The Digital NYC Language Map is Live!

April 15, 2021


It’s now been over a decade since we first began documenting the languages of NYC, the most linguistically diverse city in the world. Today we can finally share much more of what we’ve learned from thousands of conversations with speakers, community leaders, and so many others.

The free, interactive, digital version of Languages of New York City makes public for the first time all the data behind the print map, which was widely covered when it was released in 2019. The need has only grown since, with the Covid-19 pandemic hitting multilingual immigrant neighborhoods hardest. The map builds on over a decade of linguistic research in collaboration with the city’s least visible communities to include:

  • Info on hundreds of Indigenous, minority, and endangered languages whose presence in NYC and the US has not previously been recognized or studied
  • Visual representation of linguistic diversity across the metropolitan area based on significant sites, in- cluding parts of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx among the most diverse neighborhoods anywhere
  • Analysis of the regions, countries, language families, and other group to which NYC languages belong, revealing changing dynamics of immigration and language e.g. 38% of the city’s languages are from Asia (highest of any continent), dozens are Indigenous to the Americas
  • Comparison with the latest Census data, broadly accurate for only the ~60 largest languages, including the best available interface for viewing the data by census tract and PUMA
  • Hundreds of unique stories, including recordings, about speakers and communities in/around NYC

Check it out now — and please help spread the word! Send us your feedback. Suggest communities we might be missing. Get in touch if you’d like to advance urban language mapping in your city.