This page is archived!

It was a fun experiment, but between blurry boundaries, official vs. unofficial languages, country borders vs. language borders, and a million other things, it was too big a beast to wrangle! No wonder the Ethnologue is so esteemed.

It's definitely fun to browse, though. Have at it! The data itself is pulled inline from language_data.js.

We need your help!

We're trying to map the world's languages, and we can't do it alone.

Linguists have awesome visualizations up their sleeves, but they don't have a universal, open-source dataset for where languages are spoken.

We're going to fix that!


Don't worry if you don't have all the answers, but Wikipedia is good for codes and geographic info.

Use the Polygon polygon tool on the map to draw the areas this language is spoken in. Multiple polygons are OK. Be sure to click save when you're done!

Once you save and submit your changes, I'll check 'em out and update the main map!

Languages Add new +

Add or edit to your heart's content. Need a slightly out-of-date tiny demo?

What's the story?

To be frank, I just didn't want to pay $750 for a locked-down map of the world's languages that I can't even use on the web. If you don't either, maybe me and you and this site can all be friends together.

I'm aiming to make an open-source, freely useable map of the world's languages for all of your linguistic needs. In any and all formats, too: shapefiles, GeoJSON, whatever tickles your fancy.

You can find existing maps to base your additions on at the amazing Ethnologue and Wikipedia's lists of languages.

Once the map is useful enough I'll set up a mode built for browsing instead of just editing!


HELP! My edit disappeared!

The site actually isn't automatic - edits go into a queue in the backend where I have to approve them and push them up to the site. Don't worry, it's on its way!

What about dialects?

I sure don't know, and am fully open to suggestions!

Does the tool support multiple polygons?

Yup, after you've completed one polygon just click the polygon button again, and you'll be able to draw another shape. This is useful for languages distributed across islands or different ends of the globe.

What about overlapping languages?

Overlapping languages is no problem - I need to work on a way for the hover to work a little better with them, though. You can just draw a shape on top of another shape and it'll work just right.

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Who am I?

Hi, I'm Soma. I took a linguistics class once and half-remember the Japanese alphabet, so I'm clearly qualified to do all of this.

I live in Brooklyn and run a school for dilettantes and an awesome hobby newsletter.

You can follow my paper trail at @dangerscarf or send faintly threatening letters to