I guess "over" should be correct.
"On top of the table". Well, I've found it in the dictionary as a synonym for above and over, but it would be rather translated as "Az asztalon". A book can be on the top of the table (egy könyv lehet az asztalon), the shelf is above the table (a polc az asztal fölött van). I have one lamp on top of my table, and one above my head. :)
Köszönöm Szépen! I just want to make sure I understand you correctly, the object of the postposition (asztal in this sentence) is nominative in a lot of cases?
I saw a list of the cases in Hungarian, are postpositions common? The case system seems very extensive. I'm sure the language will find creative uses for them. :)
Yes, you're correct, in fact most postpositions take the nominative.
I'd say that usage of both postpositions & cases is common. Most of them convey everyday notions, just like in this lesson. Also, nominative nouns without postpositions have very little use. Off the top of my head, I can think of five ways in which such nouns can appear in a sentence, & acting as the subject is by far the most frequent.
There is. It's called Íróasztal. Ír means write. Étkezőasztal (eating table) means actually the table you're thinking of. Dohányzóasztal (smoking) or Kávézóasztal for coffee table. So asztal is... well, a kind of grouping phase, you can use it for any kind of table or desk etc. if you don't have to be specific about which one you mean.
My hungarian friend says, that she uses fölött when there is some bigger outdoor structure; a hegyek fölött, but prefers felett in smaller, indoor situations; az asztal felett. Is it a personal preference or anything more? I presumed, that vocal harmony has an influence on selection of felett/fölött, but I haven't found any proof yet.
Interesting - I've never come across this aspect for choosing felett/fölött. Vocal harmony does not extend over words, its scope is restricted to the ending syllalble within the same word. I would say it is pretty much personal preference. Along the south-eastern border of Hungary you would not hear 'felett' at all.