A lingua franca, even lingua franca is a language that people in certain fields of different language communities the traffic allows (trade, diplomacy, administration, science ). Widespread traffic languages are today, for example, the English language and the Spanish language.
Some traffic languages are reformed in everyday contact. Examples of this are the lingua franca of the Middle Ages, and various modern pidgin. If a community adopts a pidgin as their first language, it is called a creole.
In ancient Akkadian was used as a lingua franca in the Middle East and later replaced by Aramaic.
In the Hellenistic period, the Greek language ( Koine ) held this position; in the Middle Ages took the Latin language in upper class and the clergy a this place. The Middle Low German was regarded as a lingua franca of the Hanseatic merchants, the Basarmalaiisch for the Pacific, the Hindustani for the North Indian region and the islands to Fiji.
In modern times, came as the language of diplomacy, the French language will be added, in world trade of the Portuguese colonial era, while the German language fulfilled this function for science in much of Europe until the Second World War.
Since the end of World War II, the English language in politics, science and business of life is dominant. In West and Central Africa, the French language occupies the dominant position, while in parts of Eastern Europe, the German language is widely spoken and understood as well as in Eastern Europe and some countries in Central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian language.
Attempts against the early 20th century to establish planned languages as languages of communication have failed.