"Excuse me, where is the bathroom?"


December 19, 2017



the words used here to say "excuse me" was never mentioned in previous lessons, it suddenly popped up here when I was training, someone knows why? plus more importantly, what is the meaning of each word? it will be much easier to understand the "feel" of the phrase that way.

March 20, 2018


I noticed the same thing. This question is the first time in the course I see 不好意思 . If anyone can elaborate on this whole Chinese expression as well as specifically 意 and 思, it would be much appreciated (lingots, lingots, lingots...).

April 8, 2018


AFAIK, 不好意思 is kind of like saying sorry/excuse me, but with a bit of embarrasment about the circumstance.

July 5, 2018


the 意思 part is "meaning" and the "不好" is, well, not good. So semi literally the phrase is "not good meaning". Not well meaning? Bad intention? Is it the most polite way to say where is the washroom?

April 22, 2018


So the polite way to ask for the bathroom is "Excuse me, I have bad intentions" haha

May 19, 2018


No it's more like "my bad / it's not how I meant, sorry / sorry, that was not my intention" (if a hasty apology), or if followed by a request "I don't mean to disturb you but..". You can't translate much of Chinese literally word by word as it evolved completely differently to Indo-European languages

May 20, 2018


@jjspot This made my day

October 16, 2018


so, perhaps you will write graffiti on the walls, giggle!

November 4, 2018


Looollllll,this made my day!! You definitely deserve some lingots!

December 6, 2018


It's like saying"this is embarrassing, sorry, but where is the bathroom?"

December 25, 2018


I think introducing new vocab in this way is effective for learning so as long as you have a good chance of guessing the correct answer it is fine

December 25, 2018


请问 isn't even in there to choose from!

April 11, 2018


They are intentionally introducing new vocab…just like we have a variety of ways to say the same thing and some ways are more appropriate for different situations

December 25, 2018


不好意思 buhaoyisi is a way of expressing embarrassment, whereas 对不起 is like an actual apology, though either can be used depending on how greatly you are, or feel you are inconveniencing the person you are asking for assistance.

January 2, 2018


Wait a sec! The correct solution it gave me was "请问,洗手间在哪儿?, 不好意思,洗手间在哪里呢?" But we have never been taught the "不好意思" and the "哪里呢" before. The "请问" and "哪儿" we know are not in the given words to answer. So what is this "哪里呢"? I understand it is also a "where" but what is the difference with "哪儿"? And what about the "呢"? Isn't it supposed to be used in "reflective" questions such as "你呢"?

May 21, 2018


哪儿 and 哪里 are interchangeable. 哪儿 (as well as most words ending in 儿) is "Beijingese" and more common in northern China, while 哪里 is "Shanghainese" and more common in Southern China. As I understand it, both can be understood, but one may garner more weird looks depending on where you're at in China. In Wuxi (west of Shanghai) where I'm at, I've been taught to drop 儿 from most words, and for location words replace 儿 with 里. I've only been in China for a few months, but the only 儿 word in use that I'm aware of is 女儿 (nǚ'er (daughter)).

May 24, 2018


That, and 儿子、婴儿、儿童……

September 21, 2018


哪里 and 哪儿 both mean 'where?' , I think it depends on what part of the huge part of the world that speaks Chinese you are in as to which is common usage.

December 6, 2018


Why does this need ne after nali?

April 16, 2018


I don't completely understand why bc im only replying as someone smarter hasnt yet.

As far as i can tell it's basically the same as 'ma' (吗) - it makes it more question-like and stuff. Okay i just searched it up- 吗 is used for yes-no questions and 呢 is definitely not yes-no.

September 3, 2018


I'm not smarter, but I did live in China for a year. Whenever I heard 呢, it usually made things more casual. This is also backed up by Chinese grammar websites. Like you can use 吧 to soften the tone of statements or commands, you can use 呢 to make a question more indirect and uncertain in tone. See also: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Softening_the_tone_of_questions_with_%22ne%22

September 16, 2018


That's right.

September 21, 2018


This answer is not in the options of the words given...

May 4, 2018


不好意思 is like "sorry to bother you" or "my bad". It doesn't literally mean "excuse me". It would probably be more formal to say 请问 for excuse me, and 对不起 for an apology. There are lots of ways to convey meaning

April 30, 2018


I really like learning Chinese on Duolingo. I have so many good things to say about it and I'm grateful that these lessons are free. But I must express my dissatisfaction with this sentence. As other people on this message board have noted, the answer given includes Chinese characters that don't exist among the choices. This is very frustrating and I hope that it will be corrected.

