This presentation reflects on the contribution of three sources of data to an understanding of change in the 'map' of suburban multilingualism in Sydney: census statistics on language use at home, the linguistic landscape of commercial centres and participant observation in multicultural events. By most counts, Sydney is now a linguistically superdiverse city, notably due to ongoing arrival of migrants from many parts of the world across a range of visa categories. In popular media discourse, this translates into fear of certain ethnic minorities ‘taking over’ the city, or the formation of ethnolinguistic ‘enclaves’. Ethnographic observation highlights the mobility and fluidity of language use and the interaction of languages at localised sites such as markets and restaurants. In contrast, reports of census statistics tend to reify languages and clump those who speak them together.