Ana Ilievska Zavrsni

Worlds in Words

Language dances with our imagination, it creates an incredible range of emotions and feelings. It is so much than just a communication device; it is a way to understand the world around us, defining our reality and what it means to be human. It operates with its tools called words.

What is a word? What is a name? Can a word create an identity? Do bilingual people also have two countries, not just two languages? Do they belong more to their motherland? Does translation change the meaning? Are we more emotional in our mother tongue and if we are why?

We derive parts of our identities from words that are being thrown around us. They mean particular things to us or our national identities, but those same words might mean something slightly different for other people and other nationalities. The way we understand them makes who we are.

What happens if suddenly your name is changed or even the name of your country changes, does that influence on your identity as well.

Those are my questions as a bilingual – born in one country and raised in another. Constantly asking myself about identity and how different people identify themselves.

Ask the speaker a question


  • Anonymous says:

    Very important content! Words are just words, but at the same time they are so much more to the people who use them and hear them. Thank you!

  • AnaIZ says:

    @ BarbaraAlaska @Alesia @hoteldephil Thank you 🙂

  • hoteldephil says:


  • Alesia says:

    Interesting perspective into a part of the world I know almost nothing about!

  • BarbaraAlaska says:

    Thank you, Ana, for sharing your insight into words and emotions. I had never considered that emotion might be experienced differently using one’s native language than when using an acquired language. Thank you for this insight.

  • AnaIZ says:

    Hi guys! I just want to comment that my presentation is 15 minutes, but then Macedonian and Slovene version follow the English one and that makes it longer 🙂 #English #Macedonian #Slovene
    So, if you want to hear some Macedonian and Slovene you are welcome to listen to the end!
    I already received some questions by email, but you are welcome to ask me here as well – so more people can enjoy the conversation. I know that this is a sensitive topic, but that makes it even more enjoyable and gives more food for thought.
    Thank you for your questions so far ❤️ and enjoy the conference! Ana

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