Browsing functionalities

Users can set the following search parameters: country, degree of vitality, name of the language ISO 639-3 language code, number of speakers, “Revitalized” property as well as searching two or more parameters at once. Via the dynamic map interface, users can also filter information on endangered languages by clicking on “search corresponding endangered languages” and then zooming in the map.

The most straightforward way to search for languages is to type into the search field its name and click “search corresponding endangered languages”. Users may also type only a part of the name and the dropdown menu will provide a list of predictions that are similar to the query typed. Add a sentence on the possibility to search for variants/alternative names.

In order to search by ISO 639-3 language code, the user may enter the ISO which consists of three letters or more codes separated by ', ' e.g. rpo, col, tra, aal. Note that the dropdown will provide predictions of ISO codes, containing one or more letters of the query typed. For instance, if users type ‘ho’ into the search field, the dropdown menu will offer options such as ‘aho’, ‘cho’, ‘gho’. For more information on ISO codes please visit: .

To search by country, users need to select the name of the country in the dropdown menu. Note that the number in brackets that appears next to the name of the country (e.g. Indonesia (147)) corresponds to the number of languages listed for that countries and not to the number of geographical points (for more information on the mapping methodology, see Languages mapping.

Users can narrow their search by selecting one of the 5 degrees of vitality which are explained in the link “more on vitality” placed above the map. The tick box “R= Revitalized” allows users to search for the languages that are in process of revitalization. To search an endangered language by its number of speakers, users can type numbers between 0 and infinite into the search boxes: “from” and “to”. For instance, if the number “50” is typed into the search box “from”, the search result will display the languages which have 50 or more speakers while if the number “90” is typed into the search box “to”, the search result will display the languages which have 90 or less speakers. Note that the parameters “to” and “from” must be used separately.

The search result will be displayed on the map by single points of standard size. Each point corresponds to a language and the color varies according to the degree of vitality of the language. The result will show the latitude and longitude coordinates of a language (see Languages mapping for more on this) as well as a wealth of other information shown in the language entry.

Clicking on a point representing a language or on the language name in the list (if the search is done by country) will open a window – the language entry. Each language entry in the online Atlas contains four tabs: 1) the language tab which provides additional data such as alternative names; countries; number of speakers; location and corresponding ISO 639-3 codes 2) the sources of the information provided; 3) additional resources; and 4) the “submit your comment” tab which allows any user- whether a linguist, a speaker of an endangered language or anyone with useful information on a particular endangered language- to submit comments and suggestions online. Users can also share with us their comments and suggestions by sending an email to [ ] specifying “UNESCO Atlas of languages in Danger” in the subject line.

In order to clear all the search fields and start afresh, users may press the “clear all” button.


The interactive online edition of the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger is complementary to the print edition and may be cited as:

  • Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version
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