[Tibeto-burman-linguistics] 2024 Ethnologue changes and proposed ISO changes for Myanmar languages

Nathan Statezni nathan_statezni at sil.org
Thu Feb 22 03:48:00 UTC 2024

Dear all,
The Ethnologue website gets updated every February 21 on International
Mother Language Day. You can see the new version here:

   - There have been some issues with the search function that are now
   working better.
   - It is now easier to see basic information about all languages without
   logging in
   - People in developing countries can get free access.
   - People who submit updates can also get a year of free access for each
   approved update.
   - I will send you all a fancier, more official list of updates if/when I
   receive it

Some bigger Ethnologue changes for Myanmar in 2023 are:

   - changing Ethnologue name from "Chin, Mara" to "Mara" at the request of
   Mara leaders in India and Myanmar. They will be submitting an ISO change
   request for their name this year as well. Chin is an ethnic identity on the
   Myanmar side but not on the India side. I hope we can also retire the
   "Shendu" [shl] ISO code (and Ethnologue entry) in 2024. Shendu is an
   outsider name for the Mara that was used in British Burma colonial

   - changing Ethnologue name from "Chin, Ekai" to "Chin, Laöktü" at the
   request of community leaders. An ISO change request is also forthcoming.
   This code was proposed by me without doing a good job of talking with the
   community :( and before they had developed a writing system and settled on
   a name and spelling.

Attached are some of the request letters from the groups. I hope to get
good documentation of enthusiastic consent from the group leadership for
any changes going forward, as much as possible.

The ISO 639-3 management process is changing a bit, with the creation of a
majority external to SIL ISO 639 Maintenance Agency, which will meet
monthly. Change requests will now be more in the style of a grant request
(cover sheet + proposal). I've requested examples and will pass those on
when I receive them. Decisions will be made quarterly, rather than just

Here is the website with 2023 ISO changes (none from TB languages):
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