lingua franca

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lingua franca

(lĭng`gwə frăng`kə), an auxiliary language, generally of a hybrid and partially developed nature, that is employed over an extensive area by people speaking different and mutually unintelligible tongues in order to communicate with one another. Such a language frequently is used primarily for commercial purposes. Examples are the several varieties of the hybrid pidgin English (see pidginpidgin
, a lingua franca that is not the mother tongue of anyone using it and that has a simplified grammar and a restricted, often polyglot vocabulary. The earliest documented pidgin is the Lingua Franca (or Sabir) that developed among merchants and traders in the Mediterranean
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); Swahili, a native language of E Africa (see Swahili languageSwahili language,
member of the Bantu group of African languages (see African languages and Bantu languages). Swahili is spoken by 30 million people, chiefly in Tanzania, Kenya, Congo (Kinshasa), Burundi, and Uganda, and serves as a lingua franca for additional millions in E
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); Chinook jargon, a lingua franca formerly used in the American Northwest that was a mixture of Chinook, other Native American languages, English, and French; and a variety of Malay (called bazaar Malay), which served as a compromise language in the area of British Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, and neighboring regions (see Malayo-Polynesian languagesMalayo-Polynesian languages
, sometimes also called Austronesian languages
, family of languages estimated at from 300 to 500 tongues and understood by approximately 300 million people in Madagascar; the Malay Peninsula; Indonesia and New Guinea; the Philippines;
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). The original lingua franca was a tongue actually called Lingua Franca (or Sabir) that was employed for commerce in the Mediterranean area during the Middle Ages. Now extinct, it had Italian as its base with an admixture of words from Spanish, French, Greek, and Arabic. The designation "Lingua Franca" [language of the Franks] came about because the Arabs in the medieval period used to refer to Western Europeans in general as "Franks." Occasionally the term lingua franca is applied to a fully established formal language; thus formerly it was said that French was the lingua franca of diplomacy.

Bibliography

See H. R. Kahane et al., The Lingua Franca in the Levant (1958); R. A. Hall, Jr., Pidgin and Creole Languages (1966); B. Heine, Status and Use of African Lingua Francas (1970).

lingua franca

It implies a common, or standard, language. The term is used in the information industry to refer to the most-widely used format, protocol or command language for a particular purpose. Its actual meaning is "Frankish language," which is spoken in various Mediterranean ports and is a combination of Italian, Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic and Turkish. Its original meaning also implies a hybrid or mixture of languages.
References in periodicals archive ?
As Anzaldua suggests, a common tongue that can express people's "realities and values" makes possible the cultural process of community formation around a shared form of life.
Of course, as a first language, the world's most common tongue is not European, but Asian.
We are two-headed like Eng and Chang the Siamese Twins--but our heads are from different countries with no common tongue.
Of course, as a first language, the world's most common tongue is not European but Asian: Mandarin Chinese is now spoken by nearly 900 million people.
Arsene Wenger has adopted the same policy at Arsenal, but Ranieri has yet to unite the players with one common tongue and admitted this had caused breakdowns in communication.
Even though Spanish is the common tongue in most of South America, drafting a marketing campaign for outside companies is nor as simple as translating everything into one of two languages.
What's worked for generations - complete immersion in the common tongue - reliably readies students to step across the communications bridge to the larger community.
but if memory serves, it was Sir Winston Churchill who dryly observed that speakers of British and of American English are separated by a common tongue.
Only the work of Christopher Small (Music of the Common Tongue [London: River Run P, 1987]), a British musicologist, systematically attempts to examine "jazz" or African American music primarily from a musical/aesthetical perspective.
Perhaps weapons speak a common tongue, but Twomey reminds us that it is the militaries who need to be fluent in multiple languages.
If there's one thing we've learned despite the disadvantage of not sharing a common tongue it's that the answer to every problem under the EU flag is to spend more than you have on things you don't need and stiff someone else with the bill.