Lingua franca

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For other uses, see Lingua franca (disambiguation). Lingua franca_sentence_0

A lingua franca (/ˌlɪŋɡwə ˈfræŋkə/ (listen); lit. Lingua franca_sentence_1

'Frankish tongue'; for plurals see § Usage notes), 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 groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when not one of the speakers' native languages. Lingua franca_sentence_2

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. Lingua franca_sentence_3

The term is taken from the medieval Mediterranean Lingua Franca, a Romance-based pidgin language used (especially by traders and seamen) as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean Basin from the 11th to the 19th century. Lingua franca_sentence_4

A world language – a language spoken internationally and by many people – is a language that may function as a global lingua franca. Lingua franca_sentence_5

Characteristics Lingua franca_section_0

A lingua franca is any language used for communication between people who do not share a native language. Lingua franca_sentence_6

It can be a mixed language such as a pidgin or creole used for communication between language groups. Lingua franca_sentence_7

It can be native to one nation (often a colonial power) but used as a second language for communication in a colony or former colony. Lingua franca_sentence_8

Lingua franca is a functional term, independent of any linguistic history or language structure. Lingua franca_sentence_9

Lingua francas are often pre-existing languages with native speakers, but they can also be pidgin or creole languages developed for that specific region or context. Lingua franca_sentence_10

Pidgin languages are rapidly developed and simplified combinations of two or more established languages, while creoles are generally viewed as pidgins that have evolved into fully complex languages in the course of adaptation by subsequent generations. Lingua franca_sentence_11

Pre-existing lingua francas such as French are used to facilitate intercommunication in large-scale trade or political matters, while pidgins and creoles often arise out of colonial situations and a specific need for communication between colonists and indigenous peoples. Lingua franca_sentence_12

Pre-existing lingua francas are generally widespread, highly developed languages with many native speakers. Lingua franca_sentence_13

Conversely, pidgin languages are very simplified means of communication, containing loose structuring, few grammatical rules, and possessing few or no native speakers. Lingua franca_sentence_14

Creole languages are more developed than their ancestral pidgins, utilizing more complex structure, grammar, and vocabulary, as well as having substantial communities of native speakers. Lingua franca_sentence_15

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. Lingua franca_sentence_16

For example, English is a vernacular in the United Kingdom but is used as a lingua franca in the Philippines, alongside Filipino. Lingua franca_sentence_17

Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindustani, and Russian serve a similar purpose as industrial/educational lingua francas, across regional and national boundaries. Lingua franca_sentence_18

International auxiliary languages such as Esperanto and Lingua Franca Nova have not had a great degree of adoption globally, so they cannot currently be described as global lingua francas. Lingua franca_sentence_19

Etymology Lingua franca_section_1

The term lingua franca derives from Mediterranean Lingua Franca, the pidgin 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. Lingua franca_sentence_20

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) of the region. Lingua franca_sentence_21

In Lingua Franca (the specific language), lingua means a language, as in Italian, and franca is related to phrankoi in Greek and faranji in Arabic as well as the equivalent Italian and Portuguese. Lingua franca_sentence_22

In all three cases, the literal sense is "Frankish", leading to the direct translation: "language of the Franks". Lingua franca_sentence_23

During the late Byzantine Empire, "Franks" was a term that applied to all Western Europeans. Lingua franca_sentence_24

Through changes of the term in literature, Lingua Franca has come to be interpreted as a general term for pidgins, creoles, and some or all forms of vehicular languages. Lingua franca_sentence_25

This transition in meaning has been attributed to the idea that pidgin languages only became widely known from the 16th century on due to European colonization of continents such as The Americas, Africa, and Asia. Lingua franca_sentence_26

During this time, the need for a term to address these pidgin languages arose, hence the shift in the meaning of Lingua Franca from a single proper noun to a common noun encompassing a large class of pidgin languages. Lingua franca_sentence_27

As recently as the late 20th century, some restricted the use of the generic term to mean only mixed languages that are used as vehicular languages, its original meaning. Lingua franca_sentence_28

Douglas Harper's Online 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". Lingua franca_sentence_29

Usage notes Lingua franca_section_2

The term is well established in its naturalization to English, which is why major dictionaries do not italicize it as a "foreign" term. Lingua franca_sentence_30

