Mapping Atlanta's Linguistic Landscape

Atlanta is increasingly seen as a vibrant multilingual and multicultural metropolitan area. According to the latest US census data, at least 146 different languages are spoken in the metro Atlanta area and 17 percent of the metro area population aged 5 or over speak a language other than English at home.

In a first step to try to capture this linguistic diversity, members of the second language studies community at Emory University gathered in February 2017 for a workshop to create the map below. Drawing closely on the exemplary work conducted at the Language Capital Project at the University of Arizona in Tuscon and at the Center for Language Study at Yale University under the guidance of Dr. Dave Malinowski, participants in the workshop worked collaboratively to depict different aspects of the city’s linguistic landscape, including:

  • places where languages other than English are spoken, can be overheard, or where the written languages are visible;
  • places where languages other than English are taught or learned;
  • places where languages other than English used to be heard, seen, or taught;
  • places where languages other than English are not audible or visible but are felt, imagined, or hoped for;
  • places in Atlanta that have appeared prominently in literature, song, film, or other media in a language other than English.

Suggestions for additions are welcome and encouraged from all community members. Please contact Dr. Hiram Maxim ( with suggestions, comments, or contributions.