Aye, this is an odd sensation, as I am trying to read it in Spanish and my brain is telling me "this is wrong", or better, as if driving in the rain and knowing there is a road ahead, but having little visibility and relying on instinct to get through.
I gave Romanian a go earlier this year, and as a Germanic language native, it was very interesting to see how an eastern Romance language evolved. I fell off the TAC bandwagon as I had no one to practice with on a daily basis, and went exploring Wolof. That was fun, but again, no one to practice with, few resources and zero chance I would ever go to Senegal (in the next 10 years anyway).
My first brush with Catalan was years ago before I got into languages (before I even started learning Spanish!) with this industrial goth song (I was young..): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw2YwWn3LuY
I had to google the lyrics (Ja no puc sentir) and felt it was a mysterious, secret and ancient language. But, I never got much further other than misunderstanding that it was like a dialect of Spanish.
So, I have been thinking of buying resources and using the (recently found) Catalan language authority's resources to study it, but I am always afraid that it will be too similar to a language I already know (why I haven't tried to learn Dutch, as I speak English and German), not be useful when traveling ever (learning Venetian or Frisian), or have no resources (I love Ainu, but...
). That's also why I asked if there was any of the Barca (I forgot the adjective Punic, thank you!) culture crossing in, but after two millennia of roman and moorish rule I was doubtful.
With your examples though, I think I will still give it a shot. I love Romance languages (except italian, scuzi!) and this sounds like it will be fun. None of the other language families seem to have as easy an entry and as much to keep my attention.
Thank you again! I might bëg for help in this au forum later this month