"Az első emeleten lakom."

Translation:I live on the first floor.

July 13, 2016

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This is quite different in England and the US, first floor is actually the ground floor... think about that for a second. Confusing for a Hungarian, I agree.


The floor at street level is ground floor in British English and first floor in American English.

To make it clear for anyone who learns Hungarian:

  • The floor at street level = földszint
  • The floor above = első emelet


I said the same thing. "in the US, first floor is actually the ground floor." You are correct, in British English that's the ground floor. So the correct solution to your question in American English would be: "I live on the second floor." Thanks for understanding!!


Not only in England, but all over Europe the ground floor is "zero meters above street level", while the first floor is "one floor higher than the street level". Many Europeans also say "floor minus one", "floor minus two" for floors below street level.


Not ALL over Europe. In Iceland, for example, "fyrsta hæð" is 1st floor, which is at street level (used interchangeably with "jarðhæð" = ground floor).

Interestingly, this is despite the fact that similarly to Hungarian, the word "hæð" means both floor/level and elevation (and hill). So "first elevation" is no elevation.


I have not found any source for what is used in each country. But in west, north, central and south Europe it's the most common, and Russia too, so likely east Europe as well.

In Swedish we actually call the floors by the number of flights of stairs. So the ground floor is "bottenvåning" (bottom floor, marked as "BV"), but then you count as "1 trappa" (1 flight of stairs), "2 trappor" (2 flights of stairs), and when you see it from this perspective, having it as 0, 1, 2, 3 ... makes more sense.


Russia shouldn't be on that list of yours


In RU, the ground floor is "подвальный этаж" which is rather "1st floor".

We in DE say "Erdgeschoss" (which literally is "ground floor").

Tbh, i have a biased opinion, but imo "the 1st floor" should logically be the one above the ground floor. Starting with 0 when you talk about "ground level" is just natural ;-)


It's that way in Spanish as well.....ground floor =planta baja, first floor = primer piso, basement = sótano


The Hungarian word "emelet" comes from the verb "emel", which means "to raise/to elevate".

The "-et" is a suffix which makes a noun from the verb.

So "emel+et" already includes, that the floor is "elevated". It means that the first "emelet" necessarily is the one above the ground-floor.

It also means that the floors under the ground-floor should be called "szint" (just like in "földszint").


I don't want to confuse anybody, but if somebody is intrested:

"emelt" (emel+t) means either "he raised/elevated sth." or that something is "raised/elevated".

So it's a verb in past tense or an adjective.

(Most of the cases it is used with the "fel-" preffix).

Good luck ;)


Technically, not an adjective, but a past participle (befejezett melléknévi igenév).


I immediately thought of the band Első Emelet when I heard this sentence.


lakik: related to some place to stay. (I live in this apartment. I live in Budapest) similar to dwelling

él = live in general

Budapesten lakom and Budapesten élek are both correct.

Compared to German: lakik - wohnen and él - leben


For private homes, do you still say first floor for the upstairs?


In Hungarian, yes. (Unless the home only has the two levels, in which case you'd probably use something like "a hálószobák az emeleten vannak" = "the bedrooms are upstairs", rather than specifying a number.) In American English, emphatically no - the first floor is always and only the ground floor, the 2nd floor is past one set of stairs, etc. In British English, I haven't the foggiest idea.

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