flat/apartment ~ residence (in general)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA

    In some languages, the word for "apartment / flat" is a word that also means (or meant) "residence" in general.

    For example,

    Slovenian stanovanje "apartment / flat" is an abstract noun based on the verb stanovati "to live, reside"

    Icelandic íbúð "apartment / flat", similarly, looks as though it would have originally meant "residence": it's based on í "in" plus búa "to reside"

    Finnish asunto "residence" (from the verb asua "reside") can also be used in the specialized meaning of "flat, apartment", though there are more precise terms for this concept.

    Do you know of any other examples where a term meaning "residence" has become specialized to "apartment"?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  2. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew we only have one word for apartment and all the rest: דירה dira.
  3. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hello Gavril,

    In Greek:

    Apartment/flat: «Διαμέρισμα» [ði.a'merizma] (neut.) < modern construction (1871) calqued from the Fr. appartment; compound, prefix, adverb, and preposition «διά» [ði'a] (Classical Gr. «διὰ» diằ) --> through, across (PIE base *dis-, apart cf. Lat. dis-) + v. «μερίζω» [me'rizo] (Classical Gr. «μερίζω» mĕrízō) --> to allot (PIE *smer-, to think of, remember, care cf Lat. merēre).

    1/ «Κατοικία» [kati'ci.a] (fem.) < Classical Gr. fem. noun «κατοικία» kătoikíā --> dwelling place, habitation < compound, prefix, adverb, and preposition «κατὰ» katằ or «κάτα» kátă --> down(wards), against, along, through, over, across, concerning (PIE *kmt-, down, along cf Hit. katta (adv.), along with) + Classical masc. noun «οἶκος» oîkŏs --> house, dwelling place, household (PIE *ueiḱ-/*uoiḱ-, house cf Skt विश् (viz), people, tribe; Lat. vīcus, village, quarter)

    2/ «Διαμονή» [ði.amo'ni] (fem.) < Classical Gr. fem. noun «διαμονὴ» dĭămŏnḕ --> permanence, continuance < compound, prefix and preposition «διὰ» diằ --> through, across (PIE base *dis-, apart cf. Lat. dis) + Classical Gr. v. «μένω» ménō --> to remain, stay, wait, expect, stand fast (PIE *men-, to stay cf Skt. मन्दयति (mandayati), to stand still (v. caus.); Lat. manēre).

    1 is what we use in our every-day speech, 2 is more formal (e.g when filling out application forms instead of «κατοικία» we often read «διαμονή» or «τόπος διαμονής» ['topos ði.amo'nis] --> place of residence)
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
  4. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    Not in Arabic:

    Apartment/flat: شقة /shaqqa/ (from the verb شق /shaqqa/ which means "split")

    Residence: سكن /sakan/ or مسكن /maskan/
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: no link as far as I can see now..

    - apartment: appartement, flat
    residence: huis, woning [= dwelling, habitat]

    I wondered whether we are referring to the same reality. Our appartementen date back to the 60s, refer to (large) flats in high buildings. We would not have used the word before that. Does your word refer to the same reality, or is it older?
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    An apartment or flat is any room (or set of rooms) in a larger building, that serves as a separate residence; theoretically, the building can be of any age.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Maybe, as a country boy, I have associated flats (and apartments) with taller buildings... But as far as I know there are no other terms in Dutch for what you mean; one could always call them X-kamer[room]-woning, I guess, but this kind of compound is not that common. Woning is more general than huis.
  8. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In German, the term Wohnung seems to mean both "flat / apartment" and "dwelling" in general. I suspect that this word has served as a model for the words used in many other European languages, such as those I mentioned in the original post, but there may be some other reason(s) involved.
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    One last question: do you use the stano-root in other derivations to refer to houses/ residences? I mean: there is no diminutive form here, is there?
  10. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    What do you mean by diminutive form?

    I'm just a beginner in Slovenian, but the stano- root also appears at least in the adjective stanovanjski, which may not always be restricted to apartments.

    For example, the expression stanovanjska zgradba means (if my dictionary's definition is accurate) "residential building", which implies that it can refer to any dwelling, not just an apartment building. However, we should wait for a fluent Slovene speaker to confirm how broad a term stanovanjska zgradba really is.
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dimutive = little, small. Huisje in Dutch is the diminutive form of huis, a small house. Google Translate tells me it might mean something like residence, maybe residential
  12. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In that case, I don't know of any diminutive of stanovanje -- at least I didn't find any when I searched the dictionary. I did find another derived term, stanovalec "resident", that can apparently refer to a resident of an apartment or a standalone house.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  13. bibax Senior Member

    In Czech all terms related to dwelling are derived from the verb býti (root by-) = to be.

    byt (by-t) = apartment, flat (set of rooms); (útulný) byteček (dim.) = (cozy) little apartment;
    pobyt (po-by-t) = stay, residence (abstract noun);
    bydleti = to live, to dwell, to reside;
    bydliště = domicile;
    ubytovati (se) = to lodge, to accommodate sb (oneself);
    ubytovna = lodging/rooming house;
    příbytek, obydlí = dwelling, abode;
    obývati = to inhabit;
    obyvatel = inhabitant, dweller;

    The basic Czech vocabulary is created from a limited number of roots. The advantage: we usually need not a monolingual Czech dictionary, the Czech words are self-explanatory (e.g. antipode = protinožec, lit. counter-foot-er = der Gegenfüßler in German), albeit we still need a dictionary of foreign words (e.g. antipoda = protinožec). Disadvantage: long words, mostly derived by many prefixes and suffixes.

    In Czech stan means 1) tent, 2) HQ (e.g. Vůdcův hlavní stan = Führerhauptquartier, FHQ).

    stánek (dim.) = (sales) booth, (exhibition, newspaper) stand;
    stanovati = to camp out; ... Slovenian stanovati has different meaning;
    stanování = camping; ...  Slovenian stanovanje, also different meaning;
    stanice = station;
    stanovisko = standpoint;
    stanoviště = post;
  14. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hungarian --- lakás [flat, apartment] --- lakóhely [residence; partly matching example, < German: Wohnort]
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
  16. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Am I right when I think that this -stan is also the 'stan' we encounter in quite some country names?
  17. Holger2014 Senior Member

    Wohnung tends to be used for 'flat' / 'apartment' only. As for 'dwelling' in general, there is a related (rather formal) expression: Wohnsitz (lit. 'dwelling seat'). Some proud house-owners can actually be a bit annoyed when you ask them about their Wohnung ('We don't live in a Wohnung! We've moved on...'). Wohnsitz is only used in formal German so it's best to resort to verbs when inquiring about someone's 'dwelling' / 'residence'...
  18. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks. Do you happen to know if this is a recent development? E.g., could Wohnung have referred to other types of dwellings a century ago?

    It still seems likely that Wohnung, Finnish asunto, Slovene stanovanje and so on are based on the same model, since all of them are verbal nouns derived from the verb "to dwell", and all three have acquired the specific meaning "flat/apartment".
  19. Holger2014 Senior Member

    It's probably a recent development. In some older texts (up until the late 19th century, perhaps) Wohnung often seems to be used in a broader sense (something to do with urbanization, I guess). Expressions like Wohnung beziehen* also use the term in a less specific way (Wohnung beziehen* = 'to move into a new flat / apartment / house'). I can't find any more detailled information now...

    * Edit: Quartier beziehen is more idiomatic, though
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  20. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    кваритра /kvartira/- flat/ appartment (the root has to do with "quarter")
    жилье /zhilio/ - residence (literally, living place)
    дом /dom/ - house/home

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