Translation:The restroom is over there.
The は and あ sound distinct to me when I listen to the audio at the top of this thread (though sometimes the audio you actually get for the question is different from the one in the discussion thread). You should have an option to listen to a slower audio by pressing the turtle button, which I recommend doing, then listen to the faster audio again and see if you start to notice a difference.
Once again, it has to do with culture. In the US you wouldn't sound all that strange saying you are going to the bathroom in a restaurant, even though it doesn't have a bath/shower. In the UK it would sound odd to say you were going to the bathroom in such a setting. I guess because originally most houses didn't have a bath and a toilet in tthe same room
Going to the "bathroom" is very commonly used here in the UK, especially outside of one's home or casual social environment e.g. at work; in a restaurant; at a formal event etc. Generally speaking it is the most publicly/socially used term for "toilet" - it also serves as a very handy, polite euphemism; and it is widely transferrable across most social groups and contexts!
In my experience. If you're asking in a public place in the UK, you would often use a plural. "Where are the toilets?". "The toilets are over there." But in someone's house you would refer to the toilet (singular) or bathroom, if you're trying to be more polite. What situation would this Japanese phrase apply to?
Here is a helpful website for learning "ko-so-a-do/re-ko-chira": http://www.japaneseprofessor.com/lessons/beginning/demonstratives-the-ko-so-a-do-series/
Here is also a flashcard set I made for those: https://www.cram.com/flashcards/japanese-ko-so-a-do-11471229
Yes, "There is the toilet" is technically correct, but it's not very common used in English.
"Excuse me, where is the toilet?"
"It (the toilet) is over there."
Also note that あそこ (over there) is used here instead of just そこ (there).
The toilet is there.
The toilet is over there.
I as an American would also use "restroom" instead of "toilet", but that's seems up to region and personal choice.
I'm just a beginner in Japanese, but I think です is more appropriate here.
トイレ[the bathroom]+は[subject particle]+あそこ[there - far for both the speaker and the listener]+です[to be] = Literally: As for the bathroom, there is. = Proper English: The bathroom IS over there.
トイレ[the bathroom]+は[subjet particle]+あそこ[there]+あります[to exist - for unanimated objects] = Literally: As for the bathroom, there exists. = Proper English: As for the bathroom, it exists there.
As far as I understand particles in Japanese, the は makes the second sentence a bit more philosophic. "As for the bathroom, it exists there [somewhere in vast space of the universe]".
But this second sentence could be more appropriate with が particle: トイレがあそこあります
が particle makes the object specified, but nonetheless part ”あそこ” sounds a little bit strange for me.
In previous lessons there were some similar phrases, for example: へやがあります。 - There is a room. だいどころがあります。 - There is a kitchen.
Do I understand the underlying message accurately? へやがあります。- the room is over there. As in there is a room that exists and we may or may not be able to see it from where we are, but it's in the general direction I am indicating.
And へやはあそこです。-there is a room. As in there is a room right in front of us unless of course we are actually in the room.
ここ - near the speaker
そこ - near the listener
あそこ - far from both the speaker and the listener
トイレはあそこです。(toire wa asoko desu) - The toilet is (over) there (far from both the speaker and the listener). = トイレはあそこにあります。(toire wa asoko ni arimasu)
トイレはそこです。 (toire wa soko desu) - The toilet is there (near the listener). = トイレはそこにあります。(toire wa soko ni arimasu)
They have basically the same meaning, and for use at duolingo they are interchangeable. The sentences using です have more of an A=B nuance, where "the toilet" = "over there". The sentences using あります are more about A is located at B, so "the toilet is located over there".
A wa B desu. (where A=B)
The "wa" marks the topic (similar to the subject) of the sentence, so if トイレ (toire) is the important part of your sentence, you say:
Toire wa asoko desu.
The toilet is over there. (toilet = over there)
If あそこ (asoko) is the important part of your sentence you can say:
Asoko wa toire desu.
Over there is the toilet. (over there = toilet)
More examples of this sentence pattern:
Mizu wa oishii desu.
Water is delicious. (water = delicious)
Watashi wa gakusei desu.
I am a student. (I = student)
Generally duolingo uses "over there" for あそこ and "there" for そこ to show the distinction between "over there, away from both the speaker and listener" and "there by the listener", but English doesn't have that clear distinction. If your answer wasn't accepted, I think it's worth an error report.
I teach the word "restroom" to Japanese 4th graders (ages 9-10), and they have difficulty remembering it because it's completely unfamiliar to them. Maybe an adult who has learned the English word "restroom" might understand レストルーム, but in my experience it is not used.
If you check jisho.org, トイレ is listed as a "common word" and レストルーム is not.