If I have to summarize in one word the summer of 2022 in France and in Europe and maybe also elsewhere : CANICULE (=HEAT WAVE)
A heat wave is a period of extreme heat. It is also called a heat wave. We can talk about a heat wave when there is very strong heat during the day and night for at least 3 days in a row.
We will see today, 10 expressions to speak about the heat wave, the heat in France and in French.
Faire chaud (FEI-R SHO)
Il fait chaud partout en Europe. = It's hot everywhere in Europe.
The simplest and most common expression for heat: Il fait chaud.
I remind you that "il" does not refer to anyone. It is an impersonal form of address.
Attention, we do not say “il est chaud” or “c’est chaud” to talk about the temperature.
And second attention, we do not say “Je suis chaud”, but “J’ai chaud” to say that we undergo the heat.
Crever de chaud ! (KREU-VÉ DE SHO)
Je crève de chaud aujourd’hui ! = I'm dying of heat today!
I think it's the most common expression used to express the fact that it's hot. It is a colloquial expression. Not to be used in a formal setting.
“Crever” means “mourir” (=die). It's so hot it's killing you.
Une chaleur à crever (UU-NN SHA-LHER AAH KREU-VÉ)
Il fait une chaleur à crever dans ce bureau ! = It's hot as hell in this office!
Another variant of “Crever de chaud” : “Une chaleur à crever”. It is a very similar expression to say that it is very hot in French. It is also a colloquial expression.
Dès que je vais dehors, j’étouffe ! = As soon as I go outside, I can't breathe!
On étouffe quand on n’arrive plus à respirer. Souvent la chaleur fait cet effet-là, surtout quand c’est une chaleur humide. Quand le taux d’humidité est fort et qu’en plus il fait très chaud, on a cette sensation d’étouffer.
Ça cogne (SSA KOGN) - Ça tape (SSA - TAP)
Mets un chapeau aujourd’hui, ça cogne fort / ça tape fort. = Put on a hat today, the sun is beating down.
Cogner / Taper literally means to hit. And here “ça” means the sun. The sun "cogne", the sun "tape", means that it is very strong and consequently, it's very hot.
Faire lourd (FEIR LOOR)
Il fait lourd, je pense qu’il va y avoir un orage. = It's heavy, I think there will be a storm.
You've had that feeling just before a storm, when it's very hot and you feel like the heat is crushing you, is on you. Well, that's when you can say: It's heavy.
It's slightly different from a stifling heat. When it's heavy, the heat is more on your whole body. And it's often just before a storm or during a stormy period.
Il n'y a pas un pet’ de vent (EEL NYA PA UN PEIT DEU VEN)
Je sens qu’on va crever de chaud aujourd’hui, il n'y a pas un pet’ de vent = I feel that we are going to die of heat today, there is not a breath of wind.
This expression means that there is no wind at all, there is no air, so it will be even hotter. We don't even have a little wind to cool us down.
Un pet’ would be the diminutive of "pétole" which in the language of navigation means that there is simply no wind.
La chaleur est insoutenable aujourd’hui ! = The heat is unbearable today!
When it is very hot, we can also say that the heat is unbearable. It means that you can't stand the heat.
Être en nage (NA-JJ)
Avec cette chaleur, je suis en nage ! = With this heat, I sweat a lot.
Être en nage means to sweat a lot, we are covered with sweat. It is so hot that you are swimming, you sweat a lot.
Un soleil de plomb (IN SSO-LEYE DE PLON)
Il y a un soleil de plomb, je mets mes lunettes de soleil ! = There is a blazing sun, I put on my sunglasses!
The sun is "de plomb" when the sky is clear, without clouds and when it is very hot. "Plomb" (=lead) as in very heavy matter. The sun "de plomb" when it is heavy and powerful and crushes us.
Je fonds à cause de cette chaleur ! = I'm melting because of this heat!
Fondre (=melting) is the action of making something solid liquid. Of course, it's an image, but it's this idea that it's so hot that you become liquid. You melt like a snowman. Fondre here also refers to sweating.
I'll see you soon, for new adventures, in French of course. 🇫🇷