JavaScript was originally developed as a browser-agnostic scripting language, but recent research reveals it is becoming the lingua franca for mobile development.

“Its ability to render rich results from lightweight, simple-to-learn languages has made it a natural fit for mobile’s speed of development,” according to Appcelerator and IDC’s Q4 2013 Mobile Trends Report.

Of the 6,698 mobile developers surveyed, it showed that 47.2% voted JavaScript as the most relevant language. Java came in second at 35%, and Objective-C came in third at 32%.

“The market will naturally always look for a lingua franca to strike that balance between efficiency of development, and time to market, and performance,” said John Jackson, research vice president for mobility at IDC.

(What tooling looks like in the age of JavaScript)

The report also showed that 55.1% strongly believe JavaScript will dominate both the client- and server-sides of development, while 33.2% say it is likely and 11.7% say it is not likely.

Jackson noted that it is still too early to tell if JavaScript will become a lingua franca, but it is something that his firm will keep a very close eye on.

Other findings in the report included a drop in the number of developers reported to be very interested in developing applications with HTML5 (falling to 59.9%, the lowest level since the survey started tracking it in April 2011). Also, the study found that recent NSA revelations are changing the way developers approach mobile app development, and developers see more devices and platforms coming.