I've always believed that it's impossible to truly understand a culture without having a firm grasp on the language. Natural linguistic differences lead to differing linguistic thoughts and perceptions of the world, and those differences can have lasting impacts on the evolution of cultures. For the brief period of time that I was a Classics major in college I put a lot of time into my Ancient Greek and Latin, with the exciting result that I was able to maneuver my way through Italy speaking nothing more than bastardized Latin.
Linguists tend to draw a basic language tree to chart out the evolution of languages over time, but the image above is a radical new design that I particularly enjoyed. The image is a page out of a dystopian web comic (Stand Still. Stay Silent.) that takes place in an imaginative, post-apocalyptic Nordic world, created by Minna Sundberg.