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Ambiguous question for speakers of British and Australian English.

This question "Where is the bathroom" is quite ambiguous. For most speakers of Australian and British bathroom is primarily "The room with the bath in it". So the picture of the bathtub looks like the more correct answer.


May 27, 2017



As a Kiwi, I second this as a general concern.

I've had particular difficulties with the school/university level as these have limited (and inconsistent) support for our UK/AU/NZ terms for schools. We do not say "grade" and the grade numbers did not match the year of higher level schooling in either our system or the Japanese. In particular, I struggled with 中学校 which we call "intermediate school" (although this may be specific to NZ) and my Japanese partner calls "junior high" in English and yet we are prompted to answer "middle school"? Similarly, 小学校 is the American "elementary" school and not "primary school" as we call it, although I have less of an issue with that as that seems to be the system the Japanese use as well. 大学 is translated as both "University" and "College" so it seems that Duolingo is making a token effort to include British English, even in this lesson. Honestly, it's rather grating to have to guess whether what is a natural translation to me is accepted or if I have to switch to American vernacular.

However, I don't think this specific example is much of an issue. Especially since トレイ is a 外来語 (loanword) from the British English "toilet". I haven't struggled with this specific concept but I have previously visited Japan and stayed in a Japanese home, where it was one of the easiest words to learn since they use ours rather than the American. I haven't encountered "bathroom" in the sense of room with the bathtub in these lessons (they only use it when speaking American English) so I don't think there is an issue with ambiguity here. In fact, I've never heard them refer to the room and are usually more specific about the bath/shower which may make sense since Japanese showers are designed differently to ours.


It seems like a lot of the higher levels of EN->JA tree are just the flipped version of the JA->EN lessons. In this case, this would explain why British English is poorly supported since Japan largely uses and teaches American English (they really struggle with my accent). These issues are an artifact of doing a mirror image of the JA->EN lessons (where Japanese learners would not throw in British conventions) and will be rectified in during the Beta. I'm hopeful that they will be since entering British/NZ English into other lessons has not been as problematic for me.


Ok, my new gripe is the Date lessons. While this isn't helped by Xth style dates being buggy, this lesson is also very difficult for someone familiar with British (or non-American) date systems.

[deactivated user]

    I'm British and to me a bathroom is definitely a room with a toilet, no bath required.


    I'm British too. I agree that here a bathroom virtually always has a toilet, but I'd say it's only a bathroom if there is a bath in it.

    When you go round someone's house and need the toilet, it's normal to ask "Where is the bathroom?", but only because the bathroom will have a toilet in it (and it sounds nicer than talking about a toilet, particularly if you're in the middle of eating a meal round their house).

    My house has two toilets. Upstairs we have "the bathroom", which has a bath, sink, and toilet; downstairs we have "the downstairs toilet", which has only a toilet and a sink. I wouldn't refer to that downstairs room as a "bathroom".

    But if someone asked "Where is the bathroom?" round my house, I'd direct them to the downstairs toilet. NOT because it is a bathroom, but because it's obvious they aren't planning to take a bath and are just after the nearest toilet. Still doesn't make it a bathroom though.

    However, that's just my opinion on it. ^^


    Hmm, as an Australian English speaker I would have picked the toilet picture simply because the bath one wasn't a room but just a bath. However, I do see your point and agree that for Australian English speakers, a room with a bath in it would have been a better illustration.


    As it's the Japanese course though, it is made more confusing due to how bathrooms in Japan don't usually ever have a toilet in the same room...

    If it didn't have the words underneath but just those pictures, as an Englishman I'd have clicked the wrong one. I'd just assume that the bath in the picture must be inside light-grey coloured room. :P




    I went to Japan for a month but only stayed in various hostels and capsule hotels. None of them had a bath/shower room where there was a toilet in it.

    I know not all Japanese bathrooms will be like this, but I believe it's just supposed to be a much bigger thing there to have baths in a separate room from a toilet.

    (Here in England it's pretty much the standard that you'll find a toilet in the same room as a bath.)


    Yep, here in NZ as well. In my experience they're separate in Japanese homes and shared bathrooms (e.g., カプセル). This is not the case for Hotels: they tend to have toilet and bath/shower in the same ensuite as we do here. Of course, lower tier hotels will shrink these to Tokyo-size.

    • 2039

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    i.e. ![](http://i.imgur.com/6fSQnYE.png)

    You can optionally include alt-text and/or a title, if you wish:

    ![alt-text](http://i.imgur.com/6fSQnYE.png "Title")

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    I suspect there may be a lot ambiguity encountered within this course. I am no-where near as far through, but one I already encountered was, 'Which if these is "Me"?’ as a question. I assumed they were after the personal pronoun, but it turned out the sound was what was required!


    Aussie here - That's not always the case. To me a bathroom doesn't need a bath. Even at school when I'm asking to go to the toilet I ask "May I please go to the bathroom?"

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