https://www.duolingo.com/BluBead

A Funny Story From German Class

Ok, story time. I was in my first year of German class in my sophomore year of highschool. We were doing a little activity with basic adjectives where we just say "Ich bin [adjective]" to the class, and everyone tries to guess what you said. (Mine was "Ich bin höflich"/"I am polite.")

So this one air-head kind of girl in my class wanted to say "I am hot" as in sexy hot. So she said "Ich bin heiß." My teacher practically spat out her coffee.

Apparently, in German, you're suppose to say "It is hot/cold" instead of "I am hot/cold." "Ich bin heiß" means "I am horny" in English. Also, I believe "Ich bin kalt" means something like "I am cold-hearted."

The more you know.

September 25, 2014

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

I'm not an "airhead", and I made that same mistake in my German class. Well, I just wanted to say I was hot as in temperature because it was warm that day. I would guess it is a pretty common mistake between German and English. It would be nice if people were supportive of fellow learners, but they can laugh too. It is funny. You will make endless mistakes in language classes. Oh well. I just shrugged it off. At my age there is not much left to be embarrassed by. Live and learn. And the next time I am horny I can properly announce it! ;)

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BluBead

I referred to her as an air-head because she was just one of those students that didn't care about grades and just wanted to hang out with boys. She wasn't air-headed because of the mistake. I might have made the same mistake myself if she hadn't made it first. :p

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

Got it! :) I hear that! I wish someone else had made the mistake first. I think the teacher who made sure the whole class got to hear about my mistake (instead of just my speaking partner) expected me to turn red, but I was like, "oh good! my partner (who speaks German) will be glad I learned that! ;) p.s. And there is nothing wrong with likin' cute boys! ;)

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jmberb

In german, you would say "Mir ist heiß" or "Mir ist kalt" In the English, "it is hot/cold to me"

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/faeoori

I believe the girl was trying to say that she was beautiful/good looking, rather than that she was feeling hot. If I followed the story, though, she said that she is horny, rather than saying that she is good looking.

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pont

But if you read the story, the girl was trying to say that she was sexy -- and succeeded. (As Lilithly says, "heiß" really does tend to mean "sexy" rather than "horny".) Air-head girl wasn't so air-headed after all :-).

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wataya

It can mean both. It depends a bit on how it is delivered. As you wouldn't normally attribute sexiness to yourself, I'd tend to interpret it as "horny" indeed. But it totally depends on the situation.

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/pont

A bit like "hot" in English, then, but at least without the additional ambiguity of "high temperature". Somehow I suspect that "Ich bin sexy" would have got a similar reaction from the teacher...

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

One small addition: In German, a sentence like "Ich bin heiß / kalt." can also mean "I am hot / cold." in case your body is literally hot or cold, e.g. if you have a fever or are hypothermic / dead.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/makemusic

This is fantastic! I laughed so hard. I also take a German class and had a similar experience. The teacher asked the class, "Do you have anything going on?" and one of the girls got a bit mixed up and replied "I have nothing on" which also meant "I am naked". The teacher let out a snorting laugh and told the class what she said. The poor girl turned beet red and everyone was laughing uncontrollably. Certainly an experience I'll never forget -- and I'll never make that mistake myself!

This experience, my language learning friends, is one of the many perks of learning a language. :)

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KansasBurri

I read about this before I went to Berlin during the summer. Definitely saved me from being labeled another American tourist that does that on multiple occasions.

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lilithly

actually "he is hot" would translate to "Er ist heiß" in German as well. It can mean horny, but at least in my part of Germany (don't know about the rest - I live in the north) "hot" (as in "sexy") would be the better translation. if we'd want to say "horny" we'd be more likely to use the word "geil".

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

Actually, I would understand both "heiß" and "geil" on their own as "sexy", but "heiß auf / geil auf" as something like "hot for" or "crazy about" (i.e. "attracted to" with people or just in general wanting something / someone). In the right context "geil" is certainly also "horny" ("heiß" also possible, but to an even lesser degree), but "rattig", "spitz", or "notgeil" are in my opinion far less ambiguous (but "notgeil" carries also meaning / connotation of "desperate").

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Lilithly

true! but I personally try to avoid using the word "geil" because it has a more coarse ring to it imho. I guess it depends on the person :)

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DeroGoi

I want my life to be that video.

September 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

And on context, I suppose. Furthermore, "geil" can also be used for objects (e.g. "Ich fand den Film schon ganz geil."), where the meaning is closer to "cool", "great", "awesome", etc.

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/loyal_fr

Another moment: never say in German "Ich bin voll", if you have eaten enough! people can think that you are quite drunk :) even though, of course, they will just laugh a bit...

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

Actually, you can say "Ich bin voll." when you want to say that you've eaten as much as you can and that you are "literally" full. But the more common way to express this would be to say "Ich bin satt." (As far as I know there is no literal translation for this word in English, but it means that you have eaten enough.).

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wstockall

The English equivalent is likely "sated".

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lucie.white

Yes, or "satiated". You certainly don't see this too much in English anymore though!

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

They have the same root, yes. I didn't think of that word. But I haven't heard it used in this sense ("full") very often, although "satiated" is used in science a lot. But both are verb forms of "sate" or "satiate", respectively, and could be literally translated to "gesättigt" from the verb "sättigen". In German there can be a small difference between "gesättigt" and "satt" (at least in tone).

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/loyal_fr

Germans say that in principle, if you ate together and didnot drink much alcohol, then if you say "ich bin voll", it will be clear to the others that you are fed up :)

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

Exactly, you need the right context of course. Well, it'll be clear that you are full (unless "fed up" can also be used for "full", but I haven't heard it used in that sense). Interestingly, "to be fed up with sth." can be translated to "etw. satt haben" in German.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/loyal_fr

crazy, how many languages you speak! How come? Where are you from?

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

I'm from Germany, but apart from German I'm only fluent in English. I learned a bit of French and Spanish in school, but since I don't have that much time I only do French at the moment. I've also taken up Dutch, because it seemed fun and I can already understand quite a bit of it, seeing that I already know German and English. I've also dabbled a bit in Danish recently. The other languages I've only looked into out of curiosity, but I'm not actively pursuing them. So while there might be nine flags next to my name, I currently only actively learn two (or three if you want to count Danish) languages on duolingo. There are other members, even in this thread, who are far more active or speak more languages than me.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/loyal_fr

nice! and where do you live in Germany? I moved to Freiburg four years ago, but soon move to Konstanz. Germany is very nice!

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jjd1123

I live in Heidelberg. I heard that Konstanz is also quite nice, but I haven't been to Freiburg yet.

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JamieJamJams

What would you say instead?

September 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/loyal_fr

ich bin satt :) sorry for answering late

September 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TrioLinguist

Nice story!

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/InfinitiJAK16

oh, crap! That must have been horrible! lol.

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/IngridBergman

ja ja made me giggle

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/shkjbjmagygdg

that's too funny XD

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Andromeda_Dale

Good to know!

September 28, 2014
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