Swedish: väggar mot (glasväggar mot arenan)

Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
From a rental contract for office spaces:

(NB: "arenan" refers to the building where the office spaces are located.)

Hyresgästen får inte [...] sätta upp skyltar eller annat reklam- eller informationsmaterial på glasväggar mot arenan eller på annat ställe utanför kontoret.

I can't form a picture of what "glasväggar mot arenan" is describing here.

In English, one can speak about the walls of a building (i.e., walls that form the exterior of a building), walls around a building, walls in front of/behind/nearby/etc. a building, and so on.

But the concept of a wall "against"/"towards" (= mot) an arena or other building makes no clear sense to me.

Is this a less common usage of mot that the Sw.-Eng. dictionaries (at least those that I use) haven't thought to explain?

Thanks for your time,
G.
 
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I would intuitively see it as "facing" something, i.e. "glass walls facing the arena".

    Having said that, since I don't know exactly what this is referring to it seems a bit odd indeed to say that ads etc. isn't allowed on walls in the building facing the building - or - not allowed on walls facing the building. Neither makes sense. The first for obvious reasons, the second because it implies two structures.

    So to me the most likely explanation is that either the term "arena" is used in a way that's new to me, or it'd be good to see more of the contract and location to understand just what the 'geography' looks like. Because I would normally not translate "arena" to "building".

    One explanation to me would be something along the lines of a larger sports arena where there may be offices or spaces for rent to businesses and those spaces are on the property that the arena shares but you aren't allowed to place ads there. It'd even be logical to not allow it if the owners of the arena wants to maximize profits by controlling advertising. Only saying this so you know how I think about it.

    But yeah, seems odd to me..
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    The correct writing of the text "glasväggen mot arenan" is "glasväggen mot Arenan". The Arena is the name of Vasakronan "coworking space" rental office spaces in Stockholm and Göteborg, and the interior design have a lot of glass walls in the office rooms, and there is also open common areas in the building.

    I think the "glasväggen mot Arenan" means the inner glass wall towards the common area in the building. The company doesn't want the tenants to put up signs, posters and other material without a permission from Vasakronan Arena (that information is missing in the posted quote, but it's in the information from the company). The company wants their office space to have a aesthetically appealing look, so they want to approve what is put up in their space.
    Arena coworking - Vasakronan

    (It would have been useful with a link to the entire text of the quote in post #1.)
     
    I find the construction rather unsurprising. Without having hit the books I think the term prepositionsattribut is relevant.

    Boken på bordet = Boken som ligger på bordet.
    Tåget till Eslöv = Tåget som går till Eslöv.
    Lugnet före stormen = Lugnet som finns före stormen.
    Fönstret mot gården = Fönstret som vetter mot gården.
    Väggen mot gården = Väggen som befinner sig i riktning mot gården, åt gårdens håll.
     
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    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    It wasn't the construction that was odd or surprising, it was within the context given that it looked odd. With the correct context it's fine of course.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Thanks for the responses and clarifications.

    If the glass walls (glasväggar) are indoor walls going towards the Arena, then it seems that "Arena" can't refer to the entire building -- you can't go "towards" something that you are already in.

    So is it fair to conclude that this "Arena" is neither an actual arena, nor a full building, but a zone within a building?

    (The contractual text that the original quote comes from did not provide a clear definition of the "Arena" in question, it just assumed the reader's knowledge of what it was.)
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I don't understand. You wrote that "arena refers to the building". Now you're saying there's no definition of it.

    I think the rest of us agree that windows can face something, and of course it doesn't really make sense for them to face the entire building they're in. But if you read AutumnOwl's post it seems pretty clear what it all refers to. At least without further context.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I don't understand. You wrote that "arena refers to the building".

    I did say that, based on the original text that I was working on. But now I'm not sure.

    I still can't tell whether we are talking about

    1) glass walls leading towards the Arena (and therefore outside it)
    or
    2) glass walls leading towards the common areas of the Arena (and therefore probably inside it)

    or perhaps something different than either.

    (By the way:
    "towards" and "facing (towards)" are two very distinct meanings in English.

    If you say "the wall towards [X]", that implies that the wall leads in the direction of X, not that it is facing X.

    Should mot be understood to mean "facing" in this context?)
     
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    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    I'd say that Arena is a concept, the name for the rental office space Vasakronan has. It's not an entire building, it's one or two levels in large office buildings in the centre of Stockholm and Göteborg. You can find a video of how Arena looks from the link in my post above.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Should mot be understood to mean "facing" in this context?)

    OK, good to know.

    I'd advise against using the word "towards" for this meaning (unless combined with "facing", in the phrase "facing towards"), as it is liable to lead to confusion.

    E.g. if I heard "the windows towards the east", this would suggest (to me at least) that the windows were located eastward from my location (or from some other reference point). It wouldn't tell me anything specifically about the direction the windows were facing.
     
