Translation:Um, excuse me, where is the restroom?
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".
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?
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,...."
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.
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".
It's not misleading to use something that's standard in a given place. Also, in English, we have many euphemisms that mean a place to wash or bathe that are used to refer to places for other things. Examples in English would be toilet, lavatory, restroom, and washroom, all of which refer to places for grooming, washing or bathing.
You could eschew euphemisms completely in English and ask for the location of the toilet bowl or urinal, but I don't think that sticking to one of the common euphemisms would cause problems.
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.
True, but when you teach slang, you risk people not knowing when to use it. I've heard Japanese businessmen use "gonna" because, presumably, they were told that was how natives spoke, but it ended up sounding out of place, especially in the meeting environment.
It's best to understand slang but avoid using it, until you are integrated into a society.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
They might but you wouldn't put it in writing and say that it's the proper way to say it in English.
I'm not suggesting that you should accept "I'm" as correct. I'm suggesting that you say "You made a typo." But even better would be to allow people to leave it off completely because an English speaker would never say that the correct way to form a sentence is to start with "um." What you are really telling me is that your typo acceptance policy makes no sense, because there's no reasonable chance that anybody thought that it means "I'm" and you know that it's a typo. Policies should be formed based on what makes sense, and not the other way around. So the reason for adding it is that you are certain that it's a typo.
If you want to teach people that if they want to say "excuse me, where is the restroom" in Japanese, it's common to put "あの" in front of it, that's fine. But if you were teaching English to Japanese and they wanted to know how to say "あの、すみません、トイレはどこですか？" they would be taught to say "excuse me, where's the restroom" in any school, and it would make no sense to suggest that they need to say "um" first.
The irony here is that for other languages, there are people explaining the opposite, and when somebody asks why there isn't a word for word translation, either a moderator or somebody else explains that just because it's done one way in one language doesn't mean that it's done that way in another, so it won't always be word for word. But in this course, that goes out the window and we are told to write the word "um" when nobody would say that it's a standard part of the phrase.
But if you are so sure that "um, excuse me, where is the restroom" is how we would say that in English, then maybe you should tell the people who do the French course that they should translate "Où sont les toilettes" as "um, excuse me, where's the restroom." Or you can admit that's not the way that anybody would teach an English learner how to ask that question. It's also not anything that a native would learn in an English class.
But you wouldn't teach people that that's the proper way to say things. You might see that in a work of fiction that's trying to portray what a person might say. But that's very different from telling a person that it's proper to say "Excuse me...excuse me..could you...could you tell me where the restroom is?" Somebody might actually say that, but it's not what anybody would teach as the right way to say it in English.