On a conference in Cyprus that I attended the past three days, I
(again) found that Greek sounded similar to Spanish.  I was confused
several times and wanted to use phrases in Spanish, which would have
been quite embarassing, I suppose...  But since I don't know both
languages too well, I need to listen to the words to decide which
language it is.  The overall sound does not help.

Because I met a Spanish colleague there I asked him whether he
perceived this similarly, or whether the impression was just because
my knowledge of Greek and Spanish was limited.  Interestingly, he
confirmed that it was confusing for him, too, because he does not
understand anything although it sounds very familiar.  He came up
with a comparison that I hereby convert into an essentialist

'Greek is essentially encrypted Spanish.'