Lingua franca

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A lingua franca is a language that is used as a means of communication by people from different language communities.

Term properties

The plural is lingua francas, or sometimes lingue franche (using the Italian plural form).


French was used as a lingua franca of educated Europeans in the 17th and 18th century; Russian is used as a lingua franca in the Central Asian republics Uzbekistan, Tajiskistan, Turkmenistan, etc.; and English is used as a lingua franca for most global international events.


The term lingua franca derives from the name of a pidgin language (Lingua Franca) that was used as a means of interethnic communication in the Mediterranean region a few centuries ago.

Other languages

German Lingua Franca (de)

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