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Slavs are the people who live in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, Central Asia and North Asia. Present-day Slavic peoples are classified into West Slavs (mainly Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks), East Slavs (mainly Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians), and South Slavs (mainly Serbs, Bulgarians, Croats, Bosniaks, Macedonians, Slovenes, and Montenegrins)
Albanians, Austrians, Hungarians, Romanians, Estonians, Lithuanians, and Latvians live near the Slavic nations, but they are not Slavs themselves. There are more Slavic peoples than any other ethnic group in Europe. Russians make up the most Slavs, followed by Poles and Ukrainians.
There are many small historic Slavic nations like Lusatia, Rusin, Kashubia and others. Russia is now the most powerful and populated Slavic country, but in the 10th century Serbs and Czechs were powerful, and in the 16th century Poland was the strongest nation in the area.
The Slavic languages are closely related. The largest similarities can be found within the same group (e.g. Polish and Slovak, both West Slavic languages), but similarities exist even between Slavic languages from other different subgroups (e.g. Bulgarian and Russian). However, the greatest similarities exist between Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian - these South Slavic languages are considered separate by the Bosnian and Croatian governments, but most linguists say they are one language called Serbo-Croatian (since the differences between Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian are less significant than those between the variants of English, German, Dutch, or Hindi–Urdu and the mutual intelligibility between their speakers "exceeds that between the standard variants of English, French, German, or Spanish).
- McLennan, Sean (1996). "Sociolinguistic Analysis of "Serbo-Croatian"". Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics 18: 107. ISSN 0823-0579. http://www.shaav.com/professional/linguistics/serbocroation.pdf. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
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- Gröschel, Bernhard (2003). "Postjugoslavische Amtssprachenregelungen – Soziolinguistische Argumente gegen die Einheitlichkeit des Serbokroatischen?" (in German). Srpski jezik 8 (1–2): 180–181. ISSN 0354-9259. https://archive.org/details/Postjugoslavische_Amtssprachenregelungen_Bernhard_Groeschel_2003. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
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- Thomas, Paul-Louis (2003). "Le serbo-croate (bosniaque, croate, monténégrin, serbe): de l'étude d'une langue à l'identité des langues" (in French). Revue des études Slaves 74 (2–3): 325. ISSN 0080-2557. OCLC 754204160. Template:ZDB. http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/slave_0080-2557_2002_num_74_2_6801. Retrieved 24 April 2019.