Is "How tall are you?" really not an acceptable translation?
I would never, ever say "What is your height?"
Edit: June 8, 2015 - just received an e-mail: You suggested “How tall are you?” as a translation for “Qual é a sua altura?” We now accept this translation. :)
I think they just want you to learn the literal translation to a phrase that is used a lot here! Altura = Height. "How tall are you?" would be "Quão alto você é?" and the answer to this question might not be a number, but some less objective answer like "muito alto" (= very tall). When you want to know exactly how tall someone is, you should ask "Qual é a sua altura?" (and the answer would be "1,80m") Hope this helps.
Right. In a technical situation one might ask for height this way, when someone is filling out a form, for example, that asks for height and weight. But we ALWAYS say "how tall are you" in speech, so this should be the main translation. They should be wanting to teach us not literal translation, which is obvious, but how to ask about height in Portuguese--so the Portuguese idiom should be matched to the English one.
Could this sentence be used as well if the air traffic control tower asks a pilot for his flying altitude? [Rather than asking for someone's height?]
One would use the word "a altitude" in that scenario (it's also a word in Portuguese).
Can someone tell the difference between Qual and Que please? I always get confused between the two. I have been thinking qual = which and que = what. But, that doesn't seem to be the case here. Please help. Thanks.