Endangered Language Alliance
The New York metropolitan area is the most linguistically diverse urban center in the world, probably in the history of the world.
Based on a decade of work, ELA has mapped over 630 languages and dialects we to nearly 1000 significant sites around the metropolitan area, including neighborhoods, community institutions, restaurants, and other locations where there is, or was, at least one speaker. We believe this is the first detailed linguist-produced map of the city.
The map is committed to representing many of the smaller, minority, and Indigenous languages that are primarily oral and have neither public visibility nor official support. It represents ELA’s ongoing effort to draw on all available sources, including thousands of interviews and discussions, to tell the continuing story of the city’s many languages and cultures. The patterns it reveals — the clustering of West African languages in Harlem and the Bronx, a microcosm of the former Soviet Union in south Brooklyn, the multifaceted Asian-language diversity of Queens, to name a few — only hint at the linguistic complexity of a city where a single building or block can host speakers of dozens of languages from across the globe.
See below for details on how to obtain a map and support ELA’s work.
Support linguistic diversity in New York and beyond by donating $50 to the Endangered Language Alliance and receive our brand-new, 24″ x 36″, full-color language map of New York City, featuring 637 languages at 983 different sites.
There are three ways to receive the map — click the Donate button on our Facebook page, donate via Paypal, or send a check made out to Endangered Language Alliance and sent to 3 W 18th St, 6th Fl, NY NY 10011.
Please send your mailing address to email@example.com to receive your map. *Add $20 for shipping outside the US*
If you donate $65, we’ll add in EITHER our (13″ x 16″) language map of Queens, featuring over 150 languages, or an ELA t-shirt showing I Love NY in all the possible sentence orders in the languages of the world.
(Digital PDF above courtesy of Noah Veltman)
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.