The Importance Of Lingua Franca

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The term ‘Lingua Franca’ originated as language used along the South-Eastern coast of the Mediterranean in the period from 15th to 19th century. The purpose of using Lingua Franca was to communicate in trades with people who do not share same language. As time goes by, besides trade field, the significance of lingua franca got higher and English was the language that have been chosen as international language. With the birth of international organizations in western world, English was taken as official language not only for a communication tool to convey their thoughts and opinions about the agenda but also for mutual understanding among participants. Since the modern days, English became as dominant language among various domains and thus…show more content…
(Stephen Evans, 2010) When it comes to written communication, usage of English is dominant. In case of Hong Kong where considerable number of multinational companies are located, it is likely to use English in formal situations and documents. Even though Cantonese is still primary language in oral communication, English act as a tool to show ‘professional’ identity. However, BELF doesn’t always come with positive consequences. The cost and effort to acquire English is another burden for non-English speaking workers. They need to spend their time to get used to using English and if they are not fluent on it, fall behind other colleagues and miscommunication occurs. This can be found on research of the Finnish multinational, KONE Corporation. KONE adopted English as common corporate language (CCL) and this meant that about two-thirds of the company had to use English as their daily language rather than mother tongue. (Marschan et al., 1997) To be noted that appearance of English in work place wasn’t that long in business world. For example, in Finland, introduction of BELF started in mid-1980 and the early 1990s, when the wave of cross-border mergers started to boom. Thus, typically old generation workers had to use English because the younger colleagues and international partners were not used to Finnish in the workplace. This similar situation is also happening in Netherlands. Dutch interviewers from Anne Kankaanranta and Brigitte Planken’s research noted that company’s head office abruptly designated English as official corporate language and this sudden change brought them distress and confusion in the first place. There was even a lawsuit against a French subsidiary of GE in 2004 for requiring and forcing them to deal with English documents and the firm received a heavy
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