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 ?
It is a major lingua franca in countries such as, Tanzania and Kenya, as well as major cities of Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the Comoros, and Somali.
He showed his commitment to this call for Kiswahili as a continental lingua franca by championing its adoption by some Ghanaian public institutions.
The primary purpose for introducing the language was to give students from Eastern and Central Africa an opportunity to learn and build their proficiency in the Kiswahili language, which is the lingua franca in those parts of Africa, and to reflect the school's philosophy of Pan-Africanism.
Furthermore he encouraged all African writers to work towards the translation of their works into this continental lingua franca (Jeyifo: 2004: xiii; Chebet-Choge: 2012).
The development of language training in Finland reflects the rise of the English language as a lingua franca (ELF), a common language.
Although it may useful to use simple grammar in English as an international language or lingua franca order to facilitate professional communication in some contexts, (82) it is important to carefully consider the pedagogic implications of such an approach.
Ahvenalnen, Tarmo, Problem-solving Mechanisms in Information Exchange Dialogues with English as a Lingua Franca.
I am sorry--or when it comes to the idea of an original Uralic lingua franca rather glad--to say that I in no way can share the view expressed, although not explicitely, by R.
This idea makes it possible to propose a pidgin origin for any reasonably unknown language and then say that no evidence remains because of decreolization, or, for that matter, to propose a lingua franca origin for an entire group of languages, in this case the Uralic languages.
Swahili is not to be taken as evidence for an original Uralic lingua franca in this guilt-by-association way, simply because it does not originate in any pidgin or creole language.