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what's your name?

German translation: the reason why

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06:49 Mar 7, 2002
English to German translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: what's your name?
how to say that in german? it should be Was ist Ihr Name or Wie ist Ihr Name? why the German use Wie instead of Was? thank you.
darcy
German translation:the reason why
Explanation:
Well, Darcy, for me as a German, for instance, it seems much more logical to ask, "how" someones name sounds or looks like, instead of asking, "what" the name is; well, what is his name? in the first place, his name is a name, that's what it is. So you see, languages just "work" different; and that's why machines will never be as good translators as humans.
Best Greetings,

Nikolaus
Selected response from:

Elisabeth Ghysels
Local time: 21:15
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7Wie ist Ihr Name? Wie heissen Sie?
Mats Wiman
4 +2the reason why
Elisabeth Ghysels
4As to whywrtransco


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
Wie ist Ihr Name? Wie heissen Sie?


Explanation:
or in Du format:
Wie ist dein Name? Wie heißt du?


    13 years in Germany
Mats Wiman
Sweden
Local time: 21:15
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish
PRO pts in pair: 711

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  wrtransco: Wie heißen Sie? for Germany and Austria.
24 mins

agree  Elvira Stoianov
1 hr

agree  Rado Varbanov
1 hr

agree  ZOLTÁN PARRAGH
1 hr

agree  Sven Petersson
1 hr

agree  Erika Grzincic-Baumgart M.A.
2 hrs

neutral  nettranslatorde: "Wie heißen Sie?" is the correct German version.
2 hrs
  -> Wieso 'Neutral'? 'Wie ist Ihr Name' ist die normale variante an der Rezeption eines Hotels.

neutral  Geneviève von Levetzow: Einverstanden mit WalRa und Kerstin
6 hrs

agree  dieter haake: zwischen den beiden Varianten von Mats gibt es absolut(!) kein korrekt/unkorrekt - kommt auf die Situation an - auch in D und in A. didi
8 hrs

neutral  ehrnst: neutral nur deshalb, weil "heißen" auch in der neuen Rechtschreibung mit ß.
9 hrs

agree  rauhl
9 hrs
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35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
As to why


Explanation:
I don't think there is a good explanation, except that each language works differently. You cannot simply tranpose one word in one language into a word of another language -- this is why linear translations by the monks in the Middle Ages did not quite work.

Matt gave you the formal (Sie) and the informal (du) forms.


wrtransco
Local time: 15:15
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 187
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
the reason why


Explanation:
Well, Darcy, for me as a German, for instance, it seems much more logical to ask, "how" someones name sounds or looks like, instead of asking, "what" the name is; well, what is his name? in the first place, his name is a name, that's what it is. So you see, languages just "work" different; and that's why machines will never be as good translators as humans.
Best Greetings,

Nikolaus

Elisabeth Ghysels
Local time: 21:15
PRO pts in pair: 526

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  ehrnst: wie wahr!
7 hrs

agree  Michaela Müller: Sehr gut!Vielleicht weiß Darcy auch nicht, wie die englische Sprache entstanden ist.
9 hrs
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