Lingua Franca Nova

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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. Lingua Franca Nova is usually abbreviated to LFN and has also been referred to as Europijin and Creol.

The language is phonetically spelled, using 21 letters of either the Latin or Cyrillic alphabets.

The grammar is inspired by the 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.

Lingua Franca Nova (LFN)

Linguistic classification



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.

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). Many group members have contributed to the further evolution of the language.

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.

LFN is not copyrighted and has been used as the basis for several other projects. Unlike other projects in the past, it is not a closed system, and its inventor and group members are open to suggestions. Even if it only serves to renew real interest in an international language, that would be considered a success.


LFN vowels (a, e, i, o, and u) are pronounced as in Spanish (approximately as ah, eh, ee, oh, and oo). The vowels i and u are also used to represent the sounds of y and w, respectively. Diphthongs are ai, au, eu, and oi (my, cow, "eh-w," and boy).

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.

The letters h, k, q, w, and y may be used in proper names and words from other languages that have not been competely assimilated into LFN.

Stress is on the vowel before the last consonant or, if that is not possible, on the first vowel. For example la casa de me tio ("my uncle's house") is pronounced "la CA-sa de me TI-o."

Below are the Lingua Franca Nova letters, their Cyrillic forms, suggested Greek forms, and their International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) values.

Latin   Cyrillic   Greek  IPA
a а α a
b б β b
c к κ k
d д δ d
e е ε e
f ф φ f
g г γ g
i и ι i
j ж η ʒ
l л λ l
m м μ m
n н ν n
o о ο o
p п π p
r р ρ r
s с σ s
t т τ t
u у υ u
v в ω v
x ш χ ʃ
z з ζ z


Word Order

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

subject noun phrase - verb phrase (- object noun phrase)
Maria come pex - "Maria eats fish"

A noun phrase has this order:

(article -) (quantity -) noun (- adjective)
La tre omes grande... - "The three large men..."

A verb phrase has this order:

(tense-) (auxiliary -) verb (- adverb)
...ia debe come bon - "...must have eaten well"


To make a noun plural, add -s if the noun ends in a vowel, or -es if the noun ends in a consonant. It never alters the original stress of the word.

There are no cases, not even for pronouns. Such things are indicated with prepositions and word order.

There are two articles: la (the) and un (a).


  • 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 (himself, herself...) and reflexive possessive (his own...) is se.

Notice that there are no cases and that the pronouns become possessive by putting them in front of the noun possessed. "My cat" can be expressed as me gato or la gato de me.

There are also no gender distinctions between he, she, and it. If necessary, one can use words like la fema, la om, la fia, and la fio (the woman, the man, the girl, the boy). One can also use esa and esas. which mean "this/that" and "these/those" for things.


There are no conjugations of verbs in LFN. The basic form remains the same regardless of person, number, or tense.

The present tense is represented by the basic verb: El come - "He/she eats, he/she is eating."

The past tense is indicated by the particle ia: El ia come - "He/she ate."

The future tense is indicated by the particle va: El va come - "He/she will eat."

There is an optional particle ta, which indicates unreality and can be used where other languages might use a conditional or subjunctive mood.

There are also adverbs and auxiliary verbs to expand verb usage. For example, the adverb ja, meaning "already," can be used to express what in other languages is the perfect: me ia come ja means "I had (already) eaten."

Verbs can 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. This simple form is also used where English would use the -ing gerund: Canta es bon means "singing is good."

To make the infinitive, add -r. Dansar, for example, means "to dance."

Verbs can also be made into adjectives: The active participle is formed by adding -nte to the verb. For example, come becomes comente, meaning "eating".

The passive participle is formed by adding -da to the verb. For example, come becomes comeda, meaning "eaten".

Participles, like any adjectives, can follow the verb "to be," and can be used to express the continuous or the passive: Aora, nos es comente selaco - "Now, we are (in the process of) eating shark"; Doman, nos va es comeda par selacos - "Tomorrow, we will be eaten by sharks".


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.

The comparative is made with plu (more) or min (less). The most is la plu and the least is la min. For example, "John is better than Joe" is Jan es plu bon ce Jo. "Jill is the best" is Jil es la plu bon.

Like verbs, adjectives can be used as nouns. For example, bela means "beautiful", but un bela means "a beautiful one" or "a beauty." This works with participles, too: la studiante and la studiada mean "the student" and "the studied," respectively, from the verb studia, "study."

An adjective can be made into an abstract noun by adding -ia. In this way bela becomes belia, meaning beauty. This can also be used with nouns: madre (mother) becomes madria (maternity or motherhood).


LFN doesn't have explicit adverbs. Instead, any adjective can be used as an adverb by placing it after a verb or at the very beginning of the sentence.


Here are the basic prepositions of LFN:

  • a - at, to
  • ante - before
  • asta - near, until
  • con - with
  • contra - against, facing
  • de - of, from, since
  • en - in, into, during
  • entre - between, among
  • estra - out of
  • longo - along
  • par - by
  • per - for, in order to
  • pos - after, behind, according to
  • sin - without, except
  • sirca - around, approximately
  • su - below, under
  • supra - above, over, on
  • tra - through
  • versa - toward

Prepositional phrases follow the noun phrase or verb phrase they modify.


