Lingua franca

Lingua franca

A lingua franca (or working language, bridge language, vehicular language) is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.[1]



"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic history or structure of the language:[2] though pidgins and creoles often function as lingua francas, many such languages are neither pidgins nor creoles. Whereas a vernacular language is used as a native language in a single speaker community, a lingua franca goes beyond the boundaries of its original community, and is used as a second language for communication between communities. For example, English is a vernacular in the United Kingdom, but is used as a vehicular language (that is, a lingua franca) in the Philippines.

International auxiliary languages such as Esperanto are generally intended by their designers to function as lingua francas, but they have historically had a relatively low level of adoption and use and therefore cannot be described as lingua francas in the functional sense.


The original Lingua Franca was a mixed language composed mostly (80%) of Italian with a broad vocabulary drawn from Turkish, French, Greek, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish. It was in use throughout the eastern Mediterranean as the language of commerce and diplomacy in and around the Renaissance era. At that time, Italian speakers dominated seaborne commerce in the port cities of the Ottoman empire. Franca was the Italian word for Frankish. Its usage in the term lingua franca originated from its meaning in Arabic and Greek, dating from before the Crusades and during the Middle Ages, whereby all Western Europeans were called "Franks" or Faranji in Arabic and Phrankoi in Greek during the times of the late Eastern Roman Empire.[3] The term lingua franca is first recorded in English in 1678.[4]


Examples of lingua francas are numerous, and exist on every continent. The most obvious example today is English, which is the current lingua franca of international business, science, technology, and aviation. There are many other lingua francas centralized on particular regions, such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.

The popularity of languages changes over time, and there are many lingua francas that are of historical importance. For example, French was the language of European diplomacy from the 17th century until the mid-20th century. Until the early 20th century, Classical Chinese served as both the written lingua franca and the diplomatic language in Far East Asia including China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, the Ryūkyū Kingdom, and Vietnam. Arabic became the "lingua franca" of the Arab/Islamic Empire (from CE 733 – 1492), which at a certain point spread from the borders of China and Northern India through Central Asia, Persia, Asia Minor, Middle East, North Africa all the way to Spain and Portugal in the west. In their modern forms, these languages are all still significant lingua francas today.

See also


  1. ^ Viacheslav A. Chirikba, "The problem of the Caucasian Sprachbund" in Pieter Muysken, ed., From Linguistic Areas to Areal Linguistics, 2008, p. 31. ISBN 90-272-3100-1
  2. ^ Intro Sociolinguistics - Pidgin and Creole Languages: Origins and Relationships - Notes for LG102, - University of Essex, Prof. Peter L. Patrick - Week 11, Autumn term.
  3. ^, Lexico Triantaphyllide online dictionary , Greek Language Center (Kentro Hellenikes Glossas), lemma Franc ( Φράγκος Phrankos) , Lexico tes Neas Hellenikes Glossas, G.Babiniotes, Kentro Lexikologias(Legicology Center) LTD Publications , ISBN 960-86190-1-7, lemma Franc and (prefix) franco- (Φράγκος Phrankos and φράγκο- phranko-).
  4. ^ Lingua franca is discussed in these etymology dictionaries: Ernest Weekley Etymology Dictionary (1921), Eric Partridge Etymology Dictionary (1966), Douglas Harper Etymology Dictionary (2001)

Further reading

  • Heine, Bernd (1970). Status and Use of African Lingua Francas. ISBN 3-8039-0033-6
  • Kahane, Henry Romanos (1958). The Lingua Franca in the Levant.
  • R. A. Hall, Jr. (1966). Pidgin and Creole Languages, Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-0173-9.
  • MELATTI, Julio Cezar (1983). Índios do Brasil. São Paulo:Hucitec Press, 48th edition

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • lingua franca — ● lingua franca nom féminin Sabir utilisé dans les ports de la Méditerranée entre l époque des croisades et la fin du XIXe s. Langue auxiliaire de relation utilisée par des groupes ayant des langues maternelles différentes. (C est par exemple le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • lingua franca — ► NOUN (pl. lingua francas) ▪ a language used as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. ORIGIN Italian, Frankish tongue , in reference to a language formerly used in the eastern Mediterranean, consisting of… …   English terms dictionary

  • lingua franca — [liŋ′gwə fraŋ′kə] n. pl. lingua francas or linguae francae [liŋ′gwē fran′sē] [It, lit., Frankish language] 1. a hybrid language based on Italian, with Spanish, French, Greek, and Arabic elements, spoken, esp. formerly, in certain Mediterranean… …   English World dictionary

  • Lingua Franca — Lin gua Fran ca (l[i^][ng] gw[.a] fr[a^][ng] k[.a]) n. [It., prop., language of the Franks.] 1. The commercial language of the Levant, a mixture of the languages of the people of the region and of foreign traders. [1913 Webster] 2. Any hybrid or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lingua franca — Lingua franca, 1) das mehrfach verdorbene Italienisch, welches seinen Ursprung der Zeit der Herrschaft der Venetianer u. Genueser in der Levante verdankt u. zum Verkehrsmittel zwischen den Bewohnern der Osthälfte der Nordküste Afrikas, Syriens u …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Lingua franca — Lingua franca, ital., verdorbenes Italienisch, die Vermittlungssprache zwischen den Levantinern und Europäern …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • lingua franca — 1670s, from Italian, lit. Frankish tongue. Originally a form of communication used in the Levant, a stripped down Italian peppered with Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish words. The name is probably from the Arabic custom, dating back to …   Etymology dictionary

  • lingua franca — (izg. lȉngva frȁnka) DEFINICIJA 1. lingv. mješavina romanskih jezika (prvenstveno talijanskog), grčkog, turskog i arapskog, služio kao sredstvo sporazumijevanja u sredozemnim lukama od križarskih ratova do kraja 19. st. 2. pren. prošireno na… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Lingua Franca — Als Lingua Franca (ital. für „fränkische Sprache“) bezeichnet man: in der ursprünglichen und engeren Bedeutung eine bestimmte Pidgin Sprache auf romanischer Basis, die im Mittelalter durch den Sprachkontakt zwischen Romanen und Sprechern… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lingua franca — Als Lingua franca (italienisch für: „fränkische Sprache“) bezeichnet man: in der ursprünglichen und engeren Bedeutung eine bestimmte Pidgin Sprache auf romanischer Basis, die im Mittelalter durch den Sprachkontakt zwischen Romanen und Sprechern… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное

Прямая ссылка:
Нажмите правой клавишей мыши и выберите «Копировать ссылку»