Swedish: handel / butik / affär

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Alxmrphi, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English

    Is there a rule as to when you use handel / butik / affär in compound words? As far as I can see, handel is used when about professional trades and butik is for smaller shops - while affär is the more general word and is more prototypical of a 'shop' for an English speaker (i.e. can be a big store, chain). Is that right? Is it something you just have to memorise and there is considerable semantic overlap or is there a good way of being sure about which word would be correct?

    I had originally thought of it that way but I'd consider a stationer's and a newsagent as the same sort of thing, and saw it was pappershandel / tidningsbutik in Swedish - which made me wonder and want to ask about. Is it possible to say bokaffär or does it have to be bokhandel?

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  2. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    While I agree with your handel/butik/affär distinction, I remember this having been discussed before (less than a year ago) and there then being a lack of consensus, especially regarding affär vs butik. That said, compound words tend to be rather inconsistent so there is no clear way to determine which word to use, more than what you have already listed. There are tendencies, but there are exceptions. However, as with most things in languages, things are becoming less strict. As such, it's"possible" to say bokaffär, but most people wouldn't. Some might frown upon such usage, some might even notice it. A Google search generates 18M hits on bokhandel and 34k on bokaffär, which I would consider a little too much for the word to be outright "wrong".
  3. JohanIII

    JohanIII Senior Member

    Butik/Affär diskuterat i detta forum här.
  4. merryweather Member

    English - England
    And nobody is using the term "collocation" in this context???

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