What Is Vernacular in World History?

Vernacular in World History

Throughout history, language has been a tool for communication, but it has also played a crucial role in shaping culture and identity. One aspect of language that is often discussed in the context of world history is vernacular.

What is Vernacular?

The term “vernacular” refers to the language or dialect spoken by people in a particular region or group. It is the everyday language used by ordinary people in their daily lives, as opposed to formal or literary languages used in written works or official documents.

History of Vernacular

In ancient times, most languages were oral and passed down through generations through storytelling. As writing and literature evolved, formal languages emerged, such as classical Latin and Greek. These languages were used for official documents and literary works and were only accessible to the educated elite.

However, as societies grew more complex and diverse, there was a need for communication among ordinary people who spoke different dialects. This led to the emergence of vernacular languages, which were based on local dialects and spoken by common people.

During the Middle Ages, vernacular languages gained prominence due to the rise of nation-states. In Europe, countries began to form along linguistic lines, and national identities were created based on linguistic unity. For example, French became the language of France while German became the language of Germany.

In many parts of Asia and Africa too, vernacular languages played an important role in shaping national identities during decolonization movements.

Importance of Vernacular

Vernacular has played a significant role in shaping history and culture. It reflects the unique identity of a community or region and helps preserve its traditions and heritage. For example, vernacular literature often includes folktales and myths that are specific to a particular culture.

Furthermore, vernacular has also played an important role in political movements throughout history. It has been used as a tool to promote nationalism and unite people around a common cause. For example, during India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule, vernacular languages were used to mobilize the masses and spread the message of freedom.


In conclusion, vernacular is an essential aspect of world history and culture. It has played an important role in shaping national identities and political movements, making it a crucial part of our shared human experience.