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How To Stay Safe During A Hitzewelle Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Current Events, Holidays, Language, Travel

Over the weekend temperatures in Germany hit 40⁰C, and everybody has been, quite rightly, out enjoying the Hitzewelle while it lasts. The reason it is so hot in Europe at the moment is because the hot Saharaluft (air from the Sahara desert) is blowing in our direction, causing heiße Tage – and tropische Nächte!

I love having Spaß in the sun as much as the next person, but it’s always good to be reminded of the Gefahren that come with a Hitzewelle, and the things you can do to stay safe during it! So why not learn them in German? 🙂

As you can see I’ve mixed Deutsch und Englisch here but omitted the German translations, hoping you’ll understand the words by their context. Tell me what you think of this method, as if you like it I’ll do it more often!

Yes, God

Photo: lehnin78 on flickr.com under CC BY 2.0



Trink viel Wasser!Experten say we’re supposed to drink zwischen 1,5 und 2 Liter Wasser pro Tag on a normal day, but on hot days we should drink deutlich mehr! Alkohol and kohlensäurehaltige Getränke should be avoided, as these cause Dehydratisierung.

1,5 Liter Flasche Wasser (Volvic)

Photo: justusbluemer on flickr.com under CC BY 2.0


Erfrische dich zwischendurch – Whether it’s a refreshing Fussbad, a kühles Tuch on your Stirn, or whether you go all out and splash around in a Brunnen, a bit of refreshment during the day is an ideal way to keep cool!

Sei vorsichtig, wenn du Sport treibst – Listen to your Körper, and only do what you can in terms of Sport. Manche Leute cope besser in the Hitze than others. Schwimmen is obviously the ideal sport for heiße Tage!

Trage deinen Hut! – Everybody should wear a Hut to protect their Kopf, but it is especially wichtig for Kinder, and those with a Glatze. Doing so will prevent Sonnenbrand on the Kopf, and will keep the Kopf kühl.

Creme dich ein! – Vielleicht das Allerwichtigste!! Choose Sonnenschutz with a high UV factor, so that you can protect your Haut. You want to avoid schmerzhafter Sonnenbrand at all costs! If you don’t protect yourself, you are at risk of getting Hautkrebs or other Hautschäden.

Ruhe dich aus – Hohe Temperaturen can cause Müdigkeit. Have a Nickerchen for 20 Minuten if you can, to restore your Energie!

Zieh etwas leichtes anLüftige Kleidung are ideal for this Wetter. You definitely shouldn’t wear anything too eng. Hell colours are also better than dunkel colours, as they reflect the Sonnenlicht and keep you kühl!

Trage eine gute Sonnenbrille – Remember, your Augen need Schutz, too! Eine gute Sonnenbrille will protect your eyes vor starken UV-Strahlen.

On the Field

Photo: tekkebln on flickr.com under CC BY-ND 2.0


Finally, here are some körperliche Gefahren to watch out for during a Hitzewelle, which may indicate you have der Hitzschlag:

die Müdigkeit – tiredness

der Schwindel – dizziness

die Ohnmacht – fainting

der Kopfschmerz – headache

die Übelkeit – nausea

die Dehydratisierung – dehydration

der Sonnenbrand – sunburn


Stay safe, and viel Spaß in the sun!

Constanze x

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About the Author:Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze. I'm half English and half German. I write here because I'm passionate about my languages and my roots. I also work as a translator & group fitness instructor.


  1. Julianne:

    I love that method and what you wrote. I did have a very hard time with some of it and will have to look it up later, but thank you:)

  2. Allan Mahnke:

    Many thanks! There was none of this from my Grandparents or my teachers in school. It may seem mostly intuitive, but none native speakers seem never to be sure about this kind of vocabulary.

  3. Noni:

    This is a fun way to read!
    What is Hautschäden? I couldn’t find it in the dictionary.

  4. Mirko von Berner:

    Ich mag die Methode, aber ich würde eine Liste der Wörter verwende am Ende des Artikels. Danke schön.

  5. Kevin:

    Excellent article, keeps it simple and easy to understand for a learner and at the same time focuses on the German vocabulary.

    Thank you.

    Much appreciated.

  6. koskamoska:

    Brilliant way of learning the language. Look forward to more articles like this 🙂

  7. Mike Powell:

    I too like this merhod, but as Mirko mentioned, I would enjoy a vocab list at the end. Certainly, it would be easy for me to look the words up; however, often I enjoy your articles on my phone while on the go, and going back and forth between the article and a dictionary website breaks up the continuity of reading the article for me. Thanks! Per usual, great stuff! I really enjoy your articles.

  8. Erika:

    Danke, Constanze! Ich mag diese Methode sehr!

  9. Joseph T. Madawela:

    This mix of German and English is ideal. I love out how things come about and can easily serach for the words on Wiktionary . Thanks looking for more posts like this.

  10. marcia bernhard:

    Ich bin der einzige Spielverderber. I really don’t care for mixing German and English. It’s not natural language and may even encourage the learner to do the same. One person commented that she ‘loved the method’but she admitted she had a hard time and still had to look up the words. So, I don’t think this method helped everyone guess the vocabulary from context. I prefer having the German text, followed by the English translation. One can struggle through the German text, checking his/her interpretation with the English, if needed. Another issue is what to do with the structure of a German expression inserted into an English environment, e.g. you wrote: You want to avoid ‘schmerzhafter Sonnerbrand’. The ‘er’ ending isn’t consistent with the accusative case. Thanks for your post. It contained a lot of useful vocabulary.

  11. Abida:

    Also, it is important when learning a new German word to learn the article with it. Maybe a vocabulary list at the end would help? Because I had no idea what the article for Sonnenschutz would be, even though it was clear from context what the word meant. So I still won’t be able to use the word myself!

    • Constanze:

      @Abida Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  12. Carmen Vicente:

    Ich mag die Methode, so fun!