A New Journal! Living Languages • Lenguas Vivas • Línguas Vivas

Check this out! A new multilingual journal about language revitalization and sustainability:

Living Languages • Lenguas Vivas • Línguas Vivas

Two innovative features of this journal stand out:

  • Diverse types of contribution The journal accepts contributions which are Chronicles, Research Papers, Project Descriptions, and Pedagogical Materials. See the inaugural introductory article (whose co-authors include local hero @JROSESLA!) for descriptions of these contribution types.
  • Multilingual contributions The first issue includes contributions in Kaingang, Chikashshanompa’, English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

It think the various kinds of contributions will be of immediate interest to many members of the present forum, we have had discussions here about similar questions of where to send things like project descriptions and pedagogical materials.

Here is the description of the journal’s ambit in the three linguas francas, take your pick:


Living Languages is an international, multilingual journal dedicated to topics in language revitalization and sustainability. The goal of the journal is to promote scholarly work and experience-sharing in the field. The primary focus is on bringing together language revitalization practitioners from a diversity of backgrounds, whether academic or not, within a peer-reviewed publication venue that is not limited to academic contributions and is inclusive of a diversity of perspectives and forms of expression. This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution.


Lenguas Vivas es una revista internacional y multilingüe dedicada a temas de revitalización y sostenibilidad lingüística. El objetivo de la revista es promover el trabajo académico y el intercambio de experiencias en este campo, reuniendo a personas de diferentes orígenes que trabajan en la revitalización lingüística y que quieren difundir su trabajo en una publicación que no se limite a las contribuciones académicas y que incluya una diversidad de perspectivas y formas de expresión. Es una revista de acceso abierto, lo que significa que todo el contenido está disponible de forma gratuita para el usuario o su institución.


Línguas Vivas é uma revista internacional e multilingue dedicada a temas de revitalização e sustentabilidade linguística. O objetivo da revista é promover o trabalho acadêmico e o compartilhamento de experiências na área, reunindo pessoas de diferentes origens que trabalhem com a revitalização linguística e que queiram divulgar os seus trabalhos em uma publicação que não se limite a contribuições acadêmicas e que inclua uma diversidade de perspectivas e formas de expressão. É uma revista de acesso aberto, o que significa que todo o conteúdo está disponível gratuitamente para o usuário ou sua instituição.

What’s more, it’s open access. :raised_hands: Great news for our field!

Congrats to the editorial team, I hope it’s a great success. Id love to hear what other folks here notice after taking a look at the content!


Another interesting thing that I noticed after looking at several of the articles (great stuff): they are using glottocodes as opposed to ISO-639-3 codes (which ultimately derive from the Ethnologue, which is no longer open access). I think this is a good move, and I hope other linguistics journals move in this direction soon too.


This is so incredibly exciting!! Thanks for posting about it


Launch here:

Been seeing lots of positive response to this project. :tada:

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Hey @pathall help me better understand what you mean by:

ISO-639-3 codes (which ultimately derive from the Ethnologue…)

ISO 639-3 extends the ISO 639-2alpha-3 codes with an aim to cover all known natural languages. The extended language coverage was based primarily on the language codes used in the Ethnologue (volumes 10–14) published by SIL International, which is now the registration authorityfor ISO 639-3.

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Since when did it become vogue in academia to let our understanding be shaped by tertiary reference resources without investigating the primary resources?

However, if I take the same authority and look down to Usage Section, I would learn that in order to produce a user interface or a document in a language which is understood to be in that language by a computer (to do this the locale system is used. Locales are managed under the umbrella of Unicode) then one must use the ISO 639-3 designators. Further, Current bibliographic systems at libraries also use the ISO 639-3 system. So the question arises, should responsible language revitalization practitioners use ISO 639-3 codes to:

  1. declare in a machine readable way the language a document contains so that the rendering system does apply all known rendering characteristics to the document?
  2. make visible the subject language of a resource so that curators and library professionals catalog resources in ways that their discovery systems can associate diverse resources (resources separated by time or primary topic) to appropriate audiences (persons interested in languages)?

Primary Resources: History of the Ethnologue | Ethnologue ; The Problem of Language Identification | Ethnologue

In 1998, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) adopted ISO 639-2, a standard for three-letter language identifiers. It is based on a convergence of ISO 639-1 (an earlier standard for two-letter language identifiers originally adopted in 1967) and of ANSI Z39.53 (also known as the MARC language codes, a set of three-letter identifiers developed within the library community and adopted as an American National Standard in 1987). The ISO 639-2 standard was insufficient for many purposes since it has identifiers for fewer than 400 individual languages. Thus in 2002, ISO TC37/SC2 formally invited SIL International to prepare a new standard that would reconcile the complete set of codes used in the Ethnologue with the codes already in use in the earlier ISO standard. In addition, codes developed by LinguistList for ancient and constructed languages were incorporated. The result, which was officially approved by the subscribing national standards bodies in 2006 and published in 2007, is a standard named ISO 639-3 that provides unique three-letter codes for over 7,500 languages (ISO 2007). SIL International was named as the registration authority for the standard and administers the annual cycle for changes and updates as a function separate from the Ethnologue under the supervision of ISO and following the procedures established by the standard itself. It is the editorial policy of Ethnologue to follow ISO 639-3 in determining what linguistic varieties should be listed as languages.

This edition of Ethnologue is now the ninth to use the ISO 639-3 language identifiers. In the fifteenth edition (2005) the codes had the status of Draft International Standard. Since then the Ethnologue ’s language inventory has been based on the most up-to-date version of the standard. The twenty-third edition includes all updates to the standard as of January 2020. Information about the ISO 639-3 standard and procedures for requesting additions, deletions, and other modifications to the ISO 639-3 inventory of identified languages can be found at the ISO 639-3 website: http://iso639-3.sil.org/ .

To further complicate the issue, not all scholars share the same set of criteria for distinguishing what level of divergence distinguishes a “language” from a “dialect” and therefore the terms are not always consistently applied. Since the fifteenth edition (2005), Ethnologue has followed the ISO 639-3 inventory of identified languages ( http://iso639-3.sil.org/ ) as the basis for our listing of distinct languages.

One take away could be that, while ISO heavily leaned on Ethnologue to develop the ISO 639-3 standard, it is no longer true that the codes are derived from the Ethnologue, but rather the Ethnologue follows the ISO, and the ISO process dictates what may be found in the Ethnologue.