"What is the name of the international community?"
Translation:Qual è il nome della comunità internazionale?
Yeah it's a difference of perspective; the Italian "quale" actually translates to "which" because it's not asking what the name actually "is", but which name is associated to that particular object, given that there are many. It could have said "Che nome ha la comunità internazionale?" with more or less the same meaning, although more informal (cosa is a shortening of "che cosa" so it can't be used before another noun such as 'nome'). For instance: "qual è la definizione di zelante?" (what's the definition of zealous?) and "Che significa zelante?" (what does zealous mean?). Perspective :)
Ok, so let me see if I got that :
Good thing to know here is that Cosa = Che cosa, hence cosa being a name itself (=thing?) it can't be followed by another name, right ? That's why we encounter sentences like "Cosa fai ?", which in fact is short for "Che cosa fai ?" = "What is that thing you do ?", right ?
Then, I get that either you have CHE or QUALE, and I guessed pretty early that QUALE = Which, because it worked fine with previous sentences. So no argument here I think.
What I'm struggling with is "it's not asking what the name actually "is", but which name is associated to that particular object" because I really don't see the point. Your example with "zelante" was good, and makes things clearer. But anyways, I think I'd rather naturally go towards "Che" in those types of questions. Is it possible then, to have something like "Che è (or maybe a contraction here) la definizione di zelante ?". The only way I can see thingsd work with QUALE here would be if you have a list of definitions (like in a TV game), and the candidate must pick the right one : "Among those, which one is correct ?".
Sorry for the long post, but I have the feeling it's quite crucial here :)
I don't think I'm good enough to explain this :|
I'm sure Italian uses "quale" a lot more than the English "which", especially in interrogations, but some contexts are perhaps more flexible than others. Imagine a waiter asking you "Which wine would you like?"; he means there is a set of wines you can choose from, but he could have used "What wine would you like?" as well. In Italian it's the same, "Quale vino desiderate?" or "Che vino desiderate?", the latter being more informal. But there are contexts, mostly with the verb "essere", where you can't choose "che" over "quale": i.e. it's either "qual è" or "[che] cos'è", the first asking for a selection or a quality and the second asking for "what it is". This "what it is" is rather hard to explain, but "cos'è" asks for the nature of the object, its meaning or purpose, not any of its qualities. "Cos'è la definizione" means I don't know what "definition" is; "Qual è la definizione" means I know what "definition" is, but I don't know which definition applies to that word.
Sorry, I probably just made it more confusing. Also, "quale" outside of interrogations can mean "how" and even then it's often rendered in English with "what"; Dante's quote "Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura / Esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte" was translated as "Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say / What was this forest savage, rough, and stern".
Do not worry, it's very useful, as usual !
Perfect example with the wine, that's what I figured about all that, and it makes completely sense for me.
Quoting Dante was a hell of an answer :D Nicely done !
I'll try to pay extra attention on that as I go along new lessons. I'm still far from finishing that skill tree anyway :)
qual is used before a vowel, see http://italian.about.com/od/grammar/a/italian-indefinite-adjectives_2.htm
My understanding is that "di" is used to mean "of ...", like "i stivali di mia madre" i think would mean "the boots of my mother/my mother's boots"
On the other hand "da" means "from" or "for" depending on context, e.g.
"Sala da pranzo" = "room for lunch"
"vengo dalla stazione ferroviaria" = "i come from the railway station"