These days the term international language can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, we can refer to artificial languages. They had been created to facilitate intercultural communication. Secondly, we can talk about the so-called lingua francas. Both terms are known for making cooperation between nations easier. So, without further ado let’s dive into all the particularities!
Constructed languages were consciously created by a person or a group of people. In an artificial environment for a particular reason. At this point, it’s essential to shed light on Esperanto.
Esperanto was elaborated in Poland to bridge gaps between ethnicities. It was the end of the 19th century when L. L. Zamenhof constructed a formula of the language. Zamenhof attempted to make Esperanto the easiest second language to learn. Therefore, he had decided to take European languages as the base for Esperanto. The majority of words had their roots in Roman languages. It’s native speakers could learn the vocabulary shortly. Another thing that makes the language simple is pronunciation. Every word was spoken as it spelled.
Today Esperanto is the most successful project for intercultural encounters. However, it wasn’t as popular as a designer would prefer. Nowadays, Esperanto speakers account for approximately 100 thousand people which is still incomparable to any lingua franca.
Lingua franca is the phenomenon of one language being widely learned overseas. It gives people from all over the world a platform to share ideas and form collaboration.
The international community from ancient times sought an agreement. The most powerful language which served as lingua franca was Latin.
It was popular on the European continent and its dominance affected almost every national language. Latin possessed its influence for more than 13 centuries. Impressive, isn’t it? Even though Latin has lost its superiority, we still appreciate this wonderful tongue.
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, French was the most studied foreign language. It was mainly used for trade operations and political affairs.
Lingua francas were always in demand and modern society is not an exception. These days we can refer to English as a contemporary lingua franca. Undoubtedly, high-ranking officials, international organizations, transnational companies — all of them use English to speak with colleagues. And the decline of this language does seem to happen any time soon.
In conclusion, the world is seeking alternative ways of communication. Nevertheless, the concept of having one common tongue is still a controversial subject. Undoubtedly, once multinational organizations reach another step of development, the advancement of an International language will follow.