The references to rooms suggest that it is normal passageway in a house.
Student or Learner
"It must have been a bad dream, though it started innocently enough. Dyk Jr. tossed away his cigarette and pressed the buzzer.
Inside, excited voices of various pitch and tone rang out—Good God! Dyk Jr. thought. Next thing he knew, the door swung wide and six or seven unfamiliar laughing faces crowded into the frame.
“Good evening . . . Hello . . .” said Dyk Jr. “I’m . . .”
“Don’t say it! Don’t say it!”
“Slowpoke!” called out a pinkish female mug on the left.
Slowpoke had been Dyk Jr.’s nickname in high school.
“It’s Slowpoke!” “Slowpoke!” “Slowpoke came!” the faces cried, each one more excited than the next. With that, they stood out of the way and Dyk Jr. stepped into a passageway roaring with laughter, the end of which was crowded with still other figures, more loosely arranged.
“You know how I recognized you?” a voice behind him squealed.
Another distantly familiar mug approached him, gave him a slap on the back, and pulled him into the next room."
-Case Closed, Patrik Ourednik
I give you the whole context in order to prevent any possible misunderstandings. What's the meaning of "passageway"? Is it the corridor on the train? Or the platform you walk on after getting out of the train? Or something totally different?
If they are on a train, then I would assume it's a corridor you can walk down, with doors on one side leading to the compartments, but to use the word room for a train is a bit unusual.
We use "passageway" to mean hallway or corridor on a ship.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
May I share a few thoughts?
1. Why do you think that this passage necessarily refers to the inside of a train?
2. As you know, this novel has been translated from the Czech.
3. I learned on the Web that the translator is a very distinguished member of his profession, so he surely would not have used the English word "room" to describe the traditional compartments of trains in Europe.
4. I know for a fact that the word "passageway" does NOT refer to a station platform.
a. In Google "books," there is a short preview of the book. One character is described as walking on the "platform" of the train station.
4. According to reviews on the Web, the action is centered in a retirement home (old people's home) in Prague.
It definitely sounds like a corridor with more than one room leading off it. In BrE a passageway could be a corridor, a hallway (in BreE that's pretty much the same as a hall) ,a landing ( in BrE that would usually be above the ground floor). It could also be an outdoor path, probably bounded by fence or hand rails. eg:linking builldings in a hostpital or a college. It could be the path between 2 houses which leads to the rear of the houses. It could be a pedestrian only, narrow, public path between 2 buildings.
In this story it sounds most like an indoor corridor, eg: in a hotel or student accommodation.
Geralt of Rivia, are you reading the book you have quoted this passage from? Does the action take place on a train? If not, what makes you think it does?
Nothing in the quoted text refers to train travel.
The clues are near the start in the original post where it mentions "pressed the buzzer" (i.e. similar to a door bell, or possibly an entrance buzzer for flats), and then shortly afterwards states "the door swung wide". As the passageway leads from this door it tells you that the passageway is in a building.
[Others have also mentioned the use of the word "room", which is another clue.]
Last edited by Eckaslike; 12-Oct-2015 at 21:17.
(BrE first language speaker.)