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Showing posts from June, 2020

Reverting to type

While watching a game of backyard table tennis last summer something curious caught my attention. The players were a small group from 4 different European countries, a couple were native German speakers and the rest of us had different levels of the language. Earlier in the day we'd been sitting around the table enjoying good food and the sunshine and discussing different topics, mainly in German. By the time the ping pong paddles made an appearance it was late afternoon and as the competition heated up it occurred to me that, in focusing on the game, everyone had reverted to their native language.  What I saw before me was a whirlwind of activity; a flurry of footfalls as players sought to gain an advantage over their opponent and, in their eagerness to win, each one had abandoned the goal of common understanding and words and sentences in Spanish and Italian were coming out thick and fast . Communication was no longer key - winning was everything! It reminded me o