  • e - and
  • o - or
  • ma - but
  • si - if, whether
  • donce - then, consequently, therefore
  • per ce - because, in order that, so that
  • contra ce - although
  • pos ce - after
  • ante ce - before
  • de ce - since
  • a ce - till, until
  • en ce - while

Relatives and Interrogatives

Relatives and interrogatives are identical in LFN:

  • ce - what/that
  • ci - who
  • cual - which (of several)
  • de ci - whose
  • como - how
  • cuanto - how much/how many
  • cuando - when
  • do - where
  • per ce - why

Dependent clauses follow what they modify: La fia ci ia come la pan ia veni asi per ce el ia es fama - The girl who ate the bread came here because she was hungry"

A question may include an interrogative or may be indicated by rising intonation alone. One may also express questions by beginning the sentence with the phrase Es ce...? or by adding no? (no) or si? (yes) to the end of the sentence, after a comma: Es ce tu parla Deutx? Tu parla Italian, si?


  • 1 - un
  • 2 - du
  • 3 - tre
  • 4 - cuatro
  • 5 - sinco
  • 6 - ses
  • 7 - sete
  • 8 - oto
  • 9 - nove
  • 10 - des

Higher numbers are constructed as follows:

  • 11 - des-un
  • 20 - dudes
  • 100 - (un) sento
  • 101 - sento-un
  • 321 - tresento-dudes-un
  • 1000 - (un) mil
  • 45 678 - cuatrodes-sinco mil sessento-setedes-oto
  • 1 000 000 - (un) milion

Numbers that express the order of things are the same, except that they follow the noun, e.g. la om tre, "the third man," instead of la tre omes, "the three men."

Fractions are constructed with -i, e.g. di, tri, cuatri,... desi, senti, mili, etc.


LFN has a small number of regular suffixes that help to create new words. The most common are -or, -ador, and -eria, which refer to a person, a device, and a place respectively. They can be added to any noun, adjective, or verb.

For example, from the word carne, meaning meat, we can make carnor (butcher) and carneria (butcher's shop). Similarly, from the word lava, meaning wash, we can make laveria (laundry) and lavador (washing machine).

Another useful suffix is -i which, added to a noun or adjective, means "to become" or "to cause to become." For example, calda is hot, so caldi means to heat. It is also used to make fractions, so cuatri means a fourth or quarter, as well as to divide into fourths.

Other common suffixes include -eta, which means a small version of something (boveta is a calf), and -on, which means a large version of something (bovon means buffalo or bison).

There are also three prefixes. Non- means not or un-, so nonfelis means unhappy. Re- means again or in the opposite direction, so repone means replace. And des- means to undo, so desinfeta means disinfect.

Words may also be created by joining two existing words (compounds). For example, you can use a verb and its object: portacandela means candlestick, pasatempo means pastime.


Useful phrases

  • Bon dia - good day
  • Alo - hello
  • Como es tu? - how are you?
  • Bon, e tu? - good, and you?
  • No mal - not bad
  • Ce es tu nom? - what is your name?
  • Me nom es Maria - my name is Maria
  • Tu gusta un tas de cafe? - would you like a cup of coffee?
  • Si, per favore - yes, please
  • Grasias! - thank you!
  • Per no cosa - you're welcome
  • Joia! - cheers!
  • Tu es vera bela -- you are very beautiful
  • Pardona? - excuse me?
  • Me ama tu - I love you
  • Me debe vade aora - I must go now
  • Asta la ora? - see you later?
  • Adio - goodbye
  • Bon sera - goodnight
  • Bon fortuna - good luck

Lingua Franca Nova

Lingua Franca Nova es desiniada per es un lingua vera simple, coerente, e fasil aprendeda, per comunica internasional. El ave varios cualia bon:

  • LFN ave un numero limitada de fonemes. El sona simila a italian o espaniol.
  • LFN es scriveda como el sona. No enfante debe pasa multe anios studia nonregulas!
  • LFN ave un gramatica vera simple e regula. El es min complicada en esta caso como engles o indonesian.
  • LFN ave un grupo limitada e tota regula de afises produinte per crea parolas nova.
  • LFN ave regulas de la ordina de parolas bon definada, como multe linguas major.
  • LFN ave un lista de parolas fundada en la linguas roman moderne. Esta linguas es comun e influensente, e ia contribui la parte major de parolas engles.
  • LFN es desiniada per es asetante natural de parolas tecnical de latina e elenica, la "norma de mundo" per fato.
  • LFN es desiniada per aperi plu parte "natural" per los ci comprende la linguas roman, ma no min fasil per otras.

Nos espera ce tu va trova ce esta lingua es interesante!

O Compatia

Cat Stevens

Me no vole perde

La decora de mundo;

Me vide arde

Tota cosas;

Me oi la crias

De umania;

La lus de mundo e stelas

Es aora estinguida;

La culpas de umania

Es aora esposeda;

Con larmas e con tristia,

La dole es profunda;

De tera e de mares,

Ruido asustante;

O Compatia! Compatia!

Nos ta ave eterna amar;

Nos ci va mori

Salute moria;

Continua sola vita.

Esta mundo arde rapida;

Esta mundo no va dura;

Me no vole perde el

Asi en me ora;

Dona me eternia

Asi en me ora.

External links

de:Lingua Franca Nova eo:Nova Lingvafrankao fr:Lingua franca nova ia:Lingua Franca Nova nl:Lingua Franca Nova ro:Lingua franca nova ru:Лингва франка нова fi:Lingua franca nova