How to say what is that? in Italian: che cos'è?

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che cos’è?

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

To say what is that? in Italian: che cos'è?
Say it out loud: “chay koh say?

You can learn how to say what is that? and over 220 other travel-friendly words and phrases with our inexpensive, easy-to-use Italian 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 Italian Courtesy/Questions category:

...the bathroom – il bagno  (eel bahn yoh)
come with me – viene con me  (vee eh nee con may)
do you speak english? – parla inglese?  (Par lah in gley say)
excuse me – scusi  (skoo zee)
excuse me (to get past) – permesso  (pair meh so)
good / bad – buono / male  (boo ohn oh / mah lay)
how do you say…? – come si dice?  (koh meh say dee chay)
how much is this? – quanto costa questo?  (qwan toe kohs tuh kwes toe?)
may I? (point at chair, door) – posso  (poh sew)
maybe – forse  (for seh)
no problem – nessun problema  (neh soon pro blaim uh)
please – Per favore  (pear fa vor reh)
sorry – scusa  (skoo zuh)
thank you – grazie  (gratz ee eh)
what is that? – che cos'è?  (chay koh say?)
where is… – dov'è…  (doh vay…)
yes / no – sì / no  (see / no)
you are welcome – prego  (preh goh)

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?" (che cos'è?) to your host or tour guide in Italian 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 Italian Language Set.

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