The Rosetta Project provides a large number of Swadesh lists online, allowing you to “create a custom word list chart.” Via the suddenly reanimated Linguistiblogs, which also links to this delightful Proto-Indo-European crossword puzzle.

Update (Apr. 2021). The Rosetta Project site is still there, but they’ve completely changed things around, and the custom word list page seems to be gone (though it’s hard to tell, since the site is annoyingly difficult to navigate). I’ve substituted an archived link above; they now apparently present their Swadesh lists only as Internet Archive texts.


  1. Glad to see people are still reading! It’s been an insanely busy month, but I think I’ve found a good system for hunting up interesting links, so there shouldn’t be any more lapses for the foreseeable future.

  2. I love the Swadesh lists. I’ve been using them to help generate texts for years. Another good resource is “A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languges.” An oldie, but a goodie.

  3. Maria Teresa Gaona says

    Im studying the Mayan culture and while reading an article on mayan epigraphy I came upon the Swadesh 200 diagnostic list ???
    Could you please tell me where to find information?
    Thank you. Maria Teresa Gaona

  4. See the “Swadesh lists” link above? Click on it, then change the number in “Display 100 words” to 200 and click Refresh.

  5. I need Swadesh’s original 100-meaning list.
    (All my sources at hand have later versions or 200 items; can’t find it in local libraries.)
    Please send it if you have it.

  6. Try searching for Swadesh 100.
    I think the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, which is worth getting anyway, has both versions of the list.

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