Cultural Geography

Language and Religion

What is the difference between a lingua franca and a pidgin

A lingua franca is a language used between people who do not have a common language. English is often used as a lingua franca in international business transactions. A pidgin is a language that has a small vocabulary and is a combination and distortion of two or more languages. For example, pidgin English, a combination between English and indigenous languages, is used in Papua New Guinea between English-speaking and indigenous people. Most pidgins are lingua francas but not all lingua francas are pidgins.

The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, built in 1958, stands in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. It is a beautiful example of the domed architecture seen in many mosques (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

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