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Baltic languages

The Baltic languages form one branch of the Indo-European language family. In this group there are two extant languages: Latvian and Lithuanian, and many extinct languages, including Old Prussian, Curonian. Prussian was spoken in Prussia (East and West-Prussia), since 1945 Kaliningrad and northern Poland. With the ongoing Christianization and Germanisation Old Prussian language became extinct at the end of 17th century.

Before the first conquest attempts a thousand years ago, the Balts lived protected at the Baltic Sea. Therefore the Baltic languages remained some of the oldest and least changed Indo-European languages. They did have trade connections for thousands of years along the ancient amber roads.

Today Latvian language is considered younger than East Lithuanian, although that greatly changed from its first recording in the 16th century. Old Prussian language retained the most archaic features. It was written down in the 14th century in the Elbing Prussian Vocabulary.

The Baltic languages have for a long time been verbal languages, the Balts did not use writing until fairly recently.

For the relationship of languages and for samples of Baltic languages see: Language families and languages

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