SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

GERMAN LANGUAGE

Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian

With another heat wave just around the corner, here are some of the German phrases that will help you express yourself in the hot weather.

Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian
Sergey Zotin of Russia jumps from a 27 metre high ramp into the Wolfgang Lake near St. Gilgen in Austria 17 July 2005 during the annual summer cliff diving event.Photo by MARKUS LEODOLTER / AFP)

1. Mir ist heiß

Firstly, it’s worth pointing out how to correctly express the fact that you’re hot in German.

In German, you say mir ist heiß using the dative form of the personal pronoun ich.

Be careful not to directly translate the English sentence “I am hot” into ich bin heiß as most German speakers will understand this to mean that you are hot in a more sensual sense of the word.

Examples:

Mir ist heiß, so furchtbar heiß.
I am hot, so terribly hot.

Mir ist es hier zu heiß.
It’s too hot for me here.

2. Was für eine Affenhitze!

The word Affenhitze is a colloquial term used for very high temperatures and literally means “monkey heat”. It’s widely believed that the term first appeared at the end of the 18th century in Berlin.

READ ALSO: The German language you need for summer in Austria

At that time, the monkey house in the Berlin Zoological Garden was known for being extremely hot, so people started to speak about “heat like in the monkey house”. Over time, the phrase became shortened into the phrase widely used today.

Example:

Morgen herrscht wieder eine Affenhitze.
Tomorrow will be another scorcher.

3. Das Kaiserwetter

Literally meaning “emperor weather,” Das Kaiserwetter more colloquially refers to those days of glorious sunshine, blue skies, and comfortable temperatures.

In other words, it’s the weather perfect for an emperor.

It is believed that the term has its origins in Austria as Austrian Kaiser Franz Josef’s birthday, the August 18th, was often bright and cloudless.

4. Es ist brütend heiß!

The adjective brütend comes from the verb brüten, meaning to breed or to incubate. It is likely, therefore, that it made its way into common parlance about the weather, from the fact that raising younglings involves keeping them nice and warm.

Hier drin ist brütend heiß!
It’s sweltering hot in here!

READ ALSO: Five of the best things to do in Vienna this summer

5. Es ist sauheiß!

Similar to the Affenhitze, this one means “it is sow hot” or “pig hot”. Perfect for those unbearable heat days.

6. Ich schmore in diese Hitze

More commonly used in the cooking lexicon, the verb schmoren meaning ‘to stew’, or ‘to sizzle’ is often used to express the feeling of being exposed to high temperatures. A comparable English phrase would be, “I am sizzling in this heat”.

7. die Sonne knallt!

One popular expression to do with the heat focuses on the source of the problem itself. The verb knallen means “to bang” or “to slam”.

Example:

Die Sonne knallt auch wenn es bewölkt ist!
The sun is blazing even when it’s cloudy!

8. “Es is ur haaß”

If you want to keep it simple, but still extremely Austrian, you can’t go wrong with just saying “it is super hot” using a very typical Austrian expression.

The High German would be “es ist sehr heiß“, but in Austrian dialect it’s common to shorten some words (turning ist to is) and use ‘ur‘ in lieu of “sehr” (meaning very, much, super, or uber). The Haaß is a good way to imitate heiß in the local dialect.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

LIVING IN AUSTRIA

Eight habits that show you’ve embraced life in Austria

Living anywhere as an international resident will have an impact on your life, but if you recognise any of these habits then you have truly embraced the Austrian lifestyle.

Eight habits that show you’ve embraced life in Austria

Life in Austria can be similar to many other European countries, but there are some aspects that are distinctly Austrian.

Here are eight habits that show you’ve integrated into the Austrian way of life.

FOR MEMBERS: 23 essential articles to help you navigate life in Austria

Indulging in coffee and cake

Coffee and cake is almost as integral to the food culture in Austria as the Wiener Schnitzel.

So say goodbye to the diet, ignore any thoughts of guilt and get stuck into a slice of Sachertorte, Punschkrapfen or Linzer Torte

Preferably with a delicious coffee on the side.

READ MORE: Caffeine, war and Freud: A history of Vienna’s iconic coffee houses

Participating in winter sports

Austria, especially the west of the country, is a winter sports enthusiasts dream.

The Alps offer an almost endless choice in ski resorts, gondolas and mountain huts, with winter sports options ranging from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and Langlaufen (cross-country skiing).

Needless to say, if you live in the Alps, winter sports quickly become a central part of the lifestyle during the cold months. After all, it’s healthy, fun and even a bit dangerous (if that’s your thing).

It’s also a great way to explore the landscape of Austria and get a deeper understanding of the central role of winter sports in Austrian culture.

Downing tools for lunch

Lunch in some other countries (especially places like the UK) is often a sad sandwich while sitting at a desk. 

In Austria however, lunch is an important part of the day and many people sit down at midday with their colleagues or families to enjoy a proper cooked meal.

This is a prime example of the healthy work-life balance that residents in Austria enjoy, and is a much-better habit to embrace than working through a lunch break.

Wearing house shoes

In most Austrian households, people do not wear outdoor shoes inside. Instead, they opt for house shoes, otherwise known as slippers in English or Schlapfen in some Austrian dialects.

Also, many Austrian homes do not have carpet on the floor, which means walking around with bare feet or just socks in the winter can get cold – fast.

So if you’ve invested in a pair of house shoes or, even better, you have a backup supply for guests, then you have fully embraced life in Austria. 

READ ALSO: ‘I’ll probably return to the UK’: Moving to Austria as a Brit post-Brexit

Being punctual

Typically, Austrians are punctual people and don’t appreciate lateness.

For this reason, many international residents make an extra effort to be on time (or early), and it’s not uncommon to become stressed if you know you will be five minutes late.

As frustrating as this can be, it’s actually incredibly polite to be early for a meeting and not a bad habit to pick up.

sparkling water

(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

Drinking sparkling water

People like to drink sparkling mineral water in Austria.

In fact, sparkling water is so popular that if you order a Mineralwasser (mineral water) in a cafe or restaurant, the sparkling variety is often served unless stilles Wasser (still water) is specified.

Want to be more Austrian? Then simply switch from still to sparkling water.

Stripping off

Countries in Central Europe are much more comfortable with nudity than other nations, and it’s no different in Austria.

The main place to expect an encounter with naked people in Austria is at the sauna. There are even some saunas that have a naked-only admission policy and won’t let people in if they are wearing swimming gear.

People also like to get naked at lakes – especially at the more remote or quieter locations – or at least go topless (for the women). 

The reality is, no one bats an eyelid. So put your prudish instincts aside and don’t be afraid to strip off.

READ ALSO: What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

Taking sick leave

Employees in Austria are entitled to six weeks of paid sick leave (the number of weeks increases the longer the worker has been employed in the same company).

This means workers are more likely to take sick leave if they are unwell, rather than dragging themselves into the workplace and infecting their colleagues.

The downside though is that Austria has strict rules when it comes to taking sick leave with explicit orders to stay at home. Workers can even expect to be monitored by private detectives to make sure they really are resting at home, as reported by The Local.

For international residents in Austria, this can be hard to tolerate. But the upside is that you’re not expected to show your face in the office when sick, simply to comply with a culture of presenteeism.

And that’s a habit worth embracing.

SHOW COMMENTS