About LangMap

What is LangMap?

LangMap is a data visualization tool for language speakers, students and enthusiasts alike. Its data comes primarily from Ethnologue with minor supplementary sources. Consider donating to the site to keep the servers up and allow us to add new features. Follow us on Twitter @langmap_me!

How many languages are available?

There are currently 100 languages that can be mapped on LangMap. This list includes the top twenty most spoken languages as well as a mix of Indo-European, Semitic, Indo-Aryan, Uralic, Dravidian, Niger-Congo and Sino-Tibetan languages. Certain language families have spotty coverage or are so localised that visualizing them on a global scale does not work: e.g., Navajo, which is only spoken in the United States, or Quechua, whose dialects are so country-specific that it would be difficult to convey a correct map. Certain languages are also more documented than others, and it is difficult to gather data in politically unstable or impoverished areas. As such, a blank region on the map for a language does not mean no speakers -- it means no data.

Where did the idea for LangMap come from?

The inspiration for LangMap came from Lingo and Babel by Gaston Dorren: two excellent books about European languages and the twenty most spoken languages in the world respectively. They are two enjoyable and educational reads, and after I finished the books I wanted to explore the international breakdown of language populations in a more visual manner. It's one thing to read a chart; it's another to read a map.

Who is behind LangMap?

My name is Charles Rule. I am a software developer who loves linguistics, geography and data visualization. If you have suggestions for LangMap, please email langmapme@gmail.com or contact me on LinkedIn.

What's next for LangMap?

  • Country-specific maps for drilling down to regions, states or counties
  • Localisation for the website so that people can use it in their language(s)
  • More languages and expanded language data coverage

Got feedback? Contact us through email, Twitter or LinkedIn!