I don't think I would ever say The weather is humid. It feels unnatural. More likely, It is humid (today) or, even more likely It is close (today), although I do understand the reasons (thanks, Sitesurf) for the construction as given, and the complications of back translating. It just means that, quite often, I am left writing English that does not quite hit the mark...
Sitesurf, why do so many sentences of the new weather skill incorporate the English word "weather" into the answer.
For example Il fait chaud will be given as "The weather is hot". Correct me if I am wrong, but, even though it is referring to the weather, it just translates to "It is hot".
To complicate matters, the next sentence might be Le temps est humide and it will be given as "The weather is humide". This sentence does indeed contain the word "weather".
At the moment there are an awful lot of confused learners out there, especially when they get back translations.
For example: "The weather is cold".
They do not know whether to translate it as
Il fait froid or
Le temps est froid.
Just thought you might like some feedback. :-)
The reason is as follows: the sentence we elect as Best will have to be back-translated to the French original sentence exactly (reverse exercise).
Because "it is hot" can also translate to "il est chaud" (le radiateur/le poulet) or "elle est chaude" (la couverture/la soupe), we need to give enough context for users to remember they still are in the Weather Skill and that radiator, chicken, blanket and soup are not concerned.
Yet, of course, "it is hot" and the like are on the list of accepted translations.
When learners have gone through the whole skill, they will know that both "it is cold" and "the weather is cold" can translate to "il fait froid" or "le temps est froid".
The whole unit combines various French phrases, so that "le temps est" and "il fait" + adjective are correctly associated with "the weather is" or "it is" + adjective, both ways.
Precisely. "Le temps est" and "il fait" are strictly interchangeable whenever they are followed by adjectives like "beau, mauvais, chaud, froid, sec, humide, frais".
However, centuries of discussions about the weather may have introduced exceptions, like the fact that we do say "le temps est venteux (windy)", nuageux (cloudy)", brumeux (misty), neigeux (snowy)" but not "il fait..." with the same adjectives.
Whenever the adjective is not specific to the weather, we added "out/outside" or changed the construction to "the weather is...".
The point was to avoid comments on the fact that "it is..." can be about a specific thing in reverse translations:
- it is humid = il/elle est humide = le manteau est humide / la veste est humide.
- it is humid out/the weather is humid = il fait humide/le temps est humide
Seeing that the Tips info says that "Il fait ..." is used for sensory expressions of the weather, I am wondering whether it is incorrect to say things like "Il fait humide" or "Il fait nuageux". Could someone please clarify whether the "Le temps est..." construction must be used for weather-specific adjectives, because I remember reading it somewhere.
"Humid" is not specific to weather conditions, whereas "nuageux" is.
"Le temps est humide" or "il fait humide" are the two most common ways of saying that what you sense is humid air/atmosphere.
"Le temps est nuageux" is the best way to say that it is cloudy. "Il fait nuageux" can be said by some, but strictly speaking, it is not proper French.