"Mi devas uzi la necesejon."

Translation:I must use the bathroom.

May 29, 2015

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At first glance this seems idiomatic, as there are lots of places for lots of different kinds of necessities. However, almost all languages use a euphemism for the feces-receptacle-place in polite conversation. There is not strictly speaking a bath in most public bathrooms. Nor is a restroom primarily a place of rest. Toilet derives from a french word for small cloth and until quite recently was associated only with personal grooming, not with human waste. You can certainly construct an Esperanto word to be completely transparent about where you are going to relieve yourself, but your friends will certainly be thinking "too much information."


"Mi devas uzi la pisejon/merdejon!" "Okej, Tim.... dankon pro tiu imago."


Pisejon kaj merdejon!!!


But to Esperanto speakers this is not a euphemism. This is the name for that little room down the hall. Do remember also that Zamenhof was developing this language at a time when such facilities were not quite as developed as they currently are. And when people were actually being a bit more squeamish about having bodies that needed to do things.


Actually, I looked up what Esperanto for urinal is, and it's urinejo, which is not a euphemism at all. (A place for urinating.)

Though I assume it's a more modern word than necesejo? Although I'm not too sure. (I thought urinals were relatively modern, but it turns out they already existed in Zamenhof's time) But the word for urinal already starts with the letters urin- or pis- in most European languages, so why not follow suit.


What if I don't tell you why I am going there? Maybe I am just going to wash my hands. The urinal is in the restroom. I suppose I could be specific. " Mi devas uzi la urinejon en la necesejo. " but then I could just say "Mi devas urinas.". I think it is less important what I am going to do and more important that I am going to leave and go there to do it now. So that whatever we are doing will be interrupted and then I will come back.


Still, euphemism seems so very unEsperanto. One would hope that the speakers of a constructed, ostensibly universal language would not have to snigger when someone goes to use the fekejo.


Well considering the number, and sorts, of jokes associated with the string on "kiel vi fartas?" we may yet have a ways to go before that achieves reality.


I tried to use a toilet emoji. Didn't work...


necesejon seems to be the first word that doesn't make sense to me, what words from other languages are like it?


Wiktionary lists a noun definition of necessary: "(archaic, UK) bathroom, toilet, loo".


So... all this heated debate, and no one has proposed using "lavejo"?


My thoughts exactly! Whether you go #1 or #2, you still must wash! I think I'll ask for the washroom "lavejo" from now on. Of course, someone might direct me to the kitchen sink.


can somebody tell me how 'devas' is different from 'bezonas'? They both seem to mean need. Can I say 'Mi bezonas...' or do the two have different meanings?

[deactivated user]

    Devas is must and bezonas is need. Vi bezonas ion = you need something. Vi devas fari ion = you must do something.


    In short, you use devi with verbs (like must) and bezoni with nouns (like need when you want to possess something).


    What is it with Americans and using bathroom for toilet, a bathroom is a room with a bath in it. Where is the bath in a long-drop? Seriously, it makes no sense whatsoever.


    I'm sorry if some Americans have taken offence at the above comment, offence was definitely not my intent. I was hungry and not in a good mood that day, and unfortunately some people seem to take that the wrong way.

    And in lieu of any convincing answer to the (admitedly implied) question of "Why do Americans say 'Bathroom' when they really mean toilet?", (seriously, nobody's actually answered this question), I share the following.

    I've recently learned that the Spanish word "Baño" means three things in English,

      1. Bath (as in "Bathtub")
      1. Bathroom (that is, a room with a bath in it)
      1. Toilet

    (I pretty much thought "¡Ai caramba!" when I saw that last one.)

    This leads me to believe that the Spanish word has been Claqued into American English as "Bathroom", (I've also seen "Tardy", an English spelling of "Tarde", the Spanish word for late), not really surprising given the historical overlap of the two languages in geographic range within (what is now) the US.

