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English, lingua franca worldwide

Early 21st century —

The modern lingua franca, as we call it in English (from the Italian for "French,") is English. It is the pre-eminent international language. There are many that are international regionally, but English is the first global common tongue. It is currently the first language in various realms including business, aviation, medicine, science, and technology.

English has "partially displaced" French nn matters of international diplomacy — which is a diplomatic way of saying "has replaced."


The etymology of "lingua franca," in reality, is more complicated than "'French language' in old Italian." The original Lingua Franca was a pidgin tongue, a simplification and amalgamation that was used widely in eastern Mediterranean commercial and political transactions. The name of that ad hoc trade language was a misnomer, likely based upon a tendency of merchants in the region to generalize European idioms as "Frankish."