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"Die öffentlichen Toiletten sind normal."

Translation:The public restrooms are normal.

October 29, 2013

77 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

...but the private toilets for our guests are very weird


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnonDiablo

Wait... those toilets are not normal? Dutch, by the way, and like 70% of our toilets are that way, almost all of the toilets in homes are like that and in public you encounter the 'American type'. I had no idea this wasn't normal everywhere... the purpose by the way is that the dirty pee and toilet water doesn't splash up your butt when you poop.

Oh, and if you aren't a total idiot you just have to flush it once.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/binomine

What you are calling American type, is the normal flushing toilet outside of Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Austria. And I think that it's slowly losing favor to the Tiefspüler, so in a generation or two, no one will know about it.

Personally, I find it a bit smelly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sneakythumbs

Actually American toilets are very shallow and flush really slowly and you sit really close to the water and are gross. German toilets with their 'shelf' also annoy me (everyday); impossible to pee into.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PugLove888

Sneakythumbs, there are 2 kinds of American toilets: the old style and the water-conserving style. The old type usually would work on the first try, but some of the newer kind don't have enough water pressure and you need multiple flushes... You end up actually using more water! There even was an episode of "King of the Hill" that addresses this. Lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

There are water-conserving toilets with a lever to flush liquid waste, and a button atop the water closet to release a stronger flush for solid waste. The ones I have encountered do a good job on one flush, and do indeed save water, a worthy goal in today' sworld.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/formagella

there are 3 types, shelf toilet (where you can smell it nicely since it doesn't drop in the water), normal toilet (leaves streaks on the bowl depending on the design), and american toilet (high water and different flushing system that leads to occasional clogging). I doubt the public toilets you mention are truly of the american type, more likely the normal one.

I call them normal because they're used on other continents too, except the US and Germany friends.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PugLove888

Eddie, thanks for giving us that link! Very informative, lol!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/electriclinda

I doubled over laughing while reading that lengthy and very graphic article about the shelf toilet. I know now to never have one installed in our house bathroom. I can imagine that there would be contests taking place in our home bathroom of who could launch a log the farthest over the rim during the flush. I am indebted to you for saving me the agony of the cleanup. A thumbs-up to you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrasshopperPie

There are some very weird public toilets in southern Europe - two places to position your feet and a hole on floor level in the middle. Thankfully they seem to be being phased out in France.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PugLove888

Grasshopper Pie, this reminds me of a TV series were a British man travels the world and basically is astounded by other cultures, often complaining, but very humorous. It was called something like "An Idiot in (enter name of any country)". Well, in this one episode he was someplace like Egypt and was shocked by their toilets because they had no water and you had to squat over a porcelain pan with a hole in it. He kept refusing to use it saying he wasn't physically capable of going that way! Lol. Squatting is actually healthier for having bowel movements, I guess unless you have bad knees or something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

It's called "an idiot abroad", and the man is called Karl Pilkington. Very funny.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BampaOwl

There's a short story by Rohinton Mistry where the main protagonist is an Indian migrant to the US. But He can't use non-squatting toilets - he decides this means the US is not for him. But on the plane taking him back to India, while still on the tarmac, he manages it at long last! Unfortunately, I can't remember what happens next ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaMaria_Kat

GrasshopperPie (lol @ the name), in Romania we call them 'Turkish toilets' (toalete turcesti) and they are pretty much popular in cheap hotels or old campuses/schools. They're not really hygienic if you ask me and you can also catch a cold down there, but they're the most physically appropriate for, well, you know... 'going'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ajna
  • 1990

Same name in Italian, interesting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

A grasshopper pie is a pie with a chocolate cookie crust and a green fluffy filling flavored with creme de menthe liqueur (which is mint flavored) and incorporating marshmallow. Recipes vary in details, of course - there are non-alcoholic versions, whipping cream and creme de cacao may be included...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OgnjenG.

I know what you mean, here in Serbia you can find them relatively often, and we call it ''Čučavac'', or literally 'croucher or squatter'. Apparently it is similarly called in English

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

They're not really that weird, just a different style of toilet. They're quite common in India as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

I went to a wedding in a venue with such facilities in a European country. I found myself hoping the bride, with her white dress's voluminous skirt, would not feel the need to use it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PugLove888

I've encountered a few "female urinals" that were very weird! I think they were more popular in the 1960s and '70s but I've encountered one in the '90s. I did not like them! 8-O


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatrinNissen

A sentence I will use every day, I'm sure!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Does this mean the toilets as such have all the expected facilities. Or that the existence of public toilets is a usual occurrence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

It can mean both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Aha! Thank you for the clarification.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vereschagin

What is wrong with using "ordinary" (in the sense of plain, not special, unsurprising, as expected) in translating "normal" in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob_doos

Agreed. Ordinary sounds better in the English version of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geop7

In American English, normal, much less abnormal, is not the right word..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WolkZayets

As a native American English speaker , I don't see any difference between "normal", "ordinary" or even "regular" in this case. However, as most Americans are probably not familiar with anything but the American-Standard type of toilet, perhaps "American-style" might be be a better translation, if indeed that's what "normalle Toiletten" are.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geop7

German "normal" translates to English "normal, ordinary, regular, standard,..." For example, a low-flush toilet uses less water "als eine normale Toilette" would probably translate as "...as a standard or usual toilet."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WolkZayets

