Seeing the number of languages represented here, I might just throw in my Hungarian. First I was like why is it Wie?, then it hit me that in Hungarian we also ask this way: Hogy hívnak? Hogy hívják? which means How are you called? (informal and formal, literally word by word). However, we can also say if we want to know your name, for example on a form: Mi a neve/keresztneve/vezetékneve? What is your name/first name/family name? A bit of a mix. By the way stephensoldner I've heard that Hungarian is almost as difficult as Japanese because of the verb conjugation.
Sorry if this seems a bit lengthy and off-topic, but...
I'm learning Japanese too, and I find that Japanese is different again because English is a SVO language. This means that the thing doing the action (subject) is first, followed by the verb, then the thing that the subject is doing the verb to (object) comes last. This is consistent in English and German, for example:
"I eat bread." (Subject: I, Verb: to eat, Object: Bread)
"Ich esse Brot." (Subject: Ich, Verb: essen, Object: Brot)
However Japanese follows the SOV pattern, so the same sentence that was demonstrated before becomes:
私はパンを食べます。(Subject: Watashi, wa is a particle but let's not worry about that, Object: Pan, wo is another one of those particles, Verb: Taberu)
In this particular case, it doesn't matter too much, but in other sentences Japanese doesn't flow at all like German or English.
I reported the same problem a few days ago. When you repeat the sound in the slow mode, it sounds as 'liest', not 'ist'. It was a common problem on every German courses in Duolingo. I do thank for the Duo team's hard work. And I don't want this to sound just an unreasonable complain to them, but really it does sound like 'Liest' in the slow mode.
From the English side: 'Which' implies a choice from an array of names. It would sound odd to someone if you asked them this. If you were looking at a list of names, 'Which' would work. However, if you're just asking someone, as this context implies, 'which' does not work.
From the German side: 'wie' doesn't correspond with 'which'.
Just had this same question twice back to back, the first was spoken/written german to english "was ist dein vorname" second it was just spoken german "wie ist dein vorname" both answers were "what is your first name" why would it do that, and which one would (normally) be used? Vielen dank.
The translation for this is given as 'How is your first name?', to which the answer presumably would be 'My first name is very well, thank you.' I think something's gone wrong here. Shouldn't it be 'What is your first name?' As a native speaker I've never heard somebody say 'How is your first name?' Sounds weird.
"What is your first name?" is a better translation — even though it's not a literal translation. English is my primary language, and I would be terribly confused if someone asked me "How is your first name?" (I would probably respond "My first name is not Howe" ("Howe" is a somewhat common last name and is often pronounced the same as "how"). Given that Duolingo focuses on practical rather than literal translations, I think this should translation should be changed.
Actually, 'was ist dein Vorname' is technically incorrect. I don't know if it exists colloquially or not, but I do know that I was corrected for saying it incorrectly once when I was in Germany. "Wie" is what you are supposed to use - "wie ist dein Name" or "wie heissen Sie" - (polomare does a good job explaining it further in one of the comments above).
Think of "wie" as a cute little oddity of the German language. Think of this sentence as saying: "How is it that you are called?". Someone might have phrased it this way in English a long time ago, but this wording has mostly fallen into disuse in English. Clearly, it persists in German. As for the "like" translation - don't think of it as "liking" something, It means "similar". In other (somewhat awkward) wording, you could think of it as "What is your name like?" ("What other name, that I have heard before, is your name similar to?")
To elaborate on that, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong: I've always been taught that "Wie heißt du?" is the usual way to ask someone's name, at least conversationally; would "Wie ist dein Vorname?" only be used if the question is pointedly asking for a first name, like on a form?
I once decided to use omegle to meet random germans to practice , it went like this: hallo, hallo , wie heißt du? you are not a native speaker are you? *no I'm not ........how could he tell? It was only in text, I concluded that "wie heißt du" is not that common, I think "wie ist dein name" is more common speech, am i correct?
In French it means "What's your name?". The meaning is different from How is it that you're called, which assumes that at least once the name has been said. It's something you would ask to hear again the name. In French you use "Comment tu t'appelles?" in the moment you meet someone for the very first time.
The program did not accept "personal name" for Vorname, which it certainly should have. Also, when I click on the report error button, nothing happens. Shouldn't there be some kind of feedback? In all fairness, this is a fairly impressive program. Kudos to whomever is responsible for it.
Are you a native English speaker? I never heard anyone refering to the name as personal name. I was taught "name" for the first name and "surname" for the family name...am I wrong? Now another interesting thing was the suggestion from duo: "prename"... Does that even exist?
Renato, I am. Born in Manhattan, grew up in Queens, studied, worked and retired in Michigan. According to the article in Wiki, personal name includes first, middle and last names, but later in the same article, under Name order, they contrast personal name with surname. So I used personal name correctly, but given name might be more common. First and last name works, but not for East Asia, where people put the family name first. Prename sounds like Latin praenomen. Romans had to account for their clan in their names as well as their family, so they had four names.
Thank you! I am not a native speaker and that's why I wanted to be sure. We tend to mix our English with some influences of our own language. As for "prename", I can understand it's origin, I'm Portuguese, I just never heard about it's existence but according to the internet it does exist and in my own language too ahah
Renato, just for reference, most English speakers don't use the phrase 'personal name' in conversation. That is very formal, almost something that is mostly used by linguists. Unless it's a regional thing. No rudeness intended to anyone who does use it in conversation. I have never heard anyone in my life say, "My personal name is -----."
Yes, but in many languages (and ages ago in English), it is more common to ask something along the lines of "How are you called?", or "How are you named?", and they also retain a question like "How is your name?", which doesn't make sense in English now. Just because we do something in English, doesn't mean it is correct in other languages!
For example, Italian - Come ti chiami? - 'come' = 'how'.