I have new backup for my previous statement on Portuguese being closer:
My friend texted me a paragraph in Portuguese and I've been trying to translate it. With difficulty on some of the words, I have most of it translated; I used Italian to help me. The parts I can't figure out are due to false friends and Spanish influences.
Port.- era Eng.- I was/ it was
Ital.- era Eng.- it was (imperfetto)
Port.- sobreviver Eng.- to survive
Ital.- sopravivere Eng.- to survive
Port.- orgulho Eng.- proud
Ital.- orgoglioso Eng.- proud
Both- se Eng.- if
Port.- responder Eng.- to answer
Ital.- ridpondere Eng.- to answer
(I don't know how, but "pudesse" reminded me of a conditional form of Italian "potere." It is a conditional "to be able to" though
Port.- com Ital.- con Eng.- with
What does the verb "ten(h)er" mean in Portuguese? It seems to tenere which is "to remain/stay/keep" in Italian. He told me the sentence Tenho orgulho disto.
means I am proud of this.
I think that adds to my evidence. But it wasn't too difficult to translate what I did.