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  • What I did on my summer vacation... | Ethnologue
    have a lot of updating to do as a result of this intensive week of work by nearly 100 different participants Those updates should appear in the 19th edition of the Ethnologue which we will release online in country reports and an updated Global Dataset in February 2016 with the larger print volumes to follow The second major event of this month long trip has just concluded in Brisbane Australia Those who follow the Ethnologue year by year will be aware that we have been actively calling for Ethnologue users to join the conversation One mechanism for doing that is by registering on the website providing a very brief user profile and then submitting comments and corrections via the Feedback tabs on every language and country page There are a large number of registered users and a considerably smaller group who actively contribute Feedback through this channel We d like to see that grow but we have also been looking for other ways to foster collaboration in the research that makes Ethnologue what it is and so widely relied upon To that end we have been working to develop an online collaborative research system That system which we are calling OSCAR Online System for Collaboration and Research debuted this past week as we introduced it to 15 hardy volunteers who have agreed to work with us as Field Contributors These folks know a lot about the languages in the Pacific region but being busy people they don t have large blocks of time to dedicate to updating a lot of Ethnologue data all at once OSCAR makes it possible for them to work on improving Ethnologue language entries a little at a time to review current Ethnologue data to update the existing data with new or additional information and to request the removal of erroneous information All three of us who are editors of the Ethnologue just spent three days together with these Field Contributors learning how OSCAR works and starting to work out the processes by which we can benefit from their knowledge of language situations as well as their access to other knowledgeable networks The hard work of these Field Contributors is a labor of love but at least they can benefit by seeing their work made known and having their knowledge integrated into the comprehensive description of the status of the languages of the world that Ethnologue provides This first training event is just a small step towards building a larger network of Field Contributors We ll be slowly expanding the network and working on improving OSCAR and its capabilities As with any new technology OSCAR has bugs and there are many places where it needs to grow or change The opportunity to work with it on real language data has been extremely helpful While it is a bit overwhelming to see all that we still need to do it is also very exciting to see the potential that this new approach has for both Ethnologue and

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/what-i-did-my-summer-vacation (2016-02-12)
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  • The books are here! | Ethnologue
    the feel of paper and ink on your fingertips Exquisite And then why so many volumes As I described last month there are some purely practical reasons for that The sheer size of the single volume 15th and 16th editions meant that we had to find a book manufacturer who could produce such a volume at a reasonable cost while maintaining a suitable level of quality What s more a 5 lb book is expensive to ship takes up a lot of space to store and is generally unwieldy and potentially dangerous if dropped A full collection over time of such volumes would require special shelving and perhaps eventually reinforced flooring Beyond those practical issues however while many people enjoy the global perspective that the Ethnologue provides most users are much more narrowly focused on a specific region country and in many cases a single language If you have to buy the entire Ethnologue in order to get just that information there is a pretty daunting cost benefit ratio that comes into play By dividing up the languages into regions Africa Americas Asia Europe Pacific and by combining those so that each volume covers about one third of the world s languages we are able to provide volumes that come much closer to covering the research interests of many scholars and investigators without adding too much overhead to what they need to purchase But then you might ask why not just buy a country report or several if my interest is only in a specific country or region That certainly is an option but the three print volumes provide additional statistical summaries for each Ethnologue area Africa Americas Asia Europe Pacific that are not available in the online edition nor in the individual country reports So if my interest is specifically in the language situation in Europe for example I can find the statistical summary information for Europe in the Africa and Europe volume The Global Summary also appears in each volume as it does online but the regional summaries provide additional information that is not directly available in any other Ethnologue product You might never have expected that the Isle of Man San Marino and the Vatican State are the least linguistically diverse political entities in Europe The Europe Summary section of the Africa and Europe volume is where you can find that and many other interesting details So what do you get in each volume Here are some factoids that might be of interest Volume Languages Countries Lg Dialect Names Maps Africa and Europe 2 467 105 18 402 74 Americas and Pacific 2 653 79 13 103 72 Asia 2 349 52 16 547 72 We are trying to make the valuable information in the Ethnologue available in a variety of formats in order to serve as wide an audience as possible The print volumes are one set of tools that we are happy to be able to provide Log in or register to post comments Comments

