26 September 2005

The Importance of a Lingua Franca

In our home, we collectively speak a miriage of languages, including our own mixture blended into our own intimate language. It basically combines Netherlands, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Gaelic, Ute and French. Each of us chooses words or phrases or a particular language because we can really express ourselves better through this combination of languages.

When we were very young, my sister and I also had our own "secret" language. This grew out of living in a family where we could speak one language to one parent or grandparent to keep the message secret from the others present. Have I naturally grown into this habit as an adult because of a predilection as a child?

This made me look into "lingua franca", which Wikipedia explains rather well.

Today's cross-cultural collaboration environments require a "lingua franca" that embraces the delight of idiomatic expression from each of our languages. It may also help us understand one another's cultures even better as we undertake to explain the concepts behind these expressions. It also provides us with an opportunity to share and export our culture in a very user-friendly way.

Do you have any expressions from your language that would better explain particular circumstances than English or Dutch? Please help us grow our "expression vocabulary". We would like to build an enriched, new vocabulary on our wiki.

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