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  5. "おてあらいはどこですか?"


Translation:Where is the restroom?

June 17, 2017



お手洗い (o-te-ara-i) - bathroom/restroom


It makes so much more sense once you see the kanji! Thanks.


"Where's the hand wash?"


I put "where is the washroom" and it marked me wrong! Washroom is the most common term in Canada. Nobody here says restroom unless they want to mark themselves as from US.



I'm from America and I resemble that remark! :P actually I put washroom too because, while otearai is a bathroom, it leterally means 'hand washing' and I don't feel that restroom is quite right as far as translations goes. I would use W/C too but that's ny British in-laws influence :3


If you go full British you'd be okay. "Toilet" was accepted. I'm Kiwi. We and several Brits and Aussies reported answers that penalised non American English translations early in the beta so it should accept more of the Queen's English now.


Pretty sure her maj would call it a lavatory n_n




Note however that 何処/どこ is usually written in kana only.


This is literally "honorable hand washing", btw.


interesting, in chinese, the nearest is 洗手间.




"Where is a restroom" marked wrong


Lavatory was also not accepted


do more native speakers use "atearai" vs "toire?" i met one Japanese person who found it really funny that foreigners are taught "toire," but i see it on language learning sites more than "atearai"


I'm not a native speaker, but I've heard トイレ used more frequently in casual settings and お手洗い when you want to sound a bit more "proper".

I think your Japanese friend was amused that have to learn トイレ, because to them, it's 外来語 (gairaigo) or a word that came from a foreign language. So, for a foreigner to have to learn a foreign word, it seems nonsensical; I mean, you're foreign, don't you already know it?


It's o-tearai (お手洗い), not atearai.


It's the same for me! I was immediately taught トイレ when I started Japanese class.


The most important phrase you need to know in any language.


Apparently トイレ is the most common word conversationally, but お手洗い is more formal. Besides, here are the parts of a Japanese house: Cultural notes about each room can be found here.


Washroom shouldn't be too much of a fanciful interpretation in order to be considered wrong in this case no?


I'm glad this course is Canadian-friendly! Several other courses don't accept "washroom" as an alternate way of saying bathroom or restroom, but this course does.


I have a lot of nonsensical vocabulary words from watching anime. トイレ is one of them. At least now I'm learning proper Japanese instead of anime slang that would get me either beat up or laughed out of Japan. xD


I know the kind of nonsensical vocabulary words you're referring to, but トイレ is not one of them ;)

トイレ is actually fairly ubiquitously used nowadays, to the point where おてあらい sounds a bit formal/stuffy, and definitely not considered "anime slang".


Duo corrected my answer to "Where is the WC" why?


When with 'lavatory' just to see if it would be accepted, and sure enough it was rejected. Considering that learning foreign languages is supposed to make you more openーminded, Duolingo is surprisingly parochial.


If you feel your translation should be accepted, then you just need to report it. All accepted translations need to be added manually, so it's best to just stick to straightforward translations and report if the translation that came to your mind wasn't accepted (assuming it's correct of course) instead of wagging fingers at Duo for not accepting every synonym.


This is one of the many cases that shows why kanji would actually make learning easier. "お手洗い" is the place where you wash your hands, while "おてあらい" seems like a mere collection of random syllables.


Would it be more proper to ask the location of お手洗い rather than トイレ when your main intention is to wash your hands, such as before a meal? Or would an entirely different word (sink?) be more appropriate?


That's an excellent point. お手洗い would indeed be the best option in that situation, especially if you're not at a restaurant (which are likely to provide you with an おしぼり if you're in Japan).

Other words are far less natural:

  • 流し台【ながしだい】("sink", "washstand") sounds archaic
  • 洗面所【せんめんじょ】("washroom", "sink") sounds like your intention is to brush your teeth, wash your hair/face, do your make up or something.


Fascinating! Thank you for your response and for the new vocabulary.


What is the difference between トイレ and おてあらい ?

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