I have been observing how, in travelling to countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Turkey or Germany how English is the lingua franca. If you see a Russian speaking with a Thai person, for example, they will be speaking English. And ASEAN has recognised this too. I am sure that Empire plus the USA are the main causes of this.
But that got me to thinking about Belgium. A country in name only, divided between two ‘nations’ – the Flemish and the French and centred around a capital which doubles as capital of the EU.
This country has a lingua franca in the north: English; the south has a lingua franca that differs: French. This one country is so divided, it doesn’t even share a lingua franca – there is no language that the population informally agrees they should speak when both don’t speak the other’s!