I forgot! I’m at dinner, laughing at myself. Being back together on the World Judo Tour means listening to a dozen languages at the same time and tuning in to one and then the next, getting a feeling for the conversation content, understanding some but rarely all.

Now I am remembering this brain-shaking speed of communication. The referees, the organisers, the IJF executive; everyone can dance from one language to the next, swapping according to the needs of the majority at the table.

It is the same in the tournament venues. We can hear Spanish, Russian, French, English, Czech, Hungarian and countless more. There are Italians telling jokes in German, Scots giving instructions in French, Japanese discussing judo technique in English. And so it goes on.

I am sitting laughing at myself, as the least skilled in this area, with less than two languages! I’m among generous souls, though, who change and translate to include everyone, regardless of the challenges or mood. It’s a skill, to ensure always that no-one is left behind. My colleagues do it automatically, without thought. It’s more efficient that way and drives the pace of work.

This bubbling and buzz of communication is just one more thing I have missed over the last year, without realising that I missed it specifically. It is a joyous community that doesn’t need GoogleTranslate, relying on the natural way, finding a path to understanding between us, gathering more words for our own dictionary, ready to be used as situations call for them.

See also
Beyond Fear, Without a Parachute

11. Apr. 2021 / Since 2015 the International Judo Federation, in partnership ...

IJF President Meets President of Kyrgyz Republic

09. Apr. 2021 / On the final day, the mixed teams day of the Asia-Oceania ...

Brand New Judo Academy for Kyrgyzstan

09. Apr. 2021 / After the meeting between Mr Marius Vizer and His Excellency ...

Mixed teams of Asia and Oceania Championships

09. Apr. 2021 / Six teams were fighting for the title of ‘Mixed Teams ...

Best of Asia and Oceania - Day 3

08. Apr. 2021 / On the last day of the individual Asia and Oceania ...

New Challenge
Be a Climate Champion!

08. Apr. 2021 / In these challenging times we have to come together ...

In The Heart Of Paris

07. Apr. 2021 / We are everywhere, organising tournaments, preparing ...

Best of Asia and Oceania - Day 2

07. Apr. 2021 / The second day of the Asia and Oceania Championships ...

Best of Asia and Oceania - Day 1

06. Apr. 2021 / The best of the best came to Kyrgyzstan’s capital, ...

"Heroic Is The First Word"

04. Apr. 2021 / As a former champion, a judoka to the depths of her ...

Grand Slam Antalya 2021
The Time to Draw Conclusions is Approaching

03. Apr. 2021 / It is always impressive how fast a World Judo Tour ...

Grand Slam Antalya 2021
Technical Analysis Day 3

03. Apr. 2021 / Here in Antalya we are sticking with our theme of speaking ...

Pareto's Feedback on a Tough Competition

03. Apr. 2021 / It is not necessary to introduce Paula Pareto; we all ...

Shishime Ai (JPN)

08. Jun. 2018 / The next reigning world champion to be invited to answer ...

5 Key Takeaways from judo’s first Tokyo 2020 qualifier

06. Jun. 2018 / Highlights from Hohhot Grand Prix 2018

Judo for the World in Iran

07. Jun. 2018 / In April 2018, the International Judo Federation and ...

JUDO: A Beneficial Cause

07. Jun. 2018 / 'Society should believe in sport as a beneficial cause ...