It’s strange the words you forget in your own language when living abroad. Usually my memory lapses only last for a minute, but there was one word that I could not remember for the past five months.

I knew it didn’t really exist in France so I never bothered to search for it in the dictionary. I could have searched online or asked one of my American friends, like I did for multiprise. But instead I did nothing but try to remember.

Finally I attempted to explain what it was to David, knowing that he wouldn’t really know anyway. But something strange happened. As I was describing it and complaining that I couldn’t remember it for the past five months, it came to me.


Not the disease, the roofing material. But I have no idea why I was trying to remember that word in particular since I rarely have the habit of talking about roofing in English, much less in French (especially since shingles don’t even exist in France!)

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.


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