This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Russian. (June 2012) Click [show] for important translation instructions.
View a machine-translated version of the Russian article.
Google's machine translation is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia.
Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article.
By the 18th century Lechitic Polabian was in some respects markedly different from other Slavic languages, most notably in having a strong German influence. It was close to Pomeranian and Kashubian, and attested only in a handful of manuscripts, dictionaries and various writings from the 17th and 18th centuries. As can be seen in the comparisons of the Lord's Prayer below, Polabian contained many German loanwords, such as Wader (Father) and Rîk (Kingdom).
About 2800 Polabian words are known (but of prosaic writings, only a few prayers, one wedding song and a few folktales). Immediately before the language became extinct several people started to collect phrases, compile wordlists and were engaged with folklore of the Polabian Slavs, but only one of them appears to have been a native speaker of Polabian (himself leaving only 13 pages of linguistically relevant material from a 310-page manuscript). The last native speaker of Polabian, a woman, died in 1756, and the last person who spoke limited Polabian died in 1825.
The most important monument of the language is the so-called Vocabularium Venedicum (1679–1719) by Christian Hennig.
The language left many traces to this day in toponymy; for example, Wustrow "Place on the island", Lüchow (Polabian: Ljauchüw), Sagard, Gartow etc. It is also a likely origin of the name Berlin, from the Polabian stem berl-/birl- ("swamp").
The Lord's Prayer in Polabian and related Lechitic languages, compared to German and English: Germanic loanwords, which are comparatively rare in the other West Slavic languages, are highlighted in bold. (Even English, which has extensive Latin influence, has only three Latinate loanwords in its version: "trespass[es]", "temptation", and "deliver".)
forgive us our trespasses (or "debts"; cf. German use of feminine singular Schuld, "debt"/"guilt")
as we forgive those who trespass against us (or "our debtors"; German Schuldiger[e]n, however, refers only to perpetrators of wrongdoing, with dative plural of "debtors" instead being Schuld[e]ner[e]n),