June 26, 2018


Good thing we have a community here, bc if not I'd be super lost already.

November 21, 2018


哪儿 wasn't given as characters to choose from!!!

May 23, 2018


Wouldn't 请问 instead of 不好意思 be better translated?

February 24, 2018


Depends on the situation or what you were feeling or thinking at the time. Qing wen is more like May I ask. Bu hao yi si ...is more I’m embarrassed to ask (recognising it’s awkward or maybe not the best form for me to be butting in with an embarrassing question etc). Dui bu chi ... actually means something like not to upset you / make you angry but... so it’s used when you just want to say excuse me or I’m sorry.

Of course, just like in English people use these phrases interchangeably and not always literally.

April 29, 2018


it is 请问 excuse me! not 不好意思

April 22, 2018


Ouch! That's a pretty tough phrase to build for a pretty... exigent concept. Lol.

February 10, 2018


哪儿 and 哪里 are the same meaning in Chinese. It is said 哪儿 in The Nothern Chinese dialect. 哪里 is said in The Southern Chinese dialect.

July 4, 2018


I got none of the characters I needed to ensamble the sentence. How can I know another way of saying something if I've never seen it before?

May 21, 2018


Tap the word

January 9, 2019


You just guess, using your educated perception. Just part of learning

August 8, 2018


What's the difference between 那里 and 哪儿?

May 24, 2018


不好意思,洗手间在哪里呢?The 不好意思 is a commonly used politeness marker that is used first before you ask your question. It can be used when the person you are directing the question to is busy doing something / talking to another person, and you want to interrupt them to ask them about something - but in a polite manner. Chinese language is really polite and this is one way of showing courtesy.

Whereas for 请问,洗手间在哪儿? I think this may be used in a case where you know you are not disturbing the person from what they are doing, but simply asking a question.

Just my observations on the language. Hope this helps! - Chinese speaker

August 11, 2018


Qing wen is not here

July 29, 2018


"Qing Wen" is not here. Please update.

August 26, 2018


Out of interest buhaoyisi is used more than duibuqi in Taiwan. Buohaoyisi is used either to excuse yourself or as an apology (so you hear it all the time, e.g. if someone bumps into you, if they want your attention, if they drop something they are passing you etc) whereas duibuqi is more of an apology, i.e. I did something wrong and I feel bad

February 28, 2019


the word 请问, qingwen in'st available. 请问, means excuse me !!!

April 22, 2018


A question like this, with new material, is a great opportunity. You can go to the discussion page (i.e., here), read what people say, and cut-paste into Google-translate to increase your vocabulary. Why complain?

September 23, 2018


Took me long time to find out the correct answer. It should be depending from past lessons, not puting in new and unfamilliar chinese characters

May 27, 2018


Only four of the characters were available to me in the phone bank. What possible reporting options would get someone to look at this?

July 6, 2018


Like @cpflames mentioned, could someone explain why 呢 is needed after 哪里?

September 2, 2018


I don't completely understand why bc im only replying as someone smarter hasnt yet.

As far as i can tell it's basically the same as 'ma' (吗) - it makes it more question-like and stuff. Okay i just searched it up- 吗 is used for yes-no questions and 呢 is definitely not yes-no ('Just say the thing you’d like to know about, and put 呢 right after it.')

September 3, 2018


Excuse me is not an option

September 29, 2018


I think that the inclusion of untaught characters forces logical thinking to find the answer, and that does help me learn. All three choices had unfamiliar beginnings, and all three choices had unfamiliar endings. The most likely beginning for 'excuse me' was the Chinese 'Not good . . .' phrase in the second choice, and the clearest statement of 'where is the bathroom' was in the second choice as well, and since all three choices had unfamiliar endings that were similar, the second choice had the best shot of being correct since the other two choices had similar and equally unfathomable endings. Although I could not have known the untaught characters, the characters that I did know allowed me to compare the three choices and guess the best choice. That thinking process helped me learn. Obviously, however, I came to the discussion board, and I am glad I did. There's a lot of help here, thank you.

December 9, 2018


The character for qing is missing, while it is given as the correct answer. Please stop using 不好意思, while it was never taught before!!

