Older languages also tend to have words that can be interpreted in multiple ways. Where as water might mean simply water in english, in another language it might well be syn-ominous with vitality or well being, or whatever. (That example isn't drawn from any specific language - I'm sleepy and couldn't think of an actual example).
This makes translation tricky, and tends to result in many of the different garbled interpretations of organized religion. However it also means that an incantation can be cleverly written to posses a dual meaning, or layered meanings. This can result in layered symbolism that many value a great deal in incantations and spellcasting.
However, for the most part, these are all worthless if you don't really know what they mean.