The word vernacular comes from the Latin word, vernāculus, which means native or indigenous. Ideally, the vernacular is the way ordinary people talk to each other in non-formal contexts like at home. A vernacular (non-standard dialect) is a native dialect or speech form 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 certain societies. During the Roman Empire, the non-natives of 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 Latin a lingua franca and all other languages in the vernacular .
Key differences between a vernacular language and a Frankish language
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 the bridge language, the “language of the Franks”, a common language or commercial language because it provides a way to communicate to different ethnic groups. For example, in a country like Kenya, there are many vernacular languages that use people of different ethnic groups, but English and Swahili represent official third-party languages (a lingua franca ) that all ethnic groups use to communicate. The use of a lingua franca to represent a language can be traced back to the mid-1600s. The development and diffusion of a lingua francaprovide convenience for economic, political and social communication. The vernacular language usually represents the mother tongue of a community while in lingua franca it often has a widespread use, beyond the frontiers of the original community. This widely used language is used as a second language for intercultural communications. However, it is important to note that built international languages such as Esperanto cannot be classified as lingua franca due to limited global adoption.
Diffusion of vernacular languages
As populations grow and societies become more diverse, languages continue to evolve. Period of Reform Christians have played a key role in spreading the use of vernacular languages by translating the Bible from the Latin into the vernacular languages as Dutch, French, Spanish, German and English, among other languages. However, it is important to note that most, if not all, of these languages are now used as a lingua francain 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, later considered a vernacular. 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 a lingua franca maintaining their “vernacular status” in their home communities.
The future of languages in the world
Currently there are two important schools of thought on the future of languages. Advocates of the first theory support a new world order using a global official language and a single governmental system. The second supporters support the preservation of linguistic diversity as it is today. From now on, the outcome of this debate can be correctly predicted only through a complete scientific research and analysis.