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Do you think English will ever stop being the world's lingua franca?
Lingua franca, according to Wikipedia, is a language or dialect systematically 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 both of the speakers' native languages.

I've read that French used to be world's lingua franca. Then it was replaced by English and now we can find English speakers all over the world. Do you think this situation will change in the future? If so, what language do you think will be the new world's lingua franca? Chinese, French again, Spanish, German...?
May 2, 2020 7:23 PM
Comments · 10
@Russel - while I'm sure to get crucified by Esperanto speakers I always thought that, given the "origins", the strong grammatical bias towards Romance languages and a vocabulary that draws almost exclusively from the Indo-Germanic language families, Esperanto was flawed to begin with and an extremely half-arse attempt at a "global language" =}

/me ducks and covers
May 2, 2020
There was an attempt to make a universal language called Esperanto. I believe this happened in the 1890’s. It never really took hold. It seems that English will remain the lingua Franca for the foreseeable future.
May 2, 2020
There is a difference between English and the earlier lingua francas in that English is much more widely spoken. It's not just the language for a small elite engaged in business, science, diplomacy etc. It's how ordinary French and Germans talk to each other when they vacation in Spain.

I'm also curious about Irene's comment that English is a big threat to other languages. Obviously it has wiped out a lot of languages in the relatively small places where English is native, but is it really threatening other languages where it is a second language? When I think of language extinction, I think of Mandarin and Hindi, not English.
May 4, 2020
I don't think that another native language will replace English, but that world English will continue to evolve away from native English towards "Earth". A big part of that evolution will be adding more and more vocabulary from Asia. But it will take a while.

May 3, 2020
Nothing stays the same forever. There will come a time when English is replaced, possibly by a language that has not even evolved yet. But I think it is so firmly entrenched for now that I don't think it will be in my lifetime
May 2, 2020
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Language Skills
English, German, Spanish
Learning Language
English, German