How to say what is that? in German: was ist das?

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How to say what is that? in German: was ist das?

Learning German for travel or study? Let’s try this term:

To say what is that? in German: was ist das?
Say it out loud: “vahst is dahs?

You can learn how to say what is that? and over 220 other travel-friendly words and phrases with our inexpensive, easy-to-use German language cheat sheets. We can help you make your next trip to another country even more fun and immersive. Click below!

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Some more helpful words in our German Courtesy/Questions category:

...the bathroom – die toilette  (dee twah let)
come with me – kommen sie mit  (kohm men zee mitt)
do you speak english? – sprechen sie english?  (shpreh kin see english?)
excuse me – entschuldigen sie  (ent shool' duh gen zee)
excuse me (to get past) – entschuldigung  (in shool dee gung)
good / bad – gut / schlecht  (goot / shlest)
how do you say…? – wie sagt man…  (vee zahgt mahn…)
how much is this? – wie viel kostet das?  (vee feel cost it dahs?)
may I? (point at chair, door) – kann ich…  (kahn iH)
maybe – vielleicht  (vill eyesht)
no problem – kein problem  (kine prob leem)
please – bitte  (bit tuh)
sorry – pardon  (pahr dohn)
thank you – danke  (dahn kuh)
what is that? – was ist das?  (vahst is dahs?)
where is… – wo ist  (woe ist)
yes / no – ja / nein  (yah / nine)

And here’s how to say what is that? in other languages!

Arabic–Ma Haza?  (ma ha za)
Chinese–Nà Shì Shénme?  (Na Shr Shuh Muh?)
Croatian–što je to?  (shtoe yay toe?)
Czech–co to je?  (so toy eh?)
Finnish–mikä tuo on?  (mi kah t uh oh on)
French–Qu'est que c'est  (kehs kuh say)
German–was ist das?  (vahst is dahs?)
Italian–che cos'è?  (chay koh say?)
Japanese–Are Ha Nandesuka?  (Ah Reh Wah Nahnn Dess Kah?)
Korean–Jeogeoneun Mwoyeyo?  (Jo Go Nun Mo Ae Yo?)
Polish–Co to jest?  (Tzo to yest?)
Portuguese–Que É Isso?  (kay eh ee-soo?)
Russian–chto eto takoe?  (shto etah tah koh ye?)
Spanish–¿qué es eso?  (kay ess essō?)
Swahili–nini hiyo  (nee nee hee yo)
Thai–Nan Arai?  (NAHN ah-rai?)
Turkish–bu ne?  (boo nay?)
Vietnamese–Cái Gì Vậy?  (Kay Yee Vuhy)

Dining? On Safari? See something strange? Then you want to ask "what is that?" (was ist das?) to your host or tour guide in German before deciding whether you want to engage or take a run! That is the fun part of experiencing other cultures. For more fun phrases, get instant access to the German Language Set.

Contributor

Sabine Macke
Biography: After moving to the United States in my 20's I met my husband Greg and we live together with our two children in the beautiful Ojai Valley. Greg and I have also been business partners for 23 years. Our online video based car buying tutorials are our latest creation.
Born: Vienna, Austria
Location: Ojai, CA, USA
Website : Your Car Angel

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