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  5. "Wie spät ist es?"

"Wie spät ist es?"

Translation:What time is it?

April 25, 2018



Sometimes Duo asks for the literal translation even if it makes no sense in English; sometimes it asks for a particular "semantic" translation even if the literal one would still make a lot of sense (specially without specific context).



Spät here shows late/later, how come in this sentence it's saying "What time is it? " Can anybody tell me the mechanism here?


A literal translation would be ""How late is it?". This is an example, however, where we have the opportunity to learn how a German would naturally ask this question.

If we translated the English phrase "What time is it?" into something like Welche Uhrzeit ist es? we would be immediately recognised as foreign :)


But...we also say "How late is it" to ask for the time in English...


In English, I would reserve "How late is it" for times late in the evening or when asking the amount of time by which a train was running late (answer would be e.g. "It's 10 minutes late"). Generally, I would ask "What time is it"


I've definitely had cases where I've slept through the alarm clock and woken up saying "Oh, crap, how late is it?"

If Duo wants to teach us that this is the usual way to say "What time is it?" then having that as the default is fine, but certainly the more literal, also correct, and perfectly reasonable English should be, IMO, accepted.

Rant over.


So, is this the standard way to ask what time it is in German?


... something like Welche Uhrzeit ist es? we would be immediately recognized as foreign

If I could offer a lingot with a smiley attached I would. That phrasing was essentially my first guess! However I think my accent will clue others in to this 'foreign person' pretty quick too.


What time is it is "wie ist es Uhr"


It is a bit unfair to mark the correct translation as wrong because you are trying to teach people how Germans ask 'What time is it.' Why not just teach us that to ask the time you ask 'How late is it' instead of the stupid 'clever' way of getting people to translate a sentence knowing in advance that everybody will get it wrong. Why not just teach us the right way first time instead of all this stupidity and you only discover it if you then come into the discussion having got it 'wrong.' That is not teaching, that is being arrogant.

Anyway, in English it is perfectly legitimate to ask 'how late is it' if you want to know the time and it is late.


Is there a preference between asking "Wie spät ist es" and "Wie viel Uhr ist es?" Are there perhaps regional differences or something?


The first one is the informal way and 2nd one is the formal way respectively.


Being wrong for answering "How late is it?", is bizarre.


Hmm. But suppose it is late. And suppose I want to ask how late it is. What then?


If we just assume you've asked that question, no matter how it would be phrased exactly, the answer would still be a time. So it boils down to the same question. I suppose you could say something like 'Es ist spät, aber wie spät genau?' if you absolutely want to emphasise that it is late already.


So, "wie spät ist es?" can mean "how late is it?"


Ist die Stunde spaet?? (im guessing completely but it is based off "Die Stunde ist spaet" ie the hour is late)


Many years ago in school I learned wie viel Uhr ist es. Is that now old fashioned? Should we now use wie spät ist es?


This has been brought up several times in this forum... I wish someone would give light to this question. I've tried placing it in google translate, but it literally translate "Wie viel uhr ist es" to "what is it o'clock". I know google translate isn't reliable, but just trying to get some clarity to this.


Google translate gives me "what time is it" as a translation. So I'm not sure what happened there when you tried. It is an acceptable way to say it, but from what I've come across, it's not quite as common in colloquial speech.


Uh... Native US English speaker and “How late is it?“ is a very normal way to ask the time. The direct translation here should absolutely be accepted.


When I lived in Berlin, a German friend would ask "Wie spaet?" which meant "What's the time?"


Shouldn't this be, "How late is it?"


See az_p's comment above.


I wrote 'How late is it?' If that is wrong, how would you write it in German?


If you arrived early for something and wanted to know the time, you wouldn't say "how late is it" but it sounds like the Germans would. Is that correct?


Native English speaker now wondering how to translate the English phrase "how late is it" into German...


Wie spät ist es? is the literal translation of "How late is it?", word for word. Because the German expression it's also used for asking the time, what we initially understood it as doesn't change. Hope that clarifies things.


So how do you translate "how late is it" into German. For example if you are told the train is late and you want to know by how much you would say "How late is it". Wie spät ist es??


Having checked with my German partner "wie spät ist es" can only ever mean "what time is it"

For the late train " Wie viel Verspätung hat es" (der Zug)


This is similar to the South African Afrikaans. 'Hoe laat is dit?" Direct translation: 'How late is it?' an expression we, as English speaking South Africans only use colloquially. The South African English translation in this case is also: What time is it?


I flagged this to be reported, but I guess I'm wrong... I thought the translation was: "how late is it?"


How late is it should certainly be accepted as reasonable translation from german to english, however I do understand requiring translating "What time is it?" into "Wie spät ist es?".


So if I learned that my plane was late, and I wanted to ask "how late is it?" how would I say that?


You'd specify what you were asking about, eg, "Wie spät ist mein Flugzeug?" Asking "Wie spät ist es?" refers to time, not to the time of a particular event, subject, object, etc. If asking about something specific, you need to mention that in your question, otherwise it sounds as though you're asking what time it is or how late it (the time) is. I hope that helps.


context is everything... if you were in a conversation with someone about your flight, so that it's clear that's what you're talking about (let's say they just said "your plane is going to be late") Couldn't you reasonably reply "how late is it?" And, how would you do that if "Wie Spät ist es" doesn't work? Would you still have to include "mein Flugzeug"?


You could ask "when will it/the plane arrive?", "Wann kommst mein Flugzeug an?" or "How long do I have to wait?", "Wie lange muss ich warten?". Otherwise, asking "how late is it?", is literally translated as "Wie spät ist es?" - that's it.


Wie spät ist es, Meister Graubein?


Why is it not "Wie zeit ist es"?


I don't think the word "Zeit" is used in the same way as "time" would be in English in this case. It would be more appropriate to say "wie viel Uhr ist es?" instead which asks for the time as it relates to the hour/o'clock rather than the passing of time.


"How late is it" is valid to say in English, and would be the more literal translation. It should also be accepted. Unfortunately there is a big discrepancy in that some exercises ask for literal and nonsensical (in English) translations whereas others expect a non-literal and don't accept literal.


so what happened to zeit being time? now spaet takes over in certain contexts? three cheers for continuity...


I answered as "how late is it?" so not accepted lol


Who cares if they know if we are foreign,knowone is going to point their finger and screech like invasion of the body snatchers.


How late is it?


Es ist so spät, dass du morgen mit einem Spiegel sehen kannst


What is wrong with "How late is it?" And then "Welches Uhr ist es?


Dear Duo D. Owl: 'How late is it?' gets counted wrong. Why?!? Warum?!? Was ist los? Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?!?


I might ask how late it was - so ' how late is it ' seems a perfectly useable translation to me

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