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Indo-European is today the most widespread language family in the world, mostly due to European colonialism. Originally, this language family was spoken from Northern and Western Europe to Northern India. The existence of the family was postulated when European scholars learned to know Indian languages, especially Sanskrit, the ancient holy language of India, and the work of the Sanskrit Grammarians. The study of Indo-European languages was the starting-point for modern historical linguistics. By comparison of the various Indo-European languages and their oldest attestations, a common ancestor can be reconstructed (if only partially) which is usually called Proto-Indo-European.