A lingua franca (/ˌlɪŋɡwə ˈfræŋkə/ (listen); lit. Frankish tongue), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.
Lingua francas have developed around the world throughout human history, sometimes for commercial reasons (so-called "trade languages" facilitated trade) but also for cultural, religious, diplomatic and administrative convenience, and as a means of exchanging information between scientists and other scholars of different nationalities. The term is taken from the medieval Mediterranean Lingua Franca, a Romance-based pidgin language used by European merchants and sailors during the 2nd millennium. A world language – a language spoken internationally and learned and spoken by a large number of people – is a language that may function as a global lingua franca.
Lingua Franca refers to any language used for communication between people who do not share a native language. It can refer to hybrid languages such as pidgins and creoles used for communication between language groups. It can also refer to languages which are native to one nation (often a colonial power) but used as a second language for communication between groups. Lingua Franca is a functional term, independent of any linguistic history or language structure.
Whereas a vernacular language is the native language of a specific geographical community, a lingua franca is used beyond the boundaries of its original community, for trade, religious, political or academic reasons. For example, English is a vernacular in the United Kingdom but is used as a lingua franca in the Philippines. Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, serve a similar purpose as industrial/educational lingua francas, across regional and national boundaries.
International auxiliary languages created with the purpose of being lingua francas such as Esperanto and Lingua Franca Nova have not had a great degree of adoption globally so they cannot be described as global lingua francas.
The term lingua franca derives from Mediterranean Lingua Franca, the language that people around the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean Sea used as the main language of commerce and diplomacy from late medieval times, especially during the Renaissance era, to the 18th century. At that time, Italian-speakers dominated seaborne commerce in the port cities of the Ottoman Empire and a simplified version of Italian, including many loan words from Greek, Old French, Portuguese, Occitan, and Spanish as well as Arabic and Turkish came to be widely used as the "lingua franca" (in the generic sense used) of the region.
In Lingua Franca (the specific language), lingua means a language, as in Portuguese and Italian, and franca is related to phrankoi in Greek and faranji in Arabic as well as the equivalent Italian. In all three cases, the literal sense is "Frankish", but the name actually applied to all Western Europeans during the late Byzantine Empire.
The Douglas Harper Etymology Dictionary states that the term Lingua Franca (as the name of the particular language) was first recorded in English during the 1670s, although an even earlier example of the use of Lingua Franca in English is attested from 1632, where it is also referred to as "Bastard Spanish".
As recently as the late 20th century, some restricted the use of the generic term to mean only hybrid languages that are used as vehicular languages, its original meaning, but it now refers to any vehicular language.
The term is well established in its naturalization to English, which is why major dictionaries do not italicize it as a "foreign" term. Its plurals in English are lingua francas and linguae francae, with the first of those being first-listed or only-listed in major dictionaries.
The use of lingua francas has existed since antiquity. Latin and Koine Greek were the lingua francas of the Roman Empire and the Hellenistic culture. Akkadian (died out during Classical antiquity) and then Aramaic remained the common languages of a large part of Western Asia from several earlier empires.
In certain countries, the lingua franca is also the national language. Indonesian – which originated from a Malay language variant spoken in Riau – has the same function in Indonesia, although Javanese has more native speakers. Still, Indonesian is the sole official language and is spoken throughout the country. Also Persian is both the lingua franca of Iran and its national language.
The Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) is the lingua franca of Pakistan and Northern India. Many Indian states have adopted the Three-language formula in which students in Hindi speaking states are taught: "(a) Hindi (with Sanskrit as part of the composite course); (b) Urdu or any other modern Indian language and (c) English or any other modern European language." The order in non-Hindi speaking states is: "(a) the regional language; (b) Hindi; (c) Urdu or any other modern Indian language excluding (a) and (b); and (d) English or any other modern European language." Hindi has also emerged as a lingua franca for the locals of Arunachal Pradesh, a linguistically diverse state in Northeast India.It is estimated that 90 percent of the state's population knows Hindi.
The only documented sign language used as a lingua franca is Plains Indian Sign Language, used across much of North America. It was used as a second language across many indigenous peoples. Alongside or a derivation of Plains Indian Sign Language was Plateau Sign Language, now extinct. Inuit Sign Language could be a similar case in the Arctic among the Inuit for communication across oral language boundaries, but little research exists.