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    It would appear English and Swedish are different here. Mot meaning facing would be unambigous for most Swedish speakers.

    Swedish mot = English facing.
    English towards ≠ English facing.

    Another thing is that I hardly see the rationale in saying that a wall or something is towards something, i.e. "points" in that direction, although I understand the notion theoretically. I don't even know how we would say it in Swedish. Perhaps väggen vars längdriktning löper i riktning mot/väggen som går mot...?
     
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    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I did say that, based on the original text that I was working on. But now I'm not sure.

    I still can't tell whether we are talking about

    1) glass walls leading towards the Arena (and therefore outside it)
    or
    2) glass walls leading towards the common areas of the Arena (and therefore probably inside it)

    or perhaps something different than either.

    (By the way:
    "towards" and "facing (towards)" are two very distinct meanings in English.

    If you say "the wall towards [X]", that implies that the wall leads in the direction of X, not that it is facing X.

    Should mot be understood to mean "facing" in this context?)

    That's the very first thing I wrote; "mot" in this case implies "facing".

    Because it implies "facing" it places 'logical' limits on what we likely are talking about.

    I'd advise against using the word "towards" for this meaning (unless combined with "facing", in the phrase "facing towards"), as it is liable to lead to confusion.

    E.g. if I heard "the windows towards the east", this would suggest (to me at least) that the windows were located eastward from my location (or from some other reference point). It wouldn't tell me anything specifically about the direction the windows were facing.

    I really think that's very context dependent though. To me "towards" basically equals "facing" with the meaning that looking out the window in question your view is in a particular direction toward/facing something (for example "east"). The idea of something being located according to north, east, south, west to me is much more context dependent, so my default interpretation of "toward" and "facing" when combined with "window" is this meaning where we're talking about what direction our view is when looking through the window.

    ("facing towards" is very rare in usage according to Google ngram viewer btw)

    So to me without further context the Swedish text we're discussing has to do with a direction "through" the window. In context because it mentions attaching visible things to the window it pretty much says that people from 'outside' shouldn't see those things by looking at the window. In order to do so they have to be in a different location 'outside' and therefore we're talking about the windows "facing" that area.

    So I again agree with the others that "Arena" probably refers to some sort of common space that is within a larger space or area in which also the space with the windows is housed.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I really think that's very context dependent though. To me "towards" basically equals "facing" with the meaning that looking out the window in question your view is in a particular direction toward/facing something (for example "east"). The idea of something being located according to north, east, south, west to me is much more context dependent, so my default interpretation of "toward" and "facing" when combined with "window" is this meaning where we're talking about what direction our view is when looking through the window.

    I'm just telling you what my general instincts are as a native English speaker (in regards to "towards" vs. "facing"), and respectfully, they don't match what you are describing in this post.

    What's more, I'd say that the risk of misinterpretation is greater when it comes to things like walls ("the wall towards ...") than with windows.


    ("facing towards" is very rare in usage according to Google ngram viewer btw)

    I'm not sure how you're defining "rare" here, but regardless, "facing towards" is a semi-redundant variant of "facing", which I'd imagine is more common.

    (If we're going to continue disputing this issue, the discussion should probably be moved to another thread/forum.)

    Thanks once again to everyone for their clarifications, and apologies for the initial misinterpretation of "Arena".
     
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    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I think that it is most important to understand that "Arena" is something outside of the building, or the implicated part of the building.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    I think that it is most important to understand that "Arena" is something outside of the building, or the implicated part of the building.
    Is it really? According to Vasakronan, the company owning Arena, it's "Arena - coworking i världsklass". Arena is the name the company have chosen for their "kontorskollektiv", in Norwegian bokmål "kontotsfellesskap".
    Arena coworking - Vasakronan
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Is it really? According to Vasakronan, the company owning Arena, it's "Arena - coworking i världsklass". Arena is the name the company have chosen for their "kontorskollektiv", in Norwegian bokmål "kontotsfellesskap".
    Arena coworking - Vasakronan
    In Norwegian such room is called "kontorlandskap". "Kontorfelleskap" is something else. It is used for a solution where more than one company share an office space with one entrance and reception desk. If 'arena' in the original text means "kontorlandskap", then it can be called 'a part of a building'.
    I find, however, the idea of having office spaces with windows facing another office space, a strange one.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    In Norwegian such room is called "kontorlandskap". "Kontorfelleskap" is something else. It is used for a solution where more than one company share an office space with one entrance and reception desk. If 'arena' in the original text means "kontorlandskap", then it can be called 'a part of a building'.
    I find, however, the idea of having office spaces with windows facing another office space, a strange one.
    Arena is not "kontorslandskap", it's just like you describe "kontorfelleskap". Arena provides its members (individuals or companies) access to office space when they need it. Do check out the link I have posted.
     
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