Vernacular language meaning/history/difference with Lingua Franca

 Vernacular language

The word vernacular comes from the Latin word, vernāculus, which means native or indigenous. Ideally, vernacular is the way ordinary people talk to each other in non-formal settings, such as at home. A vernacular language (non-standard dialect) is a native dialect or way of speaking of specific people or a specific region. These languages ​​are also known as ethnic languages, and are more spoken than formally written and are endemic in specific societies. During the Roman Empire, non-natives from different parts of the world spoke Latin because they could not learn each of the many languages ​​that the natives spoke in the empire, and therefore, this situation made the lingua lingua franca and all other languages vernacular. Vernacular language meaning

Brief history of the vernacular

Vernacular languages ​​are the result of the interaction of many cultures that influence the language. For example of the Celtic languages, we incorporate into our language the following words: rock, doll, butter, blood sausage, stew, bacon, beer and bat.

There are also iberisms such as: rabbit, calf, tick. From the Phoenician we adopt the following words: names like Elisa, Emmanuel and the words cow and Cádiz. From Basque: Scrap metal, slate, avalanche.

In general, the Romans before the third century BC, influenced and enriched our Spanish language when in that century they invaded Hispania contributing the vulgar Latin.

Shortly after, the Visigoths began a slow process of linguistic fragmentation that resulted in the different Spanish dialects  Belatedly, the Arabs in 711 AD dominated the entire Iberian Peninsula (except the northern mountains) providing approximately 4 thousand Arabisms.

Some examples of words that we adopted in our everyday language are: carpet, watchtower, oil, olive, basil, bricklayer, mayor, sewer, alcove. And among others; alcohol, alfalfa, algebra (arithmetic), cotton, hopefully (if Allah wants).

In the lower middle ages, Antonio de Nebrija wrote the Spanish grammar, being the first of a vulgar language. Juan de Valdés, in his Dialogue of the language (1535), expresses the importance of the philological heritage by saying: Vernacular language meaning

“All men are more obliged to illustrate and enrich the language that is natural to us and that we suck on the tits of our mothers, that not the one that is catchy and that we learn in books”

During the Modern Age, with the conquest of America, the Castilian begins to be called Spanish and is enriched with indigenous words such as cocuyo, hummingbird, daiquiri, hammock, hurricane, henequen, iguana, Caribbean, tobacco, peanut.

As for Africans the words are adopted in our vernacular: Bomba, candungo, cocolo, Cocoroco, burundanga, bulge, fufu, funche, cool, dengue, anamú

And from the Anglo-Saxons we adopt words like parkear, relax, drone, ok, gufear, among many others.

Propagation of vernacular languages

As populations grow and societies become more diverse, languages ​​also continue to evolve. Reform Period Christians played a key role in spreading the use of vernacular languages ​​by translating the Latin Bible into vernacular languages, such as Dutch, French, Spanish, German and English, among other languages. However, it is important to keep in mind that most, if not all, of these languages ​​are used today as free linguain most of the world due to colonization, militarization and globalization. Galileo Galilei was one of the first documented users of vernacular languages ​​when, in the 1600s, he wrote in Italian, although Latin was the official language. Isaac Newton, in 1704, wrote Opticks in English and then considered it as a vernacular language. As people continued to interact in commerce, religion and even conquest, vernacular languages ​​in Europe and other parts of the world spread to different regions and became lingua franca, maintaining their “vernacular status” in their communities of origin. Vernacular language meaning

Vernacular literature

The vernacular is a literary genre that uses the language used daily in writing and speaking. It is different from written works, since they usually follow the formal variety of language. The word “vernacular” refers to writing or speaking to the public.

We find the origin of vernacular literature during the middle ages in different countries of Europe. In fact, Latin was the language of historical documents, religion and ordinary people did not even speak it in medieval Europe, nor was the Sanskrit language in India.

However, vernacular writers diverged from formal trends by writing in the language of ordinary people like Dante, Geoffrey Chaucer and Mark Twain. In this line, Dante Alighieri was the first to use the vernacular language in his famous epic poem, The Divine Comedy. 

Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio among other humanists rescued the ancient languages ​​to communicate their ideas, but at the same time considered that vernacular languages ​​were an effective vehicle for transmitting knowledge and at the same time cultivating science.

The poet Dante Alighieri wrote in Latin De vulgari eloquentia (On the vulgar language) in order to exalt everyday Italian speech, which he did not consider a static language, but on the contrary, a language that evolved and needed to be contextualized in history. Vernacular language meaning

Vernacular versus dialect language

In turn, the vernacular language is the use of ordinary, daily and clear phrases in speaking or writing while the dialect is related to a particular region, a geographical area, a particular social class or an occupational group.

In addition, he uses distinguished pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, like the inhabitants of Shanghai who have a different pronunciation in his dialect than in Yunnan.

Slang versus vernacular

The difference between slang and vernacular is that slang is a secret language used by various groups (including, but not limited to, thieves and other criminals) to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. On the other hand, the vernacular language is the language of a people or a national language.


Jargon is a terminology that is defined especially in relation to a specific activity, profession, group or event.

Vernacular languages ​​and education Vernacular language meaning

It is very important to keep in mind that the language that is learned in childhood, is the main cultural feature of a person, it is also an inherited cultural feature that ends up being part of people’s habits.

The native language is worthy of being conserved and we must keep in mind that the language evolves from generation to generation undergoing changes in pronunciation and vocabulary to begin to be used by all members of a community and country.

In order to maintain the cultural features of our language, it is important that it be transmitted in schools, which should incorporate into your teaching system the speech that is used in the day-to-day life of a society in a given region. Vernacular language meaning

Key differences between a vernacular language and a lingua franca

Unlike the vernacular, a lingua franca (vehicular languages) is a language used when people who speak different vernacular dialects want to communicate with each other. This language is also known as a bridge language, ‘franc language’, common language or a commercial language, as it provides a way to communicate between different ethnicities. For example, in a country like Kenya, there are many vernacular languages ​​that people from different ethnic groups use, but English and Swahili represent the official languages ​​of third parties (a lingua franca ) that all ethnic groups use to communicate. The use of a lingua francato represent a language can be traced back to 1600 media. The development and dissemination of a lingua franca provide convenience of economic, political and social communication. The vernacular language usually represents the native language of a community while lingua franca often has widespread use, beyond the boundaries of the original community. This spread causes lingua franca to be used as a second language for cross-cultural communications. However, it is important to keep in mind that international languages ​​built like Esperanto cannot be classified as a lingua franca due to limited global adoption. Vernacular language meaning

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