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In France, unless you are speaking about a specific toilet, it is considered more polite to use the plural. In the French speaking portion of Belgium, they prefer to use the singular. I don't know about other French speaking areas.
In France, even if you are speaking about a specific toilet (booth), you will use the plural "les toilettes". It is not a matter of politeness, it is the word.
Even the slang words meaning "les toilettes" are in plural.
"La toilette" is about grooming and washing. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/french-english/toilette
Same for me (I'm a 13 year-old kid learning French, and the question for going to the bathroom uses "les toilettes")
No, as telerski points out, the use of the plural in the French sentence is just a matter of politeness or delicacy. In English, plural doesn't serve that function, and you ask for the toilet/bathroom/restroom in the singular.
In Ireland I would say "where is the toilet" in someones house. In a bar or other public building I'd say "where are the toilets" or (weirdly non-pluralised now that I think of it) "where is the gents".
In Ireland I would say 'where is the jacks?' in a pub; 'where is the loo?' in someone's house.
In Ontario, I almost never hear toilet unless I am speaking to a native French speaker or any of my Nigerian family members. Normally, I hear washroom, bathroom, ensuite, restroom powder room.
This is simply not true. I would ask 'where are the loos?' - which is both polite and correct.
In the UK we call "les toilettes"; most correctly - lavatories, loo is the shortened form, toilet is acceptable, WC etc. A bathroom in the UK is where one takes a bath and a restroom is where one has a rest. "Where are the toilets?" would be a common phrase when in a restaurant/public place.
If you were a French construction worker who was supposed to be installing fixtures in a hotel and a shipment of toilets was missing and you wanted to ask "Where are the toilets?", how would you phrase that so people didn't think you needed directions to a working lavatory?
Je ne peux pas trouver les toilettes que je suis censé installer...? Something like that. And context. Context is very important and helpful.
"Where are the toilets?" Is a perfectly normal question in English, if you happen to looking for the toilets in a public place. I fail to see how this could possibly be considered an incorrect translation, yet it was graded as incorrect.
I was debating whether to choose restroom or bathroom or both. Where I live, I would ask 'where is the washroom/bathroom' in someone's home. In a public place, I would ask 'where is/are the restroom(s)/washroom(s)'. Is their no such distinction in French?
A quick rule of thumb for Australia/UK: Where are the toilets? Canada: Where is the washroom? US: Where is the restroom?
In Canada we'd be grossed out if you asked for the toilet, but we'd chuckle if you asked for the restroom (although it IS often written on signs).
Yes, I hope Duolingo has a huge database for this one.
England might also use "lavatory," or "lav" or "loo." Other names: powder room, cloak room, comfort station (more chuckles for overt euphemisms), latrine, water closet, bog, outhouse, privy, can, head, john...and on and on.
Dunny. Don't forget dunny. There's an Aussie movie devoted to portaloos - Kenny, lol!
"John" is a colloquial term, used in particular areas and might not be recognized in some English-speaking countries. It is used in many areas of Canada. As it is a casual term, it should not be used if you are asking a stranger for the lavatory/washroom/toilets. :)
Arya gives a good rule of thumb. Americans often say bathroom, though it is not really correct, as public restrooms don't usually have a bath. Americans will also often use "men's room/ladies' room" or "little boys room."
In France, toilet is not the same as bathroom, mostly because it is quite unusual to have a bath and toilet in the same room. It is common for there to be no sink in the toilet in private homes.
Or - Edward Albee, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf': "Martha, will you show her where we keep the, uh, euphemism?" For we Brits, (and Aussies and... etc.), shouldn't 'toilet(s)' be in the drop-down hints as well as 'restroom' ?
How did kids get saddled with the facilities, anyway? I bet they had no say in it.
I learned that the in the Philippines the English they use is "CR" Where is the "comfort room".
Yes we do use CR and this refers to a public restroom, such as in a restaurant, in your hospital room, at the office. Its a very pedestrian term though. When you are a guest in someone's house it would be crude to ask for the CR, bathroom would be the more polite.
I was in Moscow, when I asked for the bathroom, I was guided to the Bathroom with a big bathtub full of water. The toilette was in another room.
It hasn't been included in the database. It needs to be reported. That one's used a lot, and is a good option.