French and Spanish
I'm learning a bit of French, and I find that they are really similar. Anywho, I'm curious as to how the two were once merged or diverged, given this similarity. Any comments on the history of the two?
Once upon a time, the Romans ruled western Europe and spoke Latin. After the empire broke up, they pretty much lost all communications with each other. Because of this, the Latin language went in different directions and evolved differently. The French lost all stress in their vowels and adapted slang, while The Spanish were invaded by Arabians a few times. Spanish is mostly Latin rooted words, with the exception of a few that were adapted from Arabic. Portuguese did the same thing that Spanish did, minus the Arabian Invasion, so their language evolved parallel with Spanish. And Italian Is basically an extremely rundown version of Latin, if you take away all of the Original Latin tenses and word endings. So the bottom line is, that France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy's languages have all evolved from Latin within the past 1500 years.
If you want to explore the family tree of a language, try the Ethnologue! Spanish and French both belong to the Gallo-Iberian branch of Romance languages, with 24 other languages in that family: http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=300-16