Asked • 03/19/19

Why are the German and French languages so different?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is the following: During and before the period of the fall of western Rome (roughly 400 AD), the Franks and the Alemanni were tribal people who moved around a lot. The Romans called both of those people "Germans", so they must have been quite similar. I assume they must have intermingled quite a lot, since they were in constant contact with one another. Once the "Dark Ages" began, the Franks sort of stayed where France is now, and the Alemanni stayed where Germany is now, though the lines must have been blurry, since Charlemagne was a Frank, but I've heard Germans call him Karl der Grosse, and claim him as being German. Right, so based on that background, how come the French and German language have evolved to be so different, or were they already very different back then? If so, why and how?

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