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Vernacular refers to the native language of a country or locality. In general linguistics, it is used to describe local languages as opposed to linguae francae, official standards or global languages. It is sometimes applied to nonstandard dialects of a global language.

For instance: in Western Europe up until the 17th century, most scholarly work was written in Latin, so works written in a native language (such as Italian or German) were said to be in the vernacular.


From Latin vernāculus (“domestic, indigenous, of or pertaining to home-born slaves”), from verna (“a native, a home-born slave (one born in his master's house)”).

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