- any language that is widely used as a means of communication among speakers of other languages.
- (initial capital letter) the Italian-Provençal jargon (with elements of Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish) formerly widely used in eastern Mediterranean ports.
Origin of lingua franca
Examples from the Web for lingua franca
Thus there is now, and perhaps always has been, what may be called a lingua-franca, in the sign vocabulary.
- a particular lingua franca spoken from the time of the Crusades to the 18th century in the ports of the Mediterranean, based on Italian, Spanish, French, Arabic, Greek, and Turkish
- a language used for communication among people of different mother tongues
- a hybrid language containing elements from several different languages used in this way
- any system of communication providing mutual understanding
Word Origin and History for lingua franca
1620s, from Italian, literally "Frankish tongue." Originally a form of communication used in the Levant, a stripped-down Italian peppered with Spanish, French, Greek, Arabic, and Turkish words. The name is probably from the Arabic custom, dating back to the Crusades, of calling all Europeans Franks (see Frank). Sometimes in 17c. English sources also known as Bastard Spanish.