Its plurals in English are lingua francas and linguae francae, with the former being first-listed or only-listed in major dictionaries. Lingua franca_sentence_31

Examples Lingua franca_section_3

Main article: List of lingua francas Lingua franca_sentence_32

The use of lingua francas has existed since antiquity. Lingua franca_sentence_33

Latin and Koine Greek were the lingua francas of the Roman Empire and the Hellenistic culture. Lingua franca_sentence_34

Akkadian (died out during Classical antiquity) and then Aramaic remained the common languages of a large part of Western Asia from several earlier empires. Lingua franca_sentence_35

The Hindustani language (Hindi-Urdu) is the lingua franca of Pakistan and Northern India. Lingua franca_sentence_36

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." Lingua franca_sentence_37

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." Lingua franca_sentence_38

Hindi has also emerged as a lingua franca for the locals of Arunachal Pradesh, a linguistically diverse state in Northeast India. Lingua franca_sentence_39

It is estimated that 90 percent of the state's population knows Hindi. Lingua franca_sentence_40

Indonesian – which originated from a Malay language variant spoken in Riau – is the official language and a lingua franca in Indonesia and widely understood across the Malay world including Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, although Javanese has more native speakers. Lingua franca_sentence_41

Still, Indonesian is the sole official language and is spoken throughout the country. Lingua franca_sentence_42

Swahili developed as a lingua franca between several Bantu-speaking tribal groups on the east coast of Africa with heavy influence from Arabic. Lingua franca_sentence_43

The earliest examples of writing in Swahili are from 1711. Lingua franca_sentence_44

In the early 19th century the use of Swahili as a lingua franca moved inland with the Arabic ivory and slave traders. Lingua franca_sentence_45

It was eventually adopted by Europeans as well during periods of colonization in the area. Lingua franca_sentence_46

German colonizers used it as the language of administration in German East Africa, later becoming Tanganyika, which influenced the choice to use it as a national language in what is now independent Tanzania. Lingua franca_sentence_47

In the European Union, the use of English as a lingua franca has led researchers to investigate whether a new dialect of English (Euro English) has emerged. Lingua franca_sentence_48

When the United Kingdom became a colonial power, English served as the lingua franca of the colonies of the British Empire. Lingua franca_sentence_49

In the post-colonial period, some of the newly created nations which had multiple indigenous languages opted to continue using English as an official language. Lingua franca_sentence_50

French is still a lingua franca in most Western and Central African countries and an official language of many, a remnant of French and Belgian colonialism. Lingua franca_sentence_51

These African countries and others are members of the Francophonie. Lingua franca_sentence_52

Russian is in use and widely understood in Central Asia and the Caucasus, areas formerly part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, and in much of Central and Eastern Europe. Lingua franca_sentence_53

It remains the official language of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Lingua franca_sentence_54

Russian is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Lingua franca_sentence_55

In Qatar, the medical community is primarily made up of workers from countries without English as a native language. Lingua franca_sentence_56

In medical practices and hospitals, nurses typically communicate with other professionals in English as a lingua franca. Lingua franca_sentence_57

This occurrence has led to interest in researching the consequences and affordances of the medical community communicating in a lingua franca. Lingua franca_sentence_58

Persian was a lingua franca during the Sassanian Empire and later in Islamic Persia. Lingua franca_sentence_59

Old Church Slavonic, Eastern South Slavic language, is the first Slavic literary language. Lingua franca_sentence_60

Between 9th and 11th century it was lingua franca of great part of the predominantly Slavic states and populations in Southeast and Eastern Europe, in liturgy and church organization, culture, literature, education and diplomacy. Lingua franca_sentence_61

Hausa can also be seen as a lingua franca because it is the language of communication between speakers of different languages in Northern Nigeria and other West African countries. Lingua franca_sentence_62

The only documented sign language used as a lingua franca is Plains Indian Sign Language, used across much of North America. Lingua franca_sentence_63

It was used as a second language across many indigenous peoples. Lingua franca_sentence_64

Alongside or a derivation of Plains Indian Sign Language was Plateau Sign Language, now extinct. Lingua franca_sentence_65

Inuit Sign Language could be a similar case in the Arctic among the Inuit for communication across oral language boundaries, but little research exists. Lingua franca_sentence_66

See also Lingua franca_section_4

Lingua franca_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: franca.