Nicholas Ostler

The Last Lingua Franca

The Last Lingua Franca

The Rise and Fall of World Languages


In the twenty-first century, can we really take the dominance of English for granted?
In their time, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit and Persian have each been world languages, sweeping the globe for centuries at a time. And yet they have all been displaced, just as Nicholas Ostler predicts English will be. What forces drive these linguistic currents? What characteristics do lingua francas share? And most importantly, how do they lose their power?
In this revelatory and exhilarating tour de force, Ostler explores the rise of a linguistic diversity that we could never before have imagined.

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