In English there is a three-part system: hot - warm - cold. In Esperanto (as in many other languages), there is a two-part system: varma - malvarma, so "varma" covers a wider field than in English. If you really want to insist on something being very hot, you say "varmega", or if it's only a little warm you can say "varmeta". But on the whole, people just say "varma". It works fine in practice. As you said, "hot clothes" wouldn't make any sense, so there's no risk of misunderstanding.
Fair enough. The point I was trying to make, as you said, is that the terms are not exactly equivalent. I speak Esperanto at home all the time with my husband, and in practice I've never encountered a situation in which I was wondering whether "varma" meant warm or hot. If necessary you can add -et- or -eg-, but it's not always needed.
In English we can say "hot clothes", but then it has nothing to do with temperature at all. That just means the clothes make the person look "hot" as in "very attractive". I don't think the Esperanto word is used for this. "Warm clothes" means something totally different as those are clothes which have long sleeves or are made of a thicker fabric to keep you warm. When you say "roupas quentes", which do you mean?
In fact that would sound to me extremely odd (varmetaj vestoj). The normal expression is "varmaj vestoj", so in practice people would be wondering why on earth the clothes should only be "varmetaj". I could maybe imagine someone using the expression in spring, when you needed clothes which were halfway between heavy winter clothes and light summer clothes, but only in this very limited context. This shows that you can't just assume that the word "varma" and its variations are the exact equivalent of specific English words, but you have to get used to using the word in itself without thinking of English.
I suppose in this case, this is one of those "Esperanto to English" translations for which one needs to think of the common way something is said in English.
I'm a little confused, because for the longest time, and if I remember correctly, I learned that "warma" is translated as hot, and yet I do see on certain sites it is warm. Warmega is hot. http://www.esperanto-panorama.net/vortaro/eoen.htm
Amanda has understood warma as warm, but Ĵenja said warma is hot.
Perhaps this sentence could be "Ŝi bezonas varmetajn vestaĵojn.' or does that not make sense?
I've commented in another thread that I only just figured out we have a connection. I wonder if I would have figured out who Amanda and Alena are if I hadn't see that other comment first. :-)
Hopefully you'll never say "Tomaso says that varma is X" - because I would never say anything so unnuanced, except to contradict someone who was saying that it always means Y -- but in general, I think I have to agree with Alena.
Varma is defined as the sensation you get from fire. The trouble comes in when we try to express this in English. If we heat our tea with fire and are comforted by the "fire" in our friends' hearts, we say "hot" for one and "warm" for the other - but varma for both. This isn't Esperanto's fault. To me, the Esperanto seems simpler to understand. It's when we try force it onto English that it becomes confusing.
Varma has another meaning when applied to clothes, that is, to help you retain body heat. For this same idea in English, we say "warm."
So, there's no sense in trying to answer which single English word varma maps onto.
My god, that's complicated. I would have said that "varma" is the appropriate temperature, for instance in a hotel you want the water to be "varma kaj malvarma" (hot and cold), you'd want your coffee to be "varma" (hot), on the other hand you'd also want winter clothes to be "varmaj", which in English we'd translate as "warm". If you said the water or coffee was "varmega", I'd understand you were saying it was burning hot, i.e. hotter than convenient. People's conceptions of hot weather vary, but if it was pleasantly hot I'd say "varma", while if it was uncomfortably hot I'd say "varmega". I'm not sure what "varmegaj" clothes would be like, but I think they'd be uncomfortably warm, like a fur coat on a summer day.