Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Being cold, warm, and hot in Germany: avoiding an awkward grammatical situation

In the German language, there is a particular way that one is cold, warm, and hot, as far as comfort with ambient temperatures go. It is important to forgo directly translating from English to avoid some awkward conversations.

For example, if saying:

I am cold. Literal translation: Ich bin kalt.
This means to be frigid in response to another's advances.

I am warm. Ich bin warm.
This means that one is attracted to those of the same gender.

I am hot. Ich bin heiß.
It is saying that one is hot and heavy and ready to go!

Therefore, it's important to use the following way to say these things when expressing how one is feeling temperature wise:

I am cold. Mir ist kalt.  (Literally: To me it is cold).
I am warm. Mir ist warm.
I am hot. Mir ist heiß.


  1. Ha! I had an ambivalent learning situation concerning these expressions when learning English in school. :)
    Also, I remember getting confused over the difference between English and a romanic language like French, where you "have cold/warm/hot" and ended up "having a cold". D:

  2. Hehe, I bet that the Romantic languages would prefer being caliente with passion, and so forth :)