January 4, 2019


There are several remarks regarding this sentence. First, the characters needed for the accepted translation (请问,洗手间在哪儿?) are not among the options from which we can choose from. Second, expression required for "excuse me" (不好意思) is not introduced before. Third, the other expression used for asking for the location (哪里) instead of the one taught in course (哪儿) is not new, it surfaced earlier, but had to refer to discussion section to find out their meaning. But - and this is my fourth remark - if 哪里 and 哪儿 are interchangeable, why to use another interrogative 呢 at the end of 不好意思,洗手间在哪里呢?, when there is none at the end of 请问,洗手间在哪儿?

January 31, 2019


11 Feb 2019. I typed "不好意思,洗手间哪里"as my answer.

Then it says the answer should have been" 不好意思,洗手间哪里呢 " There was no prior teaching of using " ne/呢". Ughh.

February 11, 2019


So the phrases we'd been previously taught for 'excuse me' and 'where' were not even options here. It introduces new ways of saying that with no explanation whatsoever. Not sure I appreciate that as I had to completely wing this one.

March 17, 2019


the "correct" answer isn't provided in the selection of characters available. grrrr...

March 17, 2019


I would report the issue with 请问 v. 不好意思 except there's not an option to report issues with the Chinese word choices.

May 24, 2018


Why is this exercise using words I've never seen before and then the answer you provided above wasn't even an option in the word blank??? something is majorly wrong here...06/20/18

June 21, 2018


Words to say "excuse me" are not presented in the course so far in this example. I can see below that others have said exactly the same thing 4 months ago, yet no change from duolingo's part.

It is very irritating to get things wrong when you have had no chance to get it right in the first place !!!!!!!!!!!! argh!!!!

August 9, 2018


Aargh. The correct answers are not in the possibilities and now I am caught in a loop where the problem is repeated. First time this system has not worked for me.

September 25, 2018


The characters for "qing wen" are missing from the choices listed

October 8, 2018


请问 was not even in the answer option (---___----)

October 10, 2018


I looked for 请问 but it was missing. This task needs severe editing.

November 3, 2018


Why do they use bu hao yise here instead of duibuqi? I always thought hen hao yise and bu hao yise meant if something was interesting/boring or not?

December 19, 2017


不好意思 is a mild version of "sorry". So "不好意思,洗手间在哪儿?" can be translated as "I'm sorry, but where is the washroom?"

December 23, 2017


Right. This should be duibuqi.

April 8, 2018


Or qingwen

June 4, 2018


The answer is repeated

December 30, 2017


Oops, the translator has gone mad – it is now asking for both versions of the answer!

September 2, 2018


So, I had to revert to the Word Bank.

September 2, 2018


what is the literal translation, please?

October 3, 2018


I’m not sure the literal translation actually helps much. Something like: “Please to ask. Wash hand room located where?” ?

October 3, 2018


great, we didn't learn this at all "知道,这个卫生间是在哪里?" this was apparently the answer

November 6, 2018


The characters for excuse me are not offered.

November 10, 2018


a problem some words are missing

November 19, 2018


same problem some words missing

November 19, 2018


I literally said exactly the above translation, and it was refused. Wtf?

November 26, 2018


Many words required that are not among the list

November 26, 2018


请问 wasn't an option available to translate the sentence, its an error

December 5, 2018


I think 不好意思 (bu hao yisi) means 'not a good idea....is it also a correct way of saying excuse me in this context?

December 6, 2018


No hay oociones correctas

December 13, 2018


Glyphs needed for the correct answer 请问 where not even offered as choices.

December 16, 2018


The alternate sentence: 请问,洗手间在哪儿?can not be written because 请问 (qing wen) is not present as an option.

December 23, 2018


The characters for qing wen were not included and there was no way to input them

December 25, 2018


What the hell is a bu hao yo si? What about qing wen?

May 27, 2018


不好意思literally means'not good meaning' or 'I'm embarrassed to ask- more appropriate question when asking for a toilet than 请问 for asking where the restaurant is. Enjoy…learning culture as well as language

January 31, 2019


YOU are stupid, it means "Excuse me..." .

January 9, 2019


IMO, people who are trying to learn a language and are sharing their concerns in order to make the course more valuable do not deserve to be ridiculed or embarrassed.

January 31, 2019
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