Language is powerful tool of communication, sharing of thoughts, views, opinions, feelings etc. It is identification of communities and nations. If language is died or extinct by its speakers, then identification of related nation and culture will automatically be died. However, all the languages are important for the purpose of communication and nations. The common or influential language may be used as source of communication at national or international level as well as in multi-lingual societies and countries. A language which is spoken commonly for the purpose of communication in multi-lingual societies or countries in place of native languages is called Lingua Franca.
The background of lingua franca is the story of the evolution of societies however, it is helpful in communicating and sharing the values in the diverse types of the population where multiple native languages are existing. Lingua franca is a common term for languages which are utilized for the purpose of diverse types of communication. Significance of lingua franca is patent and valid for different types of institutions, organizations, communities and nations. The plural of lingua franca islingua francas therefore, lingua francas are, basically, languages used by different people, communities, nations who don’t share a common language. Such types of the people signify an attempt to generate an entirely understood language in a world with growing global interactions. In certain countries the lingua franca is also used as the national language. According to Wikipedia, “the term is taken from the medieval Mediterranean Lingua Franca, a Romance-based pidgin language used especially by traders and sea men as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean Basin from the 11th to the 19th century. Lingua franca term literally means “Frankish language”, because “Frank” was a common designation for all western Europeans since approximately the 12th century.”
A Lingua Franca may be called a connecting language, common language, trade language, secondary language or link language therefore, it is a language that is adopted as a communal language between speakers of different societies or countries whose native languages are different and multiple. It is a language or dialect which is used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from speakers’ native languages. Lingua francas have developed around the world throughout human evolution history, almost these languages are used for commercial reasons in order to facilitate the traders, but also for cultural, religious, diplomatic, administrative, armed forces, multi-lingual societies, organizations and as a means of exchanging information between scientists and other scholars of different populations. The international language like English is a lingua franca because it is spoken internationally by a large number of people.
The Aramaic was the first example of a lingua franca in the world. Aramaic is a language or group of languages belong to the Semitic subfamily of the Afro-asiatic language family. More specifically, it is part of the Northwest Semitic group, which also includes the Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician. It was a common second language, shared by people who are unable to communicate in their native languages. Before the World War, French was the western world’s first lingua franca, owing to the status of France in the age of Louis XIV. Nowadays, English is a common lingua franca across the sphere because it is used for the purpose of communication globally. According to some estimates, almost 80 percent of English speakers in the world are non-native speakers. English language has replaced French as the lingua franca of diplomacy since World War II. The rise of English in diplomacy began in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, when the Treaty of Versailles was written in English as well as in French, the dominant language used in diplomacy until that time. The reasons for the spread of French as a lingua franca was not because Frenchspeakers set out to promote the language as such. French was learnt and used because its speakers had political, economic and cultural influence. Therefore, the rise and fall of a lingua franca went hand in hand with the emergence of numerous other possibilities. When the United Kingdom became a colonial power, English served as the lingua franca of the colonies of the British Empire. In the post-colonial period, some of the newly created nations which had multiple indigenous languages opted to continue using English as the lingua franca to avoid the political difficulties inherent in promoting any one indigenous language above the others. The British Empire established the use of English in regions around the world such as North America, India, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, so that by the late 19th century its reach was truly global, and in the latter half of the 20th century, widespread international use of English was much reinforced by the global economic, financial, scientific, military, and cultural pre-eminence of the English-speaking countries and especially the U.S. Currently, more than half of all scientific journals are published in English, while in France, almost one third of all natural science research appears in English, lending some support to English being the lingua franca of science and technology. English is also the lingua franca of international Air Traffic Control communications.
Pakistan is a multi-lingual country that has several socio-economic and linguistic diversity problems. Since there is no proper language policy, therefore, some languages are in process of transformation to influential languages which are the lingua franca in the country and others are in danger of being extinct.In Pakistan, Urdu and English are the example of Lingua Franca. Both languages are spoken all over the country whereas, all the four provinces have their own languages, culture, civilization and land. All the institutions, organizations, national media houses are using Urdu and English as the lingua franca while, there is very little population of Urdu language natives and no population of English native people except some officials, etc. Therefore, such type of the lingua francas are vanishing the native languages especially in cities of country. After partition, regional languages were ignored. Urdu was declared the official language of the country for all purposes, including education and internal communication. Therefore, the significance of Urdu language is momentous and patent for the purpose of official and general communication all over the country which make the Urdu language as lingua franca in Pakistan.
The lingua franca is a double-sided sword which facilitates the multi-lingual population, societies and nations in providing a source of communication on one side which is acceptable to all because communication occurs easily however, it vanishes or dies the native languages having thousands years old land, nation, civilization and culture on other side. The majority of the world’s languages are in danger at this stage; because people in big cities are leaving their native languages and converting to lingua franca. UNO is of concerned that majority of languages will be died in coming 5 decades. The high standard education institutions are providing education in international language or languages which are lingua francas but at same time they are destroying the native languages as well. The parents are focusing the lingua franca in order to make their children familiar with global language or languages.