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/books-are-here (2016-02-12)
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  • Tom Swift and His Electronic Book Machine | Ethnologue
    from the database are to be transformed combined and formatted The website of course has a variety of templates that determine the layout of the country and language pages The country reports have a template that is specific to that presentation of the data The 3 regional volumes coming soon have yet another template that takes into account the additional summary tables for example that can be produced for each Ethnologue area Africa Americas Asia Europe Pacific and the specifics of page size and layout which differs in those volumes from the format of the country reports The Ethnologue Computer Wizards are able to pour the data out of the database into the templates and the result is the basic content of each product The process doesn t stop there however Back in the day we would have passed that content to a typographer who would painstakingly turn it into formatted pages page by page using computer software to be sure but still manually and artistically designing each page I ve learned a lot about book design and publishing in the years I ve been involved with the Ethnologue and the challenges of creating a visually beautiful two column justified properly hyphenated set of contrasting odd and even pages with corresponding headers and footers require more skill and patience than most of us would ever imagine Nowadays we have Really Smart typesetting software that can do much of that fairly quickly These automated processes don t eliminate all of the manual labor however We still have to proofread the content but mostly we do that proofreading in the database now rather than in each resulting product We still find lots of errors that we need to fix even after we ve done as careful a review as we can but even the proofreading process is being facilitated by computer tools that make it easier for us to spot errors and maintain consistency The last step in the process is perhaps the most Gee Whiz part of the whole thing Not all that long ago after we had done the typesetting we produced a set of photoready pages printed out on paper which we had to box up and ship off to a book manufacturer That s a company that not only runs printing presses but which also has all the machinery and skills necessary to assemble and bind the pages into the book that eventually gets shipped to the distributors There aren t many companies around that have the capacity to produce a 1500 page volume with a hard cover binding so the process of negotiating with the manufacturer about the technical details getting samples fixing problems and then actually producing the print run and having it shipped back to us so we could make it available for sale added months to the production process But nowadays we have what is called print on demand No need for photoready paper copies No need to ship them off to the printer

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/tom-swift-and-his-electronic-book-machine (2016-02-12)
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  • Language extinction: it's real, it's serious, and it's hard (but getting easier) to assess | Ethnologue
    or disprove those earlier claims In each Ethnologue language entry the EGIDS assessment is included under the label Status and an overview of the EGIDS profile of all of the languages in a country is provided as a bar graph on each country page The EGIDS gives us a way to begin to track the trends of language endangerment but since we have only been using it for a few years we don t have enough history at this point to be able to describe a rate of language loss based solely on the EGIDS status numbers There has been some work done by others which takes historical Ethnologue data and analyzes it with a view towards seeing the patterns of language diversity loss over the decades since Ethnologue began That is a noble pursuit but one difficulty with that approach is that there are changes to the inventory of languages from one edition to another that may be for reasons other than language death It may not be entirely straightforward for readers to determine why a language has disappeared from the Ethnologue s list of living languages though this process is documented in the ISO 639 3 updates Within a few more years and with adequate feedback and prompt updating of the EGiDS numbers we may be able to say more about that ourselves And that points out another reason why our reporting may seem to be a bit muddled We publish what we know each year at the time of publication incorporating changes from our ongoing effort to elicit updates and corrections While we make tens of thousands of changes with each edition there are many language entries that remain unchanged It seems to be especially the case that our data on extremely endangered languages doesn t get updated in a timely manner so it may well be and we wish it weren t so that some of the languages which we are identifying as very weak or which have very few remaining users have already gone out of use With the implementation of the EGIDS we also implemented a major change in our rules of accounting and re classified a number of languages which previously had been considered Extinct EGIDS 10 as Dormant EGIDS 9 Dormant languages are those which no longer are used for day to day activities but which still have a strong association with a group s ethnic identity They are used in very limited ways for ceremonial or symbolic purposes but usually those who use the language are reciting memorized language forms and don t have sufficient proficiency to use the language for daily life With that one time change we began to include those sleeping languages in our counts of living languages That of course resulted in a sudden increase in the number of languages which though extremely endangered are still living for statistical purposes And one more factor to consider is that for very practical reasons we only track and report

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/language-extinction-its-real-its-serious-and-its-hard-getting-easier-assess (2016-02-12)
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  • More use of the Ethnologue data... | Ethnologue
    linguistic diversity The authors comment that the dataset available through the WLMS is remarkable both in its range and the detail it contains p 11 They also say some nice things about the Ethnologue it still remains the best source of data on global languages p 10 That s good for us to hear and we are working hard to maintain that high standard The volume is replete with graphs maps and tables showing the intersection of these datasets And as is common with scientific studies the results aren t entirely conclusive but they are highly supportive of the general hypothesis that linguistic and biological diversity are linked What they found was remarkable concordance between biological and linguistic diversity in regions of high biodiversity p x In addition many of the languages spoken in those high biodiversity regions like the species that inhabit them are unique to those regions Many of those languages are spoken by small numbers of people making them particularly vulnerable There are some exceptions however so we can t just flatly assert that high levels of biodiversity co occur with high levels of linguistic diversity in every case There s a lot to look at and learn from this report We re glad that the Ethnologue could contribute to the analysis Log in or register to post comments Comments Language extinction I am really confused Ethnologue claims the extinction rate of languages is high but it also indicates that many languages some of which were listed as extinct in previous editions as extinct are not extinct but merely dormant or being revived How can the rate of language extinction be so high if so many are no longer extinct The trend according to Ethnologue seems to be more languages are being saved not vanishing Submitted by

