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Swedish: butik /affär

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by AnnieTC, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. AnnieTC Junior Member

    Chinese
    I encountered the word in
    videobutik
    teknikaffär

    To me both means store, but can them be 100% interchanged? Or is there any difference?
     
  2. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Moderatös

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    I'd say they're 90% interchangeable on their own, but butik is slightly more formal, affär being more colloquial. They are used alone or in different compounds. Beware, though, that in compounds, either of them is more common than the other, then they're not very interchangeable. For example, I would always say videobutik, not videoaffär, and always skoaffär, not skobutik. This is just a matter of habit, tradition and convenience, and in the case of teknikaffär, I'd say convenience: teknikbutik is hard to pronounce, and sounds a bit strange, while teknikaffär "flows" more easily, if you see what I mean.
     
  3. AnnieTC Junior Member

    Chinese
    That makes sense, very well explained, thank you very much!
     
  4. Lugubert Senior Member

    Göteborg
    Swedish
    But a skoboutique would peddle some seriously expensive stuff.
     
  5. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    For me the difference between butik and affär is not so much about being formal or colloquial, it more about the size of the shop. I would use butik about a smaller shop and affär about a larger shop, a supermarket is an affär, I would never call it a butik. I agree that it's easier to say teknikbutik and videobutik, or handarbetsaffär (even when it's a small shop), but when it comes to shoes, I use both skoaffär and skobutik, depending on size, as well as livsmedelsaffär (ICA Maxi) and livsmedelsbutik (ICA Nära).
     
  6. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    I partially agree with AutumnOwl. While there is a difference in size, to me, butik is a hyponym of affär.
     
  7. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Moderatös

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    I disagree, I would consider butik the hypernym. We have three major type of outlets: butiksförsäljning, postorderförsäljning, dörrförsäljning, where 'butik' would be any outlet/point of sale to which customers arrive in person to perform a goods-for-money transaction. Postal order (including web stores) sales and door-to-door sales are different in that respect, there's no shop to go to.
     
  8. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Well, I still consider butik to by the hyponym. Swedish compound nouns are formed way to arbitrarily for the existance of the term "butiksförsäljng" being an indicator of the value of the word butik.

    On a side note, wiktionary defines butik as a small affär.
     
  9. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    I'm confused, because hypo- means less of something and hyper- means more of it. One of you is using the word hyponym and the other is using hypernym. I've not come across the terms before but they should mean the opposite of each other . . .
     
  10. Wilma_Sweden

    Wilma_Sweden Moderatös

    Lund, Sweden
    Swedish (Scania)
    Hypernym and hyponym define the vertical relationship between words, in that a hypernym has a more general meaning, a higher order, as opposed to hyponym, which has a more specified meaning, like a "subspecies". Example: tree is a hypernym of willow, pine or oak, and these subspecies are hyponyms of tree. If point-of-sale is any outlet where customers congregate phyisically to exchange goods for money, it would be a hypernym of shop, store or market, which are then hyponyms of point-of-sale. The hyponyms, then, don't necessarily have to be synonymous with each other, although they may in some cases be more or less so.

    Tjahzi and I are in disagreement over butik, hence the confusion. Sorry! I don't trust Wiktionary, it's a user-contributed dictionary. I used the compounds above as an argument for butik being the hypernym, but I have to admit it may be a somewhat tenuous argument. Word meanings and word usages are, as we have noticed, more often than not subject to lengthy discussion... :D

    Edit: I just came across a suitable hypernym of any type of shops: försäljningsställe. It's also the translation equivalent of point-of-sale, all according to Nationalencyclopedin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  11. JohanIII

    JohanIII Senior Member

    Switzerland
    Swedish
    I partly... am confused.

    If you take older (con)texts like Evert Taube's "Fritjof och Carmencita" where butik is mentioned, or sth. out of a pilsnerfilm (30's-40's folksy films), I was about to say that butik feels older and smaller. But then I'd think "therefore smaller", as in older times stores were generally smaller, even those called affär at that time.

    Perhaps a source of intermingling in the vertical (hierarchy):
    The more specialised an ... is, the smaller it would be, whether usage dictates or suggests either term.

    Timfitj: Hypo is sub as in submarine, hyper is super (or supra) as in superimposed [i.e. Greek vs. Latin]. And: hypoderm.

    I feel I now have to change my wiki-tag-line...
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  12. timtfj

    timtfj Senior Member

    Northwest England
    UK English
    Yes---my concern was simply that it looked as though people might be accidentally using the wrong one or using them interchangeably, so I was unsure whether what I was reading was what they meant.
     
  13. merryweather Junior Member

    English - England
    Interesting thread, good information for a newbie.
     
  14. chinaman New Member

    Dubai
    Swedish
    I would say you could use them both
     

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