New York City has a huge amount of linguistic diversity. It’s easy to know that abstractly, but to drive it home, it can help to visualize it, too. And that’s where designer Jill Hubley’s interactive language map of NYC comes in. It’s colourful, fun to play with, and informative. Here’s a look at one fairly broad setup:
The map allows you to have all languages shown, or to exclude English or Spanish, which lets you look at the pockets of diversity below. All the data was taken from
the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and while that’s not perfect in terms of its characterizations (so many “other” categories!), it’s still a great base to look from.
This kind of diversity is why New York is a great place to do linguistics fieldwork, like that done by the Endangered Language Alliance. If you want to hear more about them, check their site, or our Project for Awesome video from last year!
I feel obliged to inform you all that Kittens and Linguistic Diversity is a real thing that exists. The languages in these examples are Mari, Central Alaskan Yupik, and Tsova-Tush (Batsbi), but the whole page is definitely worth checking out.
This is 100% my new favourite thing
I don’t think anyone around linguistics is surprised by the deep desire to keep linguistic diversity in the world, and we’ve had a bunch of discussion the past few days about this, and how best to talk about it. Like, here’s a piece from John McWhorter about what to tell people about why we need…
The Project for Awesome is a wonderful time when the idea of trying to make the world suck less takes over YouTube! We picked linguistic diversity as our contribution, so check out our video on December 12-13 and learn more about why keeping languages alive and thriving matters! There will be tons of other videos on great topics, too, so I recommend you take the time and look around. There will be a lot to discover, and a lot of ways to help!