" sont les toilettes ?"

Translation:Where is the bathroom?

December 26, 2012

42 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/telerski

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.

May 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LizTewo

When I studied French in school (in Ontario) we learned les toilettes

December 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverHees1

Same for me (I'm a 13 year-old kid learning French, and the question for going to the bathroom uses "les toilettes")

December 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bobbiegun

I am absolutely fascinated at how many ways there are to ask this question.

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean1997

I think this should be "toilets" instead of "toilet" in the translation.

December 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bronso

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.

August 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ciaria

In Australia we do say "Where are the toilets?"

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

In Britain too.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hivemindx

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".

March 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatHargan

In Ireland I would say 'where is the jacks?' in a pub; 'where is the loo?' in someone's house.

April 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FruzsinaRoka

Hungary as well

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThanKwee

Sure. Basically it's "where can I go pee?"

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LizTewo

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.

December 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwenJames3

This is simply not true. I would ask 'where are the loos?' - which is both polite and correct.

July 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Haider

I made it "Where are the toilets?" & it was accepted as correct.

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PollyMitchell

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.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bobbiegun

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?

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Meg_in_Canada

Je ne peux pas trouver les toilettes que je suis censé installer...? Something like that. And context. Context is very important and helpful.

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdGar983049

How would you do that in English?

September 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heresbpfrench

"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.

August 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAnne20

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?

October 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arya.Stark

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).

March 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHazard

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.

April 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrnpcFTMarkRMOwl

What happened to the Brit WC? (for Water Closet....)

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikitakimba

Dunny. Don't forget dunny. There's an Aussie movie devoted to portaloos - Kenny, lol!

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ibuco

where is john? <3

August 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHazard

"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. :)

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/texascg

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.

May 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wiggy96

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' ?

June 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arya.Stark

Which is totally gross. Think about that door handle!!

August 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parsamana

no sink? So where would one wash their hands after?

September 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sldlansing

How did kids get saddled with the facilities, anyway? I bet they had no say in it.

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mlindal

I learned that the in the Philippines the English they use is "CR" Where is the "comfort room".

July 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Son965376

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.

August 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Schatzie14

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.

March 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Forrest_Phillips

I gave the answer as bathroom and it was wrong. Not sure why

July 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrnpcFTMarkRMOwl

It hasn't been included in the database. It needs to be reported. That one's used a lot, and is a good option.

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardWhi62679

Because that's American English not English English. Quite a few other English words come up wrong if your from Britain

November 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/victoria923278

or Australia

November 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laliga

i wrote "where are the restrooms" and it wouldn't accept it

January 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nunayon2

I think 'les toilettes should be the toilet in english' and 'la salle de bain should be the bathroom'

July 16, 2017
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.