Talk:Fika (Sweden)

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In the previous vesion of the article, there was a claim that Swedes were second in per capita consumption of coffee to the Finns. I did a quick web search and found that the World Resources Institute ranked them 6th in 2003, which is the last year with complete data. The last time that Swedes were second was in 1994. (One must take the WRI data with a grain of salt because Aruba has wildly fluctuating consumption, according to them. For example in 1974, the WRI counts Aruba as consuming 121.4 kg/person, which is over 300 g/day -- an impossible quantity.) I changed the page to reflect this and added the references. 22:46, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I notice this is an old comment to which I am replying, but Aruba coffee consumption would heavily include that consumed by tourists and overorders/wasteage by tourism-related industries. Its proximity to the coffee producers Columbia and Venezuela might also make it a major coffee outlet: and if most of that leaves underground or otherwise goes to end consumers such as cruise ships, it might be counted into domestic consumption. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Noun usage[edit]

The noun usage paragraph was wrong. Fikabröd is actually a compound word (not "combined noun") consisting of a verb and a noun, so I edited that out. Fika can be used as a noun, but that refers to the noun, as I wrote. -- 20:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Fika and Coffee[edit]

Actually you don´t have to consume any coffee to have a fika. I actually would translate fika to: "Anytime and place non-alcoholic bewerage break/party". This is the most correct translation of the word that I have seen in English so far. I never translate the word in to English, I just use fika when I want to talk about fika in english. It´s like the Swedish words lagom, smorgasbord and ombudsman.

Peter a Swede from Växjö. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:14, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Did you know what "fika" means in Hungarian? :)[edit]

Amusing fact: "fika" is also a Hungarian slang term for "snot". It can also be verbed (as in "fikázni"), and the resulting verb means "to criticize [sg or sy] heavily, possibly disproportionately or without real reason" (probably the intent is to evoke the image of smearing something with snot). Maybe the English slang verb "to knock" means something similar, I'm not entirely certain.

This is just so you Swedes know why you get smirks from your Hungarian immigrants when you talk about a "lovely fika". :)

-- (talk) 14:37, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

FYI, the "i" of Sw. fika is long. (talk) 19:31, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh. That seems to have been completely lost on my countrymen who heard the word spoken. The joke, such as it is, only works in writing then (not a great loss, all things considered). -- (talk) 23:04, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Fika and indian languages[edit]

The old people in my family use the word fika strictly as a noun meaning coffe. That is in the western part of sweden. I've allways heard that the word as such comes from romani and that it was brought to Europe from India by the Romanies. But I don't know how to spell it in hindi. Nevertheless I spoke with some indian collegues and they say that fika in hindi means tea without milk or sugar and the connection looks clear to me.

Anders from Sweden —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)


Seems to me that this article belongs in the Wiktionary. What do others think? Spidern 13:16, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree, there is no need for an article that describles nothing more than a having a snack with company, because that's essentially what it is. This article does nothing but make the subject seem more than what it really is: a social gathering coupled with a snack. It's the same thing as a bunch of Italians or French or Arabs or whatever going to a café. Also, as a previous user pointed out, fika doesn't neccessarily have to involve coffee. While it usually does in adult circles, especially in workplaces, anything that involes pastry with something to drink can also be classed as a fika. Nederbörd (talk) 22:19, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Fika in the workplace[edit]

It is common practice to have a fikapaus (i.e. coffee break) at a fixed time in the morning and again in the evening in the workplace. (Ex. 9 AM and 3 PM) There is usually also a fikarum (fika room) for this in most workplaces that often, but not always, doubles as a lunchroom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:51, 27 June 2009

Unsourced recommendations[edit]

In this article there was claims that you'd "best stay away from sweet things altogether" when making fika. Not only was this claim unsourced, I'm also skeptical to having that kind of recommendations at all, it's not particularly encyclopedic. --OpenFuture (talk) 20:24, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Use in southern Sweden[edit]

