Check out the new Ethnologue!

In spite of some delays and a number of technical issues, I'm happy to report that the Ethnologue website you are looking at is now new and improved with the latest data (including the ISO 639-3 changes as of February 2014) and with several new features. As I reported earlier, the most important change with this release is the updated data. Since we released the revamped website last year, we have been receiving and processing a lot of updates and corrections and those are now reported in this release. If you have a language or country that you are particularly interested in, you should check it out to see what has changed. Overall, you'll note that the number of living languages has increased by one, from 7,105 to 7,106. There are other changes that you can look for by clicking on the Statistics tab on the home page.

Beyond the data, however, we are excited about some new features that we are able to offer through the website. The most notable of these is the ability for users of the Ethnologue to register. Becoming a registered user opens up the other new features that we are introducing with this release. So what do you get by registering? A major perk available to registered users is the ability to provide feedback directly to the editorial staff from any country or language page. The contact form (available under the Contact Us link on the About tab) still works, but now, instead of having to navigate away from the page you are looking at, you can add your feedback directly. What's more, other registered users who have subscribed to that same language or country will receive an email alert notifying them of your feedback contribution. We hope a conversation will develop that will not only improve the Ethnologue but will also foster linkages and collegial discussion. Comments submitted by this means are evaluated and responded to and the editorial actions taken become part of the community discussion.

A second feature available to registered users is the ability to purchase and download more than 200 Ethnologue products. The full print edition of the Ethnologue is in press as I write and will be released as 3 completely self-contained volumes. Those can be purchased via Amazon. In addition, we are adding individual country reports for most of the countries that are included in the Ethnologue. These PDF reports contain all of the country and language data, statistical tables, maps and numerous indexes. If viewed electronically, there are numerous internal links that take you quickly from a country or language to its map, or from an index listing to the language entry. If you are only interested in a specific country the country report will give you everything you need in a self-contained package for a very reasonable price.

The award-winning Ethnologue language maps can also be purchased and downloaded directly from the website.

And finally, for the first time we are pleased that we can make available the Ethnologue Global Dataset as a licensed product. The dataset is a subset of the Ethnologue database comprised of the "actionable" data fields. That is, fields that are not simply strings of text but which contain "normalized" data or Booleans are included in the dataset. This allows researchers to do their own analysis of the data by incorporating the Global Dataset tables into their own databases. The full documentation for the dataset and information about how to purchase a license to use the Ethnologue Global Dataset can be found by going to the Ethnologue Products page and following the links from there.

We are excited to see these new features coming online and we hope they will make the Ethnologue a much more useful tool for researchers, educators, linguists, and many others. One other new feature that bears special mention, is that you can also now comment on these blog posts. We look forward to hearing from you!


Submitted by John Cowan on Thu, 2014-05-01 19:03
Using the one-time login link sends you to a page that insists on your typing in your existing password — which you have not yet obtained, so it's useless. So you have to generate another one-time login link every time you want to log in again. The whole point of password setting/recovery is that you don't need to know your existing password to use it.
Submitted by mplewis on Fri, 2014-05-02 12:58
Sorry you've had a problem with this! I've passed your comment on to our webmaster and we'll work on getting this fixed. I do appreciate your intention to comment though and hope we can make that work for you as soon as possible.
Submitted by mplewis on Fri, 2014-05-02 14:03
John - I haven't been able to replicate the problem you describe. When you get the email confirmation with the one-time link, clicking on that link will take you to a page that has a button that says "Login". Clicking on that button takes you to a form where you can create your profile. Included in that profile set up is a place where you create your password and confirm that password. You don't need a password to get to that profile set up page if you use the one-time link. I'll ask our webmaster to delete your existing account that was created when you first tried to register so that you can register again. I'm sorry for the problem and hope that you'll be successful in registering now. Please let us know if you continue to have problems.
Submitted by andrew_wolfe on Fri, 2014-05-02 19:26
In future, will it be possible for us to edit our own feedback comments? At present it appears this is not possible, and it can be a bit frustrating. Thanks! In general, this is great!
Submitted by mplewis on Tue, 2014-05-06 07:09
Andrew - our webmaster acted on your request and you should now see an "edit" link at the bottom of your comments. This allows each user to edit their own comments even after they have been saved. Turns out this was an easy fix. Thanks for the suggestion!
Submitted by Laura Robinson on Mon, 2014-05-05 18:04
Is it possible to add a feature such that the user could subscribe to a language family? Or even, subscribe to a sub-family, since I would like to get updates on all the Alor-Pantar languages, but not on every Trans New Guinea language? (And thanks for making the current upgrades to the site!)
Submitted by mplewis on Tue, 2014-05-06 07:12
Laura - thanks for this suggestion. It is a feature that we also want to implement. However, because of the way our database is structured and the way it interacts with the website, being able to subscribe to a language family or a sub-family wasn't something we could easily implement in this round of improvements to the website. It is definitely on our list of priority additional features. I am confident that we'll get this added Real Soon Now but can't give you a timeline on that.