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Czech is a West Slavic language spoken in central Europe. The changes which separated Czech from other West Slavic languages took place from the 10th to the 16th century.

The Latin alphabet was used to write Czech without modifictations until the end of the 13th century. Digraphs and trigraphs were gradually added, until in the 15th century Jan Hus devised a system whereby diacritical marks were placed over Latin letters to distinguish the Czech palatal/palatalised consonants and long vowels.