Alopekos logo

The world is multilingual.

The Alopekos project gathers reference works and compiles grammatical information about a diverse set of languages from around the world.

Since it is not practical to document every language in existence, Alopekos focuses instead on documenting a small set of languages that is “diverse enough” to give a sense of the wide variety of world languages.

This is an applied linguistics project that works with second language acquisition, translation, and digital multilingual systems. Theoretical issues are not the goal here. Furthermore, Alopekos relies more on compiling information from secondary sources, rather than doing first-hand linguistic research.

Additionally, Alopekos is interested in written communication as opposed to spoken communication, since written communication has become increasingly important in the twenty-first century.

Language diversity

Alopekos studies four different language regions:

The grouping of languages into regions is based on practical, linguistic considerations. It is not meant to imply historical connections. It is merely a matter of convenience for organizing studies of so many languages.


The northern region focuses on three languages:

These three languages are considered as three registers of one larger language. Icelandic is highly conservative, preserving archaic language features that are no longer present in other modern Germanic languages. German is a modern, standardized Germanic language spoken by a large population in continental Europe across multiple countries. Czech is a Slavic language, but it has many historical connections with German. Czech represents a more natural, regional language, as opposed to the somewhat artificial standardization of German and the insular conservatism of Icelandic.

Since Czech is Slavic, and the Slavic languages are all relatively close to each other, the northern region of Alopekos covers Slavic languages as well as Germanic. In particular, Russian is also studied by Alopekos, particularly as a point of comparison to Czech, and also to gain coverage of the Cyrillic alphabet.


The eastern region focuses on Korean. Since Korean has historically been heavily influenced by Chinese, Alopekos also covers Chinese, though with much more of a focus on written and literary Chinese than modern spoken forms.

To a lesser extent, Alopekos studies Pali and Sanskrit, which are influential classical languages in the region, especially in southeast Asian countries.


The “local” region refers to languages that are spoken as local or Indigenous languages in a specific region, where they stand in opposition to other languages that are currently or have historically been more dominant, and which furthermore have a completely different language structure than the local language.

The local language that Alopekos focuses on is Ojibwe, which is representative of the large Algonquian family of languages in North America and stands in opposition to the currently more dominant colonial languages of English and French. To a lesser extent, Alopekos also covers Cree, which is the other major Algonquian language, though Alopekos covers Cree more as a point of comparison to Ojibwe.

Alopekos also covers Hungarian and Finnish, which are both Uralic languages that have until recent times stood in opposition to the dominant languages of German and Swedish, respectively, which are completely unrelated languages.


The southern region focuses on Bambara-Manding from West Africa. Swahili, from the African Great Lakes region, is also covered. Finally, the southern region covers Romance languages that are originally from southern Europe but are now also spoken across wide areas of Africa and South America.

Of the Romance languages, Alopekos focuses on French, Spanish, and Portuguese, which are especially widespread languages across southern geographical regions.

Swahili has historically been heavily influenced by Arabic, which is included in the Alopekos set of languages, though not as a major point of focus.

The classical languages Latin and Greek are also included in the southern region, due to their connection with the modern Romance languages. Esperanto is included as it is similar to Romance languages and is intended as a sort of modernized form of Latin. English is in this region, too, even though it is technically a Germanic language, but it has many Romance features due to a long history of contact with Romance languages.


Alopekos therefore covers the following 22 languages:

Arabic Bambara-Manding Chinese Cree Czech English Esperanto Finnish French German Greek Hungarian Icelandic Korean Latin Ojibwe Pali Portuguese Russian Sanskrit Spanish Swahili

This set has representative languages from the following language families:

The following writing systems are covered by Alopekos:

Although the Alopekos set of 22 languages is only a miniscule fraction of the total number of languages in the world, it represents a diverse group of language families, geographic regions, and writing systems, as can be seen above.


November 2020

The current goal is to create a bibliography of reference works for the languages noted above. The bibliography will be published on this website.

Work on the Ojibwe language is being handled on the Animoshing website.

Work on multilingual text processing software is proceeding at the Text Utilities Project of Canidtech.

Finally, information is being compiled about the complex inflectional system of Icelandic. A quick reference guide will be published on this website.


Alopekos is managed by Noah Johnson: