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  5. "あの、すみません、トイレはどこですか?"


Translation:Um, excuse me, where is the restroom?

June 26, 2017



This is starting to get massively satisfying.


Yes. I want longer, relevant sentences like this.


why does it not accept "um, sorry, where's the bathroom?"


I suspect that the authors don't read "sorry" as "excuse me". In other words in their dialect of English you wouldn't use "sorry" to attract someone's attention. Obviously in some parts of the English speaking world you would.


If you're a canadian of course


すみません has two meanings. I'm sorry, and excuse me (or literally, I'm sorry for bothering you).

In this context すみません would be "excuse me", not I'm sorry. It alk depends on context


But attracting somebody's attention can be cause for apology, depending on the circumstances. If they're talking to somebody else and you interrupt them, you could very well say "sorry" instead of "excuse me," even in English.


This only works with more... like sorry to interrupt or sorry but i disagree etc. Interrupting with sorry where is the bathroom is missing what you are sorry for. Sorry for bothering you... and so on


In some English speaking countries, "sorry" is a standard term equivalent to "excuse me" in others.


In Southern USA "excuse me" can be SASSY, so we usually say sorry or something along those lines.


Can you give an example country please?


That would be true in American English, where you couldn't automatically substitute "sorry" for "excuse me" but it's not true on much of the English speaking world where you could.


I find it odd that Duo's answer requires the "uh", since, in English, we wouldn't normally write that word in a sentence, and it's mostly a byproduct of natural speech, not so much a word we teach to people learning English. I assume that あの serves as a little bit more of an actual word in Japanese, and has a more genuine purpose, like an actual article of speech of some kind, but translating it, the sentence means the same in english with and without the "um".


It's also awkward that it requires a specific filler word - this time I wrote 'eh' and it said I had a typo and it should have been 'ah'. Another sentence I wrote 'ah' and it did I should have written 'um'...


They're teaching us how to say "um" in Japanese. Fillers are actually extremely useful words to know in other languages, since they are so versatile, and knowing them immediately helps you turn a small vocabulary into complex sentences by tying your simple sentences together. Why do you assume that we don't want to know how to produce natural speech with all its byproducts in our Japanese?


I have also heard from a friend of mine that now and then japanese people do not realise that you as a foreigner talk japanese with them. But if you start a sentence with "ano..." it immediately clicks.


Yes, but there's a big difference between translation and transliteration. A proper translation would tell how one would say it in English, where the filler words would be left out, especially in formal or written English.

It's also something that a native English speaker would be chastised by a teacher for including in speech.

If you wanted to teach a Japanese speaker how to say that phrase in an English speaking country, you wouldn't tell him that he should start by saying "um."

It would make sense to teach the Japanese word, give examples of when it's used (such as this one) and accept a proper translation if one existed. If the program really wants to assure that a person knows that the word means "um," it could show the word on its own and ask for a translation.

But that would be pointless because it's a filler word, not one with a literal translation. If I go to any translation program and ask it to translate "um" (or vice versa) it wouldn't work. It might as well translate it to " [clears throat], excuse me,...."


Actually, I think that giving people a filler phrase immensely helps them early on with conversations - especially when they may need an extra moment to process information or formulate an answer.


I think Duolingo is an improvement over traditional teachers in that it teaches this word in a context it would be used naturally instead of sticking to textbook grammar.


A traditional teacher would certainly teach あの and say where it could be used. A teacher would accept it if you used it in an answer, either spoken or written. A teacher might even ask you what it means on a test. But a teacher who did that would also recognize that somebody who translates it to "excuse me, where's the restroom" understands what it means.

A Japanese teacher would also teach some of the "tug words" such as "ne" used at the end of sentences. But that was explained in class as a spoken thing, and wouldn't have been on a written test.


I can see now that すみません is a negated verb, so please, instead of translating it as "excuse me", can someone tell me what this literally means?


It comes from 済む (read すむ), which means "to complete, to come to an end". It seems that すみません means something like "there's no end to my rudness/debt", basically. Hope I helped you a little ^^


In this situation すみません has the meaning of "Excuse me" rather than "Sorry", or literally "Sorry for bothering you". Also トイレ is informal so it doesn't make much sense to use it in such a formal sentence, お手洗い~~おてあらい, is the formal way of saying bathroom, or literally "Hands Wash".


What's wrong with Toilet. While answering i wrote TOILET instead of RESTROOM. Why it is wrong, can someone tell me, please.


"Toilet" is included among the accepted answers. Please double-check that you did not make another typo.


This is the most important sentence so far


I love the humanity this adds, the slight awkwardness that the あの gives.


But the word "Lavatory" was marked as wrong.


The translation for lavatory would be お手洗い which literally means hand wash place, since a lavatory is literally a place to wash.