Boeing720 has claimed that the term fika is generally replaced with kaffe or kaffepaus in southern Sweden. Boeing has added a few sources[1] that are supposed to support this, but all of it is based on conclusions based on omissions. And one of them actually uses fika in numerous forms.[2] None of the sources actually comment on whether fika is more or less common in the south. It's possible that the term kaffe or kaffepaus is actually used less frequently in the southern dialects, but this can't be stated in the article based on personal observations. I also had no problem at all finding fika in local and regional newspapers like Skånska Dagbladet, Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Helsingborgs Dagblad.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Peter Isotalo 11:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

There are no native SWcanians who use the word "fika" for having a break (from whatever, at work, an hour after lunch or dinner, at breakfast, etc). My cousins from Västmanland are the only ones I've ever heard that used the word "fika". Do You really think that I would lie about this matter. "Upplänningar" (Swedeish people from up the country) may use the word in Scania. The unviversity city Lund have many "upplänningar" who studies at the university, and possibly You may find the word "fika" in that city. But never among common Scanians. It goes beyond my comprahention, to say "Oh no ! You do use the word 'fika' just as we do where I live". There are other examples aswell, for instance "jämte" (beside) is not in use, the synonym "bredvid" (the same meaning, beside). Other typical examples are "mölla" (mill) insted of "väderkvarn" or just "kvarn" and "spann" (bucket) instead of "hink". Shouldn't I know that better than You, Peter ? I have after all lived in Scania all my 50 years. Why make such a fuss over matters You don't know anything about. To be absolutely frank, after this matter aswell as after the Danish pastry discussion, I would suggest that You take a week off from Wikipedia, and then begin fresh again. I believe You have a good brain, but lately You appear to argue over tiny matters everytime You don't get it the way You want. I wish You all the best Boeing720 (talk) 12:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Personal experince isn't verifiable. You may be perfectly right in your observations, but we can't use that to support statements in articles.
Peter Isotalo 14:15, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
And Your source, Helene Henderson is from Luleå 11 parallells north of Scania. Does her source explicite state "fika is the name in entire Sweden" ? Well known facts needs no references, and in Scania we know the described article is called "kaffe" or "kaffepaus" and nothing else. Boeing720 (talk) 14:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
"Well known facts needs[sic] no references" - no, I'm afraid that's not how it works. This is a contested assertion, and you need to provide references for it. The references here do not support the information; none of them says anything about whether "fika" is used in Skåne or not. We can't use our own experiences as sources, and we also can't draw our own conclusions from existing references. See WP:SYN for more information about this. --bonadea contributions talk 14:40, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Boeing, please note that the article is specifically about a cultural concept, not the word fika. If it's actually called something else in certain parts of Sweden, there still doesn't seem to be any fundamental cultural difference.
Peter Isotalo 15:17, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Have I stated anything about "fundamental differencies" ? All I say is, the word "fika" isn't in common use in Scania. This is exactly the same as if an American attempted to impose for instance "sidewalk" or "elevator" instead of "pavement" and "lift". All I have done is, to point out that the word for "fika" is "kaffe". (Though the kind of pastry and biscuits etc which are popular may differ a bit, Spettkaka is rare north of Scania, I understand. But never mind that).
Whenever there are a notable difference to a general statement, we ought to mention it. And since 13-14% of the Swedish population are Scanians, who differ in vocabulary at this point, I believe we are obligated to mention such exeptions. But again, it's only about the word, not the culture. Boeing720 (talk) 15:39, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
When or if you have a source to support this, we'll include it. If it's true, it would be a relevant and interesting minor fact to include.
However, you should really shouldn't make claims about the language use of over one million people based on your own experiences. This could just as well be a local phenomenon that isn't common to all of southern Sweden. Or it could be a matter of generational differences. As someone who lives in Stockholm, I would certainly point out (in talk) if something in Stockholm dialects seemed strange or unusual, but I would never sweeping claims about the language use of every single person in Stockholm County.
Peter Isotalo 15:57, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Whether or not "fika" is used in Scania or not, I don't think it would be very amiss if the article mentioned that it can be called "kaffe" as well.
Andejons (talk) 20:43, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I saw the article without checking this discussion and made an inappropriate change while the discussion is ongoing. Sincere apologies. Though I agree that I have never heard anyone in Scania (north, south, east or west), where I have spent plenty of time over the years, use the word "fika" verbally, it appears that it does appear in print in Scanian sources. Since anyone with any knowledge of Scanian would know that people there don't say "fika", not even strangers who want to fit in, maybe some day someone will find a clear source that confirms that for us. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 07:40, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Same culture , but different name[edit]

