Ok, so long story as short as possible here.. My grandparents brought me up. Both were from Britain and both survived WWII in their own way. My grandmother in London, my grandad by being a soldier. All of the soldiers were taught their share of German. Growing up he taught me a bit. Sadly he died before I went to high school but once there i took German 1-4. Then had occasion to visit Berlin in 1999.I try to keep it alive by using it everyday. So here is my question... Between what I learned at home and in school and in Berlin.... I am wondering why my way of saying things seems wrong. For instance there were times when in Germany I used what I am deeming direct translation and no one laughed and they knew what I meant. So I am used to saying "Was ist Heute ?" obviously directly that means "What is today"...but if u Google it it says to say " Welcher Tag ist es".. Since i was not looked at with furrowed brows of misunderstanding when i said it the way I did around native speakers, can i assume both are acceptable? There are a ton of these direct translation questions in my mind, but lets just start with this. I will post others as they come to me.... For now I guess I want to know from anyone who wants to answer about "direct translation" and if its acceptable to say "Was ist Heute?" Thanks Kaytee /Katja
Was ist [denn] heute? is the common and colloquial (and perfect) question when you currently don't know whether today is e.g. Saturday or Sunday or whether it's the 10th or 11th of September.
The more formal question would be Welcher Tag ist heute?
But is also depends on context: in your daily 9 hrs meeting at work it could also mean What problems/issues do we have today?