Thursday, December 22, 2005

When I asked a friend how big his apartment was, he said that it was 2 plus 1. What does this mean?

Czech apartments are typically designated according to the number of rooms and the presence of a kitchen. Thus, 3+1 means three rooms plus a kitchen. The rooms though are not just bedrooms, but all inhabited areas – perhaps because the small size of apartments forces Czechs to put individual rooms to multiple uses. A 3+0 would be three rooms without a kitchen. Sometimes the abbreviation kk (kuchyňský kout or kitchen section) is used for a mini-kitchen that is part of another room. Thus, a studio apartment – called a garsonka – would be 1+kk or even 1+0. Smaller rooms – for example in older buildings the former maid’s quarters – might be designated as one-half (e.g., 3.5+1).


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