of printed volumes following.

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