"Что за" is another (rather colloquial) way of saying "what" or "what kind of".
- Что это за штука? - What the heck is that thing?
Non-colloquially, it can also mean other words such as "behind" and "for" in some contexts.
Why is «это» dropped in this particular phrase? Is it possible to drop it in any phrase, for example when talking to friends or family?
I think I get it, but I am unsure how to explain. Consider in English: which would you be more likely to ask someone?
"What kind of ice cream is this you are eating?"
"What kind of ice cream are you eating?"
It is implied that you mean "this" ice cream, even without saying "this". And the same for the Russian sentence with это. At least I believe so.
That's usually what it means. Just like in English "what kind of ice cream are you eating" usually means "what flavour..." :) But that doesn't make it a correct translation of course.
Why is "what is this ice cream you are eating" incorrect? I get is a little bit awkward for how you would form the sentence in English, but isn't it a valid translation all the same?
Maybe because это is not in the sentence. You're adding a word in your translation that is not in the original.
Is it just me or is the audio for мороженое completely off? I swear it sounds like it's "морожнае"
It doesn't sound exactly right, but it does sound pretty much the same way as my inlaws say it, and they're native Russians.
I you want to hear 6 different ways Russians say it, listen to this: https://forvo.com/word/%D0%BC%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B5/#ru
What would be the difference in russian between "What kind of ice cream are you eating?" and "what kind of ice cream do you eat?"
1) Что за мороженное ты (сейчас) ешь? 2) Что за мороженное ты (обычно) ешь? or even Что за мороженное ты любишь or Какое мороженное ты любишь/предпочитаешь?
The Russian language is ridiculous, each word on its own means something else. за = behind but with Что its what kind. (put these words together for an English sentence - if, world, wall, left, them, sent, cover.)
Almost everyone in the world likes ice cream, and for good cause. I can't verify it, but I once read that the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, upon tasting ice cream for the first time, said, "If this is not a sin, it should be!"
The fast audio version sounds a bit like "Что за мороженое это ешь?" and is a little confusing.
Is it normal to say что за ___...? Rather than какое? It sounds rude or informal to me
I don't use to eat ice cream. I understand that the verb is to eat, but I think is very strange to eat an ice cream.