Ethnologue Releases 23rd Edition

Graphic by Kirby O’Brien

The 23rd edition of Ethnologue, an authoritative catalogue of the world’s languages, is now available online. First published in 1951 by SIL International, Wycliffe’s key partner organization, the latest edition is the result of more than 18,000 updates that have been made to the Ethnologue database since the 22nd edition was released one year ago.

“The descriptions of 3,618 languages contain at least one update,” SIL reports on its website. “These include both substantive changes to the data, as well as stylistic ones as we continually seek to improve the presentation of the data.”

The latest edition lists a total of 7,117 living languages worldwide—a net increase of six living languages since the last edition was published.

“This is the result of changes in the extinction status of some languages, and of updating Ethnologue to keep it aligned with the ISO 639-3 inventory of languages.”

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