    Again, I'm not "out" to cause offence to anybody.


    Which seems unlikely, given the general lack of Spanish loanwords in English outside borrowed concepts. (Tardy comes from the Middle French tardyve; the first recorded cite is Caxton, spelled as tardyue, with the medial v being written u.) It's far more likely it was simply a bathroom, which became the place for the indoor plumbing, and eventually including rooms that had toilets only; the Americans, more prudish than the British, refused to use the word toilet for it.


    Except that it had, and has, nothing to do with prudishness. The toilet was put into the room with the bath in the United States, and there it stayed. British houses do seem to have separate bathrooms and toilets, but American ones never do. We have always used the word toilet for the apparatus, and if we were prudish about the word toilet (already a euphemism), we would not. As for Americans being more prudish than the British, I find that not universally true, especially in any period during which such words would come into the language. For many years, filmmakers had to shoot scenes of women topless a second time with bras so that they could be released in Britain. Indeed, I believe there still is a British Board of Film Classification, something that does not exist in the United States. A film may not be widely released in the US, if it gets an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (a private industry organization), but it may be shown by anyone who wants to show it, and usually is quite widely. I find that claims of public prudishness often result from misunderstandings over how local government works in various countries.


    Given that we're talking about the 19th century, film has nothing to do with it. The lack of a US board of film classification has to do with (1) politics, where the MPAA was formed "voluntarily" to keep it in movie company hands and (2) the First Amendment, and is really irrelevant to the discussion.


    So, then, what is your particular bigotry based on? Was Mark Twain really that much more prudish than Charles Dickens? Was Walt Whitman really that much more prudish than Alfred Tennyson?


    We aren't embarrassed, but originally, people did bathe inside the home (whether they had a specific room or just a tub in the corner) and relieved themselves in an outhouse. As indoor plumbing became more common, water was hooked up to the tub but toilets were slower to make their way inside the home. Eventually, toilets did move indoors and at a time when homes were much smaller and simple, it made sense to put the water appliances together. It was not uncommon for homes to be only 1-3 small rooms. The toilet was added to the room where people bathed, the bathroom. The term simply became common use.


    i learned necesejo as "toilet" and "Bancxambro" as Bathroom, so im guessing theyre interchangeable?


    Not certain, but having had a quick peruse of the dictionaries I think that banĉambro wouldn't be a good fit for the toilets (the American sense of the word bathroom), and would be a better fit for a room with a bath/shower in it. Not that that matters when talking about bathrooms in houses (where they're usually the and place), but maybe not quite right when describing public toilets.


    Most older houses and apartments outside of the United States have separate toilets and washrooms, so I expect they are not interchangeable.

    [deactivated user]

      No. It's just because bathroom in the USA both mean bathroom where you take the bath


      Cresswell's book uses bancxambro.


      I'm going to say "I need to use the necessities" next time I'm going. That is such a brilliant expression.


      Finally, I can use the bathroom in the Esperanto hotel


      Is this meant to be an ironic comment. I don't understand the joke, if it is one.


      So you know how there's an Esperanto hotel, right? This course is about 20% done for me when I learned how to ask for the bathroom, meaning I could do all sorts of things in the meantime, besides go to the bathroom

      To be fair it was a cheap joke haha


      I still don't get it. There are lots of places and circumstances to ask about bathrooms in Esperanto. Plus Duolingo is not known for teaching practical phrases. I'm left with a sense that you are simultaneously missing the point and stating the obvious - and yet, knowing that it's a joke makes it difficult to know how much to explain and how much to ignore and move on to other questions.


      For my American friends, I find it funny that no points out that this sounds like "necessi-john" which sounds like like an over engineered toilet.

      Anywho, others are right, it is weird to be a euphemism.


      Necesejon is the funniest word I've ever heard for "bathroom" ever.


      This should be the second thing anyone should learn in any language. The first should be: Mi ne parolas la esperantan.

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