In the world today there are over 6,800 spoken languages, while about 2,500 of those languages have written systems of communication. We've created these thousands of languages in order to communicate with one another. But ironically, all of the different languages can make it difficult to communicate globally and mutual understanding is often lost in translation. Despite the variety, there are a few methods of communicating that can be understood worldwide.
Lingua franca is a phrase from Latin origin that has come to mean a common language spoken between speakers of different languages. There are several forms of language that are considered lingua franca in their respective industries. For example, though Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language of the world, English is used as the preferred language for communicating in the business world because more countries are familiar with English. Most students in progressive and first world countries are required to learn English in school in order to communicate effectively within their chosen occupations.
Another example of a common language used as the lingua franca of an industry is musical notation. Though musical notation may have some variations within certain cultures, most people who understand one type of musical notation, can easily translate the notation of another culture. Modern musical notation was developed in 14th century European classical music and is still the standard of musical communication throughout the world.
Another type of lingua franca that has developed in recent years is the language of computers. Programming languages are universal and are based on a system of set rules. They are defined using syntactic and semantic rules to determine structure and meaning. Regardless of spoken language, programming language can be used universally.
Despite our native spoken languages, there are other forms of communication that allow us to connect on a global level.