One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural lingua francas
1A language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different.
language, dialect, patois, vernacular, mother tongue, native tongue, jargon, argot, cant, pidgin, creoleView synonyms
- ‘The national language of Zambia is English, which also serves as the lingua franca (common language).’
- ‘But seeing the world as we do, and being informed about the multiple courses of its history, we can also see that the spread of a universal common language, a lingua franca, does not actually require the loss of smaller languages.’
- ‘The common language must be the lingua franca of the country, English.’
- ‘The same is true for the ‘non-standard’ dialects of Yabem, an Austronesian language used as a mission lingua franca.’
- ‘In both these cases, the linguistic obstacle to interaction was overcome by the development of a lingua franca or common language which either replaced or supplemented the indigenous languages.’
- ‘But the lingua franca was the language of money as tourists picked up souvenirs and shopkeepers counted their cash.’
- ‘And it's the lingua franca, not the minority language, however socially powerful, which eventually wins out in these circumstances.’
- ‘Hausa, which is spoken by over half the population, has become the lingua franca (common language) of the country.’
- ‘We alternated speaking in French, the language of all educated Mauritians, and English, the lingua franca of the computer literate.’
- ‘This principle, applied in concert with the concept of human capital mentioned above, can explain the emergence of a lingua franca, a common language.’
- ‘Yet in Singapore, English, not Chinese, is the chief lingua franca, the official language of government, and the main medium of instruction.’
- ‘Swahili originated on the coast and became the lingua franca (common language) for much of East Africa.’
- ‘In other words, it is a lingua franca used between those for whom English is not their native language, but the only common language in which any sort of communication is possible.’
- ‘It's little wonder that the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu adopted different varieties of pidgin as their lingua francas when they became independent nations.’
- ‘Other studies indicate that signed languages developed in cases where peoples using mutually unintelligible spoken dialects used sign language as a lingua franca.’
- ‘It first developed in the tenth century with the arrival of Arab traders; it was a lingua franca that allowed different tribes to communicate with each other and with the Arabs.’
- ‘English is also a lingua franca, and new migrants need it to communicate with migrants with other community language backgrounds as well as with monolingual English speakers.’
- ‘The second goal, acquisition of the prestige variety, is grounded in the knowledge that the standard language is the lingua franca of educated communities of speakers.’
- ‘English is the lingua franca of computer software.’
- ‘Although English is generally touted as the lingua franca in Fiji, all sociolinguistic research to date has shown this to be an exaggeration.’
- 1.1historical mass noun A mixture of Italian with French, Greek, Arabic, and Spanish, formerly used in the eastern Mediterranean.
Late 17th century: from Italian, literally ‘Frankish tongue’.
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