What's funny is that technically, "Um, excuse me, where is the John?" could also work because John is slang for restroom in America.


The general rule is that we don't accept slang answers unless it's in a skill specifically teaching slang.


I'm not sure who "we" is but I assume that you mean the Japanese course staff as opposed to Duolingo. Because in other language courses, I find slang being thrust upon people without it being explained that it's the slang usage that's meant.


restroom = american english. toilet = english...


I used bathroom instead of restroom and it did not accept it.


Fun fact: a monstrously large amount of people have tried to insist that "I'm" is an appropriate substitute for "Um." It's not, sorry. We accept lots of variants for "Um," but "I'm" is most certainly not one of them.


They might be suggesting that "I'm" is an autoincorrect of "Um", and could be flagged as a typo, and not an incorrect response.


Not "might." Almost definitely. It might not be possible to get Google not to do that without disabling autocorrect completely, or explicitly overriding it. For Duolingo to have the arrogance to say that Google's software doesn't recognize normal usage but theirs does shows who is out of touch.


Eh? What has autogarbling got to do with normal usage? Google might autogarble "um" to "I'm", but it remains the case that using "I'm" in this context is not normal usage.


"I'm" may not be an equivalent, but that's partly because in standard English, no interjection would be used. "excuse me" already serves that role in English. You might want to accept "ano" as the translation, which is what's often done with words that don't have a direct translation. Using a random interjection and rejecting others misses the point. "Um, excuse me" is not how anyone would say it in English, and any Japanese speaker who wanted to learn how to say "あの、すみません" would be told to say "excuse me."

You should consider the real reason that so many people say I'm. It's because a standard Google keyboard will think that "um" is a typo and change it automatically. You should probably accept "I'm" with a message saying that you have a typo. It's very hard for people to answer "um" without it getting corrected.


I don't use a google keyboard, but I have the same problem. I had to add "um" to my keyboard's dictionary.


"Standard English"? So no speaker of standard English hesitates before saying something because they're nervous or uncertain? I certainly do sometimes, but I maybe that's just because I don't confidently walk up to someone I don't know and ask them a question. Guess I'm not a standard English speaker, then.

The typo acceptance policy (though it differs a little between courses) is that if your typo forms an actual word, the system does not accept it as a typo, because we have no way of determining whether it is a typo or whether you legitimately don't know what the word means. I'm entirely certain that autocorrect is the reason that people are reporting it - but it's still wrong, and to insist that it's correct just because "my autocorrect made me do it!" is no reason for us to add incorrect answers to our list of (correct) alternate responses.


People who use autogarbling should be punished until they stop using autogarbling.


When is used "ha" and "ga"? "Ha" and "ga" are used here, but why? -Toire HA doko desuka? -Teiburu GA nanatsu arimasu (Sorry for write in romaji)

  • 1156

は used as a particle is pronounced "wa" and is used to indicate the subject. It can be helpful to read it as "as for" like トイレはどこですか "as for the toilet, where is it?"

が is similar but different to は. が marks the object (if i remember correctly) so when counting the number of tables, you'd use が rather than は because you're not making the sentence about the tables, just indicating what the number is describing. テイブルが七つあります。Tables, there are seven.

The differences between は and が are pretty complicated and I'm not an expert, but this is my basic understanding. Hope it helps!


"Ga" marks the subject actually. "Wa" marks the topic. Using "wa" marks something as outside the new information provided by the sentence, without specifying how it relates to that information, while using "ga" marks something as being part of the new information provided by the sentence, and at the same time specifies that it is the doer of the action in the sentence.


I had "Tap what you hear". And i did it literally perfectly and it corrected me and told that the right answer would have been: あの、すみません、トイレはどこですか? <-- This is literally what i had there... I would provide a gyazo screenshot for proof, but i don't know if links to other websites are allowed in the comments.


I wonder why あの (Um) is used instead of just Excuse me.


So we can learn it.


erm can sometimes be used instead of um, but not here. why?


Why is 「あの、済みません、トイレはどこですか。」not accepted?


Toire - is that the name of a western style toilet. And benjô the name for the traditional?


I was told that benjo is more akin to outhouse and if you ask for one, you risk insulting someone. If you ask for トイレ, people will know what you're asking for and if they don't have a western style toilet, they will direct you to what is available.

It's possible that the person who told me didn't have the best grasp of English and outhouse wasn't the best word, but the notion was the same.


Wth, excuse me and i'm sorry its the SAME THING, why the sentence "um, im sorry, where is the restroom" is wrong?


Bathroom, restroom, whats the difference???

  • 1897

A place where you bathe or shower. A place where you relieve yourself. What is the similarity?


A room in which you have a rest and a room in which you relieve yourself. What is the similarity? :P

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