    Original URL path: https://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/more-use-ethnologue-data (2016-02-12)
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  • More use of the Ethnologue data... | Ethnologue
    linguistic diversity The authors comment that the dataset available through the WLMS is remarkable both in its range and the detail it contains p 11 They also say some nice things about the Ethnologue it still remains the best source of data on global languages p 10 That s good for us to hear and we are working hard to maintain that high standard The volume is replete with graphs maps and tables showing the intersection of these datasets And as is common with scientific studies the results aren t entirely conclusive but they are highly supportive of the general hypothesis that linguistic and biological diversity are linked What they found was remarkable concordance between biological and linguistic diversity in regions of high biodiversity p x In addition many of the languages spoken in those high biodiversity regions like the species that inhabit them are unique to those regions Many of those languages are spoken by small numbers of people making them particularly vulnerable There are some exceptions however so we can t just flatly assert that high levels of biodiversity co occur with high levels of linguistic diversity in every case There s a lot to look at and learn from this report We re glad that the Ethnologue could contribute to the analysis Log in or register to post comments Comments Language extinction I am really confused Ethnologue claims the extinction rate of languages is high but it also indicates that many languages some of which were listed as extinct in previous editions as extinct are not extinct but merely dormant or being revived How can the rate of language extinction be so high if so many are no longer extinct The trend according to Ethnologue seems to be more languages are being saved not vanishing Submitted by

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/more-use-ethnologue-data (2016-02-12)
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  • Ethnoblog | Ethnologue
    take a break here not even to answer emails so this post will be short As I write we are all resting in our cells getting ready for the exciting things to come in 2015 Read more 1 Dec For unto you a multilingual son is born As Christians begin the celebration of Advent the time when we remember the birth of Jesus few of us except us languag Read more 1 Nov Ethnologue in print and for download We re happy to announce that the Ethnologue 17th edition is now available in print Read more 1 Oct How NOT to use the Ethnologue Many people turn to the Ethnologue as their primary source for information about the state of the world s languages and we are always happy to see that this resource is valued However there are some uses of the Ethnologue that aren t justifiable given the nature of the data we report Read more 1 Sep Vladimir Putin Language Ideology and Tracking Multilingualism The Ethnologue continues to be widely used as a source by various media outlets and of course we re always happy to see the data being used Read more 1 Aug Sustainable Language Use In the 16th edition the Ethnologue added an evaluation of the vitality status of each language using the EGIDS our own scale I wrote about that at length here last year Read more 1 Jul Books Reports Maps Along with the online edition of the Ethnologue we have been working hard here at Ethnologue Central to create a number of print and printable products for those who still prefer the feel of paper between their hands Read more Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 next last The Ethnoblog is a place where the Ethnologue Editor and others talk

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog?page=1 (2016-02-12)
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  • Ethnoblog | Ethnologue
    are Real Close though and expect to see not only new data but new online features in place Real Soon Now Read more 1 Feb A hint of things to come The updated Ethnologue com website went online in February 2013 with the publication of the 17th edition of the Ethnologue data Read more 31 Dec Best Wishes for 2014 All the best for 2014 from all of us at the Ethnologue Read more 1 Dec EuLaViBar Another Way to Evaluate Vitality I ve talked quite a bit here about the EGIDS the scale we ve developed for the Ethnologue that provides us with a way to evaluate the status of a language s vitality The EGIDS was designed to give us a shorthand way to categorize something that is extremely complex We don t conside Read more 31 Oct Functions of Languages in Countries In an earlier post I mentioned a new category of information Status in which we provide a measure of the state of endangerment or development of each language using the Read more 1 Oct Nailing Jello to the wall Language Identification The Ethnologue deals with the languages of the world so it would seem to be important that we be able to say what we mean when we refer to a language What is a language Well Webster has 14 different definitions of the noun not counting two for language as a verb I language you la Read more 1 Sep So what s in a name We sometimes are asked for information about a language or we see a language mentioned in the news and of course we go to the Ethnologue to see if it is listed and what we have to say about it Read more Pages first previous 1 2 3

    Original URL path: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog?page=2 (2016-02-12)
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