At its root, Ethnologue is a database that tracks the language situation of the world. The primary form of dissemination is this freely accessible web site. In addition we also use the database to generate a variety of value-added products that are for sale.
The 16th edition of Ethnologue may still be purchased as a single volume from SIL. Beginning with the 17th edition, it is being published in three print volumes organized geographically. Each volume is self-contained (including maps and indexes) and so can be used independently. These volumes are now in press and will be available shortly for purchase:
- Languages of Africa and Europe
- Languages of the Americas and the Pacific
- Languages of Asia
The entire work includes descriptions of 7,479 languages in 234 countries, 215 color maps, 34 statistical summary tables, and an index of 46,071 language names.
A country report is a PDF document that collates all the information from Ethnologue about the language situation in a particular country. Country reports are available for the countries that have at least 8 languages; they are available for immediate digital download. Country reports include the full Ethnologue description for all the languages in the country, plus the maps, various statistical summaries, and a variety of indexes. See a sample country report. To obtain the report for a particular country, go to the page for that country (use the Countries index) and click the "Add to Cart" button in the Ethnologue Products box in the right margin of the page. That box will be absent if there is no report for that country. You may also find a particular report by using the Browse by Products link in the footer.
The Ethnologue Global Dataset makes it possible for researchers to replicate the statistical summaries that are published in Ethnologue and to use data from Ethnologue in their own analyses. The data tables are supplied in the ubiquitous tab-delimited format which can be loaded into virtually any spreadsheet, database, or other data analysis tool.
High resolution versions of all the language maps displayed on this site are available without the ethnologue.com watermarks as products for immediate download. They are offered under a license for use in a single academic publication. See the Map Titles index for a complete list of all available maps and links to the pages on which they are previewed and from which they can be placed in the Shopping Cart. Those interested in using the underlying polygons and GIS data to make maps of their own are referred to the World Language Mapping System.