In Qatar, the medical community is primarily made up of workers from countries without English as a native language. In medical practices and hospitals, nurses typically communicate with other professionals in English as a lingua franca . This occurrence has led to interest in researching the consequences and affordances of the medical community communicating in a lingua franca .
Franc and (prefix) franco- (Φράγκος Phrankos and φράγκο- phranko-
... Hindustani is the lingua franca of both India and Pakistan ...
... By the time of British colonialism, Hindustani was the lingua franca of all of northern India and what is today Pakistan ...
Bungku is an Austronesian language (one of the Celebic languages) of Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is quite close to Wawonii. It was a local lingua franca before independence.Central Province (Papua New Guinea)
Central Province is a province in Papua New Guinea located on the southern coast of the country. It has a population of 237,016 (2010 census) people and is 29,998 square kilometres (11,582 sq mi) in size. The seat of government of Central Province, which is located within the National Capital District outside the province, is the Port Moresby suburb of Konedobu. On 9 October 2007, the Central Province government announced plans to build a new provincial capital city at Bautama, which lies within Central Province near Port Moresby, although there has been little progress in constructing it.Whereas Tok Pisin is the main lingua franca in all Papua New Guinean towns, in part of the southern mainland coastal area centred on Central Province, Hiri Motu is a stronger lingua franca (but not in Port Moresby).English as a lingua franca
English as a lingua franca (ELF) is the use of the English language as "a common means of communication for speakers of different first languages". ELF is also "defined functionally by its use in intercultural communication rather than formally by its reference to native-speaker norms" whereas English as a foreign language aims at meeting native speaker norms and gives prominence to native speaker cultural aspects. While lingua francas have been used for centuries, what makes ELF a novel phenomenon is the extent to which it is used – both functionally and geographically. A typical ELF conversation might involve an Italian and a Swede chatting at a coffee break of an international conference held in Brussels, a Spanish tourist asking a local for the way in Berlin, or a Punjabi Indian negotiating with a Tamil Indian salesperson in Chennai.Ghanaian English
Ghanaian English is a variety of English spoken in Ghana. English is the official language of Ghana, and is used as a lingua franca throughout the state. English is the most used of the 11 official languages spoken in Ghana.Greek East and Latin West
Greek East and Latin West are terms used to distinguish between the two parts of the Greco-Roman world, specifically the eastern regions where Greek was the lingua franca (Anatolia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East) and the western parts where Latin filled this role (Central and Western Europe). During the Roman Empire a divide had persisted between Latin- and Greek-speaking areas; this divide was encouraged by administrative changes in the empire's structure between the 3rd and 5th centuries, which led ultimately to the establishment of separate administrations for the Eastern and Western halves of the Empire.
After the fall of the Western Part, pars occidentalis, of the Empire, the terms Greek East and Latin West are applied to areas that were formerly part of the Eastern or Western Parts of the Empire, and also to areas that fell under the Greek or Latin cultural sphere but that had never been part of the Roman Empire. This has given rise to two modern dichotomies, which are, Christianity has been historically split between Western Christianity (Roman Catholicism and Protestantism) and Eastern Christianity (Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and related traditions). Second, Europeans have traditionally viewed Europe and the Mediterranean as having an East/West cultural split. Cultures associated with the historical Iberians, Goths, Franks, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Celts, West Slavs and the historical Roman Catholic Church (Central and Western Europe) have traditionally been considered Western; these cultures adopted Latin as their lingua franca in the Middle Ages. Cultures associated with the Byzantine and Russian Empires (Greeks, Orthodox Slavs (East and South Slavs), Romanians and to a lesser extent Albanians) have traditionally been considered Eastern; these cultures all used Greek or Old Church Slavonic as a lingua franca during the early Middle Ages.Khana language
Khana (Kana), or Ogoni proper, is the prestige variety of the Ogoni languages of Rivers State, Nigeria. It is the lingua franca of speakers of the East Ogoni languages.Languages of Egypt
There are a number of languages spoken in Egypt, but Egyptian Arabic or Masry which literally means Egyptian, is by far the most widely spoken in the country.Languages of Kenya
Kenya is a multilingual country. The Bantu Swahili language and English, the latter being inherited from colonial rule (see British Kenya), are widely spoken as lingua franca. They serve as the two official working languages. Including second-language speakers, there are more speakers of Swahili than English in Kenya.Languages of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a multilingual country. English is the de facto official language, and Krio is the most widely spoken.
