Lingua Franca Nova

From Academic Kids

Lingua Franca Nova is an auxiliary constructed language created by Dr. C. George Boeree of Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania. It is based on French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan. The language is phonetically spelled, using 21 letters of either the Latin or Cyrillic alphabets. It is often short-handed to the acronym LFN.

The grammar is based on that of Romance creoles. Like most creoles, LFN has a highly simplified grammar system. However, this system does not mean that one is not able to be as expressive in LFN as one could be in any other language.



Dr. C. George Boeree started working on LFN in 1965. His goal was to create a simple, creole-like international auxiliary language. He was inspired to do this by Lingua franca, a pidgin used in the Mediterranean in centuries past. He used French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan as the basis for his new language. Catalan was used because of its linguistic neutrality among the other Romance languages.

LFN was first presented on the internet in 1998. A yahoo group was formed in 2002 by Bjorn Madsen. Stefan Fisahn created a wiki for the language in 2005 (see below).

Introductions and other materials are available in 12 languages. There are several dictionaries available, a tutorial, and a number of translations and original material. Interest has grown considerably over the years, with over 100 group members.


Please note that this is a brief overview of the Lingua Franca Nova. The official grammar is located here (


The past tense is indicated by the particle ia, and the future tense by the particle va. There are also adverbs and auxiliary verbs to expand verb usage.

Verbs can be transformed into nouns in several ways. To make an abstract noun (infinitive), add -r. For example, Vider es bon means "Seeing is good."

Verbs can also be used as nouns without change. For example, dansa, as a verb, means "dance/dances", but it can also mean "a dance" when used as a noun. Example: Me ia dansa a la dansa means "I danced at the dance."

Finally, verbs can be made into adjectives: The present participle is formed by adding -nte to the verb. For example, come becomes comente, meaning "eating". The past participle is formed by adding -da to the verb. For example, come becomes comeda, meaning "eaten".


To make a noun plural, add '-s' if the noun ends in a vowel, or '-es' if the noun ends in a consonant. There are no cases, not even for pronouns.


Me - I, me, my

Tu - you (singular), your

El - she, her, he, him, his, it, its

Nos - we, us, our

Vos - you (plural), your

Los - they, them, their

The third person reflexive pronoun is se.


Unlike the natural Romance languages, adjectives in LFN do not have gender or plural forms, i.e. they don't "agree" with the nouns they describe.

Like verbs, adjectives can be used as nouns. For example, bela means "beautiful", but la bela means "the beautiful (one)". However, bela does not mean "beauty"; belia does.


LFN doesn't have explicit adverbs (as Esperanto does). Instead, any adjective can be used as a adverb when placed near a verb (see below).

Word Order

LFN has a very strict word order. The general word order is:

subject noun phrase - verb phrase (- object noun phrase)

A noun phrase has this order:

(article -) noun (- adjective)

A verb phrase has this order:

(auxiliary -) verb (- adverb)

Additionally, there are prepositional phrases, which have this order:

preposition - noun phrase


LFN vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) are pronounced as in Spanish (approximately as ah, eh, ee, oh, and oo) . Most of the consonants are pronounced as in English, except that c is always pronounced as in cat, g is always as in go, j is pronounced as in French (like the z in azure), the r is lightly trilled as in Spanish, and x is pronounced like sh.

Below are the Lingua Franca Nova letters and their International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) values.


External links

fi:lingua franca nova


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