The fourth power: words

Published on 16/10/2023

Words have great power in our lives, both to communicate and to remember. AbroadLink tells you how they shape our memories and why they are so powerful.

We often forget that words have power. They can change the course of history, they can bring people together and they can pit people against each other. They are a weapon that can stir any conscience or be a stimulus in a moment of low spirits. The dictionary definition of a word explains what it means. So when we use the word love, what do we know? For example, love can be defined as: a strong affection for a person or thing, an appreciation of beauty or excellence. An example would be the following quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: “Love is blind, and lovers cannot see". This means that lovers are not able to recognise things that are fundamentally wrong. And it doesn't matter whether this message is transmitted in English, Spanish, German or Portuguese. The translation always ends up being deeply ingrained in our minds, a sign of why words are so powerful.

Apple founder Steve Jobs' famous speech at Stanford University in June 2005 is for many people a very important stimulus in their lives, a lesson in how every word is used properly and measured with the required precision. The value of this speech makes sense in any language thanks to a translation agency, which knows how to capture the essence of these words in any language, including one as authentic as Italian.

Índice de contenidos

Index of contents

Index du contenu


  1. How language shapes our memories
  2. What makes words so powerful?

How language shapes our memories

The language we use to describe a memory affects how well we remember it. This is because the words we use are linked to other concepts in our semantic network, which is an interconnected web of associations between words and things. This means that when we recall a memory, the language that was used to describe it can be re-activated, making it easier for us to remember it.

Language is a cognitive ability learned by humans. This ability to learn language is genetically innate in humans. The syntax and vocabulary of the language are learned through lessons and input from the environment. Language is not something we are born with, but rather something we learn through exposure to words. Language depends on the ability to speak, which is something humans are born with. Some animals, such as birds and whales, have a rudimentary vocabulary and some primates have developed vocalisations that can be considered language.

What makes words so powerful?

Some words are powerful because they have the ability to provoke an emotional response. For example, the word cancer can make people feel sad or scared. Other words are powerful because they evoke a specific feeling, such as nostalgia. The word home can make those who evoke it feel calm and comforted. Some words are powerful because they have a strong association with a certain idea or memory. For example, the word snow may remind someone of their childhood home in a village in the Pyrenees where it snows all winter long.

It is clear that words have power for most of us; they represent an authentic stimulus and a reason to fight. They are engraved in our memories forever. Words can be an engine of change, they have the virtue of mobilising the masses. There are great slogans that will live on forever in all of us. Nike's "Just do it" is one of the best known. Older people will know that "the spark of life" is another way of referring to Coca Cola. Here, too, the power of a translation company comes into play.

Words are with us until the end of our lives, and their power is only a sign that communication is as important a matter as our own life process.

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Virginia Pacheco's picture
Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

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