Universal language, proposed language that people of all nations could speak and understand. Since the 1600s, the idea of a universal language has attracted philosophers, educators, politicians, and businesspersons alike. Its advocates believe that it would aid both cultural and political understanding among the disparate nations of the world. Its detractors claim that the idea of such a language is impractical. Several universal languages, including Volapuk and Esperanto, have been developed and used with some success. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Latin almost achieved the status of a universal language as it was used as a common language by diplomats and other educated people throughout Europe. Today, English is fast becoming a universal language.