Other major languages include Mende, which is spoken by 31% of the population as a mother tongue and as a lingua franca in southern Sierra Leone, and Temne, which is spoken by 37% as a mother tongue and also as a lingua franca in the northern province, north Western province, and other part of Sierra Leone and some part of the Capital and the Western Area. Other languages include Kono, Kissi, Kuranko, Limba, Fula (Pular), Mandingo and Susu.
Although English, as the official language, is spoken in schools, government administration and the media, Krio is spoken as a lingua franca in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. Krio, an English-based creole language, is the mother tongue of 10.5% of the population but is spoken by 90% of Sierra Leoneans.Lingua Franca (magazine)
Lingua Franca was an American magazine about intellectual and literary life in academia.Lingua Franca Nova
Lingua Franca Nova (abbreviated as LFN or Elefen) is an auxiliary constructed language originally created by C. George Boeree of Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania. Its vocabulary is based on the Romance languages French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan. The grammar is highly reduced and similar to the Romance creoles, and is easily comprehensible and learned. The language has phonemic spelling, using 22 letters of either the Latin or Cyrillic scripts.Lingua franca (disambiguation)
A lingua franca is a language used for communication between speakers of different languages.
List of lingua francasLingua Franca or lingua franca may also refer to:
Mediterranean Lingua Franca, the lingua franca of the Mediterranean Basin for which the term is originally named
Lingua Franca (magazine), a periodical
"Linguafranc" (Japanese: リンガ・フランカ Ringa Furanka), song by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation from the 2013 single Love & GirlsList of lingua francas
This is a list of lingua francas. A lingua franca (English plural "lingua francas", although the pseudo-Latin form "linguae francae" is also seen) is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a first language, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both speakers' first languages.
Examples of lingua francas are numerous, and exist on every continent. The most obvious modern example is English, which is the current dominant lingua franca of international diplomacy, business, science, technology and aviation, but many other languages serve, or have served at different historical periods, as lingua francas in particular regions, or in special contexts.Mandarin (late imperial lingua franca)
Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 官话; traditional Chinese: 官話; pinyin: Guānhuà; literally: "official speech") was the common spoken language of administration of the Chinese empire during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It arose as a practical measure, to circumvent the mutual unintelligibility of the varieties of Chinese spoken in different parts of China. Knowledge of this language was thus essential for an official career, but it was never formally defined. The language was a koiné based on Mandarin dialects, initially those spoken around Nanjing but later switching to Beijing, and developed into Standard Chinese in the 20th century. In some 19th-century works it was called the court dialect.Mediterranean Lingua Franca
The Mediterranean Lingua Franca or Sabir was a pidgin language used as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean Basin from the 11th to the 19th century.Pokomo language
Pokomo (Kipfokomo) is a Bantu language spoken primarily along the East African coast near Tana River in the Tana River District by the Pokomo people of Kenya. Kipfokomo language originated from "Kingozi" the language, which Kiswahili was built from. "Kingozi" language is the precursor of Kiswahili. Pokomos are the only tribe in the world that speak "Kingozi" and sometimes are referred to as wangozi because they used to wear skins (Ngozi). All adult speakers of Pokomo are bilingual in Swahili, East Africa's lingua franca.
There is high of lexical similarity between other languages like Mvita (63%), Amu (61%), Mrima (60%), Kigiryama (59%), Chidigo (58%) or Bajun (57%).Sranan Tongo
Sranan Tongo (also Sranantongo "Surinamese tongue", Sranan, Surinaams, Surinamese, Surinamese Creole, Taki Taki) is an English-based creole language that is spoken as a lingua franca by approximately 500,000 people in Suriname.Because the language is shared by communities speaking Surinamese Dutch, Indigenous languages, Javanese, Sarnami Hindustani, Saramaccan, and varieties of Chinese, most Surinamese speak it as a lingua franca both in Suriname, a former Dutch colony, and by immigrants of Surinamese origin in the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.Suau language
Suau, also known as Iou, is an Oceanic language spoken in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. It is spoken by 6,800 people and a further 14,000 as a lingua franca.Vernacular
A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the language or variety of a language used in everyday life by the common people of a specific population. It is distinguished from a standard, national or literary language or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area. It is usually native, mostly spoken rather than written and usually seen as of lower status than more standardized forms. It can be a language, dialect or sociolect.
Some linguists use "vernacular" and "nonstandard dialect" as synonyms.