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 ?
When addressing the students of the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics on May 25, 2012, McFaul said he would use no diplomatic language and would put it straight - Russia bribed Kyrgyzstan so the Americans would get thrown out of "Manas".
Moussa, an ex-foreign minister, adopts liberal thoughts and commands a clever diplomatic language.
In scarcely diplomatic language, the French Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "The Syrian FM's statements, affirming an initial implementation of the Annan plan by the Damascus regime, are a fresh expression of this blatant and unacceptable lie.
China tried to make the leaders of the regime in Damascus understand that its interests required the regime to change its stances and methods, but those leaders failed to understand China's diplomatic language and caused its Special Envoy to fail in his task - a kind of task rarely embarked on by Beijing.
Obama used some forthright diplomatic language to allude to the 'areas of tension' in Washington-Beijing relations, as China's leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping made a crucial visit to the US.
However, for the pieces on the board to be moved, it was necessary to wait until late June, when Morales asked the European countries to help fulfill a mediation role that in diplomatic language is called that of "amiable composition.
However, there is really no diplomatic language to describe the relationship between desperate Palestinians - some literally fighting for their lives - and Egyptian officials at the crossing which separates Gaza from Egypt.
It seems as though, in diplomatic language, Ban is more concerned about how IsraelA's violent response to our flotilla looks and does not want another international incident like last year where Israel murdered nine of our volunteers.
Blunt" was the definition of analysts close to the White House: without diplomatic language, the prime minister responded that he has no intention or ability of returning to the lines of 4 June 1967, for both security and demographic reasons.
The desire to ''do something'' about the situation in Libya drove the United Nations Security Council to authorize use of all possible measures -- diplomatic language for military force -- to protect civilian populations in that troubled country.
That the dictionary should have been awarded a prestigious prize by a leading French institution suggests that those days are over, and that Anglo-Norman is again regarded as what it was: part of the second-most important language of culture (after Latin) in western Europe in the Middle Ages, not only an inspiration for the development of vernacular literatures, but also an international trading and diplomatic language from Spain to Scotland, and from Italy to Ireland," he said.
Diplomatic Language Skills Dangerously Decline In its January 31, 2002, report, following the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.