The problem is, what might pass for a "normal" toilet in one country might not be considered "normal" in another. It might not make much a difference in the abstract, but if, for example, you are translating a tourist brochure (and I have translated many in my career), it's best to get as concise a translation as possible. For example, not too long ago here in Japan, '普通のトイレ" ("normal toilet") would have been a squat-type facility that was generally disliked by North American tourists. So I had to use "Japanese-style" instead of "normal" in my translations in those days.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

And I think "standard" should be accepted!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

I think the most likely meaning of the sentence is that it's customary, usual, or to be expected that the restrooms referred to are where they are. Hence, the right word is "normal." It's normal to find them here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jason39401

Um, are there abnormal toilets in Germany of which I should be aware?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

I wondered about this too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lechuza-chouette

There is a kind of German toilet ("der Flachspüler") that has a little "shelf" inside, apparently designed to facilitate stool examination. But better that than eine Hocktoilette (more common in France than in Germany, I believe.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chezpatsy

toiletten is plural and the subject of the sentence, so why isn't the adjective ending in an e, not en?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eloise23

March 2, 2016 - Adjectives that are not in front of the noun do not need to be declined with the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

I hate shelf toilets. Occasionally something manages to balance and then high-five a certain part of my anatomy as it falls forwards. showers for 20 minutes in utter disgust This has made me late before. And they stink. And you can't pee while standing without making a fine yellow mist. Gross.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrasshopperPie

My husband refers to the shelf in that type of toilet as the "observation deck", humor being the only possible reaction to such a strange contrivance. When we first came to Germany, they were quite prevalent but are, thankfully, being phased out. I agree, they're rather disgusting and probably only useful to parents who have the need to inspect their children's droppings.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nev-al

"And you can't pee while standing without making a fine yellow mist."

Drink water.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DevanTophoney

Trust me, there is no such thing as a "normal" public restroom.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjj137

normal more naturally translates as "fine" or "OK", don't you think?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RedOrangeQueen

Doesn't really convey the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S_Bharati

What's the difference between Offentlichen and Offentliche?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ngsihiu

They are different forms of the same adjective, separately used for nouns of different genders (or cases, like all adjectives). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_adjectives This might help a bit!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LysolPione

This could be good... Or bad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MalcolmJac5

Not if you are visiting Crystal Palace Bus Station in South East London. Must be very desperate and very brave to use them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WolkZayets

Thanks for the information:) They sound like the facilities at the Port Authority bus station in New York City.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David874046

Sorry, but I would never say that a toilet was "normal". Maybe average, or OK, but never "normal".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TreyzMeName

REALLY?! Show me one!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaMaria_Kat

But not in Romania. XD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaireDutt1

In England one doesn't use 'restroom' that often, as it is associated with the US. We used to have 'public conveniences or 'lavatories', but that is now rather too long. In an office, it is acceptable to say that 'you are going to the loo' and nobody is offended.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SydneyBlakem

Would an abnormal toilt have some disease?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e

Why is WC not accepted in this module but it was in previous ones? In Germany WC is common usage (no pun untended)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    But this translation is from German to English. Would you use "WC" in English? If so, where are you from?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e

    WC = Water Closet. Still, it was accepted in an earlier module but not here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarahbarto18

    What is an abnormal toilet like, Duo?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

    I DO hope that is one-way glass!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frank257687

    Disregarding the discussions on what is a normal or typical toilet, the German sentence sound weird to me a a native speaker. I would claim you never say that in this way.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      What would you prefer? Agreed it's a bit of a nonsense sentence, but the exercise here is mostly about the grammar.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e

      Perhaps: „Die öffentliche Toiletten sind völlig (or vollständig) normal“ or „Die öffentliche Toiletten sind ganz gewöhnlich“ both emphasising the fact that there is nothing unusual about them, at least not in the mind of the speaker. Just a suggestion.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frank257687

      that too would work, but as I also remarked, translating normal -> normal doesn't quite work normally :-)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e

      Entschuldigung . . . „öffentlichen“.

      Tippfehler (oder Microsoft-Fehler); ohne Autocorrect geschrieben.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frank257687

      Strangely as it may be, if seeing this sentence without context I would probably, expect something like "Die öffentlichen Toiletten sind normale Toiletten". You can say "... sind weiß" as "color" as context is then clear, but "normal" is too wide here.

      If you want a simple use of "normal" then the only one that I can really think works well is "That is normal" -> Das it normal". Basically with anything else you need to supply context or you would use not "normal" in German


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill763190

      I have seen pilgrim flights where.the passengers have never seen any toilet. So they went in the closets.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/birgiteden

      The public toilettes are normal . . .why is this not accepted?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e

      Toilette is French. At least according to Oxford.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StuartKing14

      You asked me to type the German I heard then you told me that I was wrong and should have translated to English.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jan-61321

      That's a relief


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KenBrown958

      No one seems to have mentioned that in English they are usually called public conveniences - although Duo does not seem to have caught up with this.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan_Skelly

      This is a very strange thing to say in English. A more natural translation would be "The public restrooms are fine".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Todd837918

      Keep telling yourself that.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmlak

      Why can't I call them loos? I would never say restrooms in England!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KjellSivan

      Why been nicht able to work with this part. The answer kommt ohne meine onteligent work!

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.