lingua franca


lingua franca

Language used for communication between two or more groups that have different native languages. It may be a standard language—for example, English and French are often used for international diplomacy, and Swahili is used by speakers of the many different local languages of eastern Africa. A lingua franca may also be a pidgin, like Melanesian Pidgin, widely used in the southern Pacific. The term lingua franca (Latin: “Frankish language”) was first applied to a pidgin based on French and Italian developed in the Mediterranean. See also creole.

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