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I've long used the terms anglophone and francophone to describe English and French speakers respectively, but I recently found myself about halfway through a sentence where I needed a similar term for Spanish speakers before I realized I actually had no idea what it was or how they're created. A quick search turned up the following list of "established" terms.

  • anglophone (English-speaking)
  • arabophone (Arab-speaking)
  • francophone (French-speaking)
  • germanophone or teutophone (German-speaking)
  • hellenophone (Greek-speaking)
  • hispanophone (Spanish-speaking)
  • italophone (Italian-speaking)
  • lusophone (Portugese-speaking)
  • russophone (Russian-speaking)
  • sinophone (Chinese-speaking)

Are there additional commonly used terms? Is the construction still productive?

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For what its worth, I would just say someone is a "Chinese speaker" and the like. I think it would take people longer to look up what a "lusophone" is. –  simchona Aug 7 '11 at 4:19
    
@simchona - in general I do, but there are situations where I find the -ophone construction more elegant. Besides, I like knowing things. –  Dusty Aug 7 '11 at 4:30
1  
I'm a lover of languages, especially English. Even so, I wouldn't/don't use any of those terms outside of anglo- and francophone. Why needlessly clutter the language with useless words that 0.01% of the population will use 0.02% of the time? "Chinese speaker" is succinctly clear, and has zero chance of confusing the listener. –  narx Aug 7 '11 at 16:59
    
Is there a language called "tel"? –  JeffSahol Aug 7 '11 at 18:50
    
We need someone from Canada to answer, whether they prefer francophone/anglophone or French/English speaker. –  GEdgar Aug 7 '11 at 19:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Is the construction still productive?

Other than anglophone and francophone, the other terms are very rarely used and are best avoided and clear forms such as "Italian speaker" used instead. In fact, I would probably avoid anglophone and francophone as well.

-phone comparisons on Google Ngrams

Are there additional commonly used terms?

No, anglophone and francophone are the only common terms. There are plenty of other terms, but I wouldn't use them. For example:

  • Allophone = Other language speaker (n m/f), Other language-speaking (adj) [i.e. with regard to one or more majority language(s)].

  • Anglophone = English speaker (n m/f), English-speaking (adj)

  • Arabophone = Arabic speaker (n m/f), Arabic-speaking (adj)

  • Fennophone = Finnish speaker (n m/f), Finnish-speaking

  • Finnophone = Finnish speaker (n m/f), Finnish-speaking

  • Francophone = French speaker (n m/f), French-speaking (adj)

  • Danophone = Danish speaker (n m/f), Danish-speaking (adj)

  • Gaélophone = Gaelic speaker (n m/f), Gaelic-speaking (adj)

  • Gallophone = Welsh speaker (n m/f), Welsh-speaking (adj)

  • Germanophone = German speaker (n m/f), German-speaking (adj)

  • Grecophone = Greek speaker (n m/f), Greek-speaking (adj)

  • Hellénophone = Greek speaker (n m/f), Greek-speaking (adj)

  • Hispanophone = Spanish speaker (n m/f), Spanish-speaking (adj)

  • Italophone = Italian speaker (n m/f), Italian-speaking (adj)

  • Lusophone = Portuguese speaker (n m/f), Portuguese-speaking (adj)

  • Néerlandophone = Dutch speaker (n m/f), Dutch-speaking (adj)

  • Polonophone = Polish speaker (n m/f), Polish-speaking (adj)

  • Russophone = Russian speaker (n m/f), Russian-speaking (adj)

  • Sinophone = Chinese speaker (n m/f), Chinese-speaking (adj)

  • Suécophone = Swedish speaker (n m/f), Swedish-speaking (adj)

  • Suédophone = Swedish speaker (n m/f), Swedish-speaking (adj)

  • Swahiliphone = Swahili speaker (n m/f), Swahili-speaking (adj)

  • Turcophone = Turkish speaker (n m/f), Turkish-speaking (adj)

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bananaphone –  Matt Эллен Aug 8 '12 at 12:14
    
sousaphone –  tchrist Mar 11 '13 at 13:12

protected by RegDwigнt Mar 11 '13 at 13:29

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