The spread of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) has been and continues to be examined from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, particularly applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. The growing interest in ELF is also evident
in the series of ELF conferences that have been taking place every year since ���8 and in the launch of the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca in ��. The spread of English as an international language has been examined according to different paradigms, including that of World Englishes (WE), which focuses on the multifaceted nature of English around the world (Rubdy and Saraceni ���6), and English as an International Language, or International English (IE), which would appear to encourage a monolithic view of language, giving rise to interesting debates among scholars with opposing views. A special issue of World Englishes (Seidlhofer and Berns ���9) tried to bring together these two approaches by demonstrating what they have in common, notwithstanding differences and divergences. As Pennycook (���6) had pointed out earlier, both WE and IE fail to address the pluricentric nature of Englishes since they postulate a core language with its own grammar and lexicon. Despite the limitations of such a definition, not to mention those of other definitions, ELF is conceived here as a dynamic and hybrid language whose complexity cannot be fully grasped without taking into account its interaction with other languages and cultures. This view, which is shared by several scholars as I argue in more detail later in this introduction, is particularly relevant to the work of professional translators and interpreters.