international language, sometimes called universal language, a language intended to be used by people of different linguistic backgrounds to facilitate communication among them and to reduce the misunderstandings and antagonisms caused by language differences. An international language is usually intended not to supplant existing mother tongues but to play a secondary or auxiliary role as it furthers international communication. There are several kinds of international languages. These include artificial languages; national languages used outside their national boundaries; and national languages used in a modified, usually greatly simplified form.
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