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I have read online 'Wie' translates to 'How' and 'Was' translates to 'What'. So the reasonable way to ask for somebody's name is to say 'Was ist ihr name?'. Why using 'was' is wrong?

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    I'm pretty sure you'd benefit from going trough the discussion here german.stackexchange.com/questions/4290/… – Andrew Chem. Nov 4 '18 at 9:48
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    Translating stuff word by word is not how languages work. Every natural language has its common expressions that are used in certain situations. In German you say "Wie heißen Sie" or "Darf ich nach Ihrem Namen fragen", not "Was ist ihr Name" nor "Wie ist Ihr Name" (okay, the latter could occur; but still it is a bit awkward. – Christian Geiselmann Nov 4 '18 at 13:21

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