Tommy, why do You insist to suggest that entire Sweden uses the same word for this "culture" ? You have only a source written by a woman from Luleå (in the opposite part of Sweden) and who now lives in America, to support this. While any local Scanian can tell You, that "fika" isn't included in Scania [atleast not in Scania, that is](and occationally not even understood). Doesn't it disturb You the least , that we say "nu e de kaffe" (now it's kaffe), "kaffedax" (kaffe-time), "kaffe" (means coffee), "vill du ha kaffe" (want some kaffe ?) I could equally make an Kaffe (culture) article, for Scanian use. Do You think I'm lying about what we say in Scania or what ? Boeing720 (talk) 16:16, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think you're lying, but I'm doubting you're actually right about this. That doesn't matter, though, because WP:V applies to you as much as anyone. Fika has been attested in Swedish since 1910 (see Wiktionary article with source) so it's very widespread. Scanian doesn't have a unique word for everything. I've never seen any source that defines word kaffe as a synonym to fika nor that it's specific to southern Sweden. If this true, you ought to be able to find a source.
Peter Isotalo 18:59, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
You appear to hide youself behind WP:rules, rather than aimining for making articles correct. In this case. I don't know where, or if there is a border (like with the French R question) But whithin Scania, it is very specific to use "Kaffe" in one way or another, for the cultural procedure which the article covers. And as long as Scania is a part of Sweden (with 13-14 % of the country's population), I strongly believe it's an error to not mention "kaffe" aswell when "fika" is. This has nothing to do with formal Swedish dictionaries (or is the procedure an officiual ritual ?), it's solely a matter of daily language. Like American English or British English.Boeing720 (talk) 21:00, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
You don't have a particularly good track record when it comes to this, Boeing. Anyone can read up on talk:Swedish language to see how hard you've tried pushed the uniqueness of Scanian before. And arguing why you should be exempt from WP:V (or WP:RS) is pointless. The rules here are not unclear: either you have a source for it or you don't.
As for "formal", you don't seem to understand how dictionaries work. They record both formal and informal language, including slang. It all depends on the dictionary, though. And fika isn't exactly formal language. If you come up with a source, I have absolutely nothing against including "kaffe" as a straight synonym.
Peter Isotalo 22:07, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
While it does not give it as a straight synonym of "fika", NEO gives the following under "kaffe" "Bet.nyans: med tonvikt på själva drickandet (och förtäring av kakor o.d. i samband därmed): välkomna på ~!". Bonniers synonymordbok gives kaffe as a synonym of fika (subst).
Andejons (talk) 20:29, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
"Coffee" can have the same meaning in English.[12] which means it's a standard form of referring to a light meal by just the drink. So it's apparently not about Swedish culture.
As for the Swedish words, the same applies to te ("tea"). This definition has been around since 1829 according to SAOB.[13]. Kaffe in the sense you're mentioning here has been around since 1836.[14] So they pre-date the cultural idea by a century or so.
Kaffe seems to be a somewhat more formal definition and doesn't appear to be regional. And it doesn't include the other aspects of fika, like meeting a friend or a date over coffee/tea/etc or the work break. To the best of my knowledge, taking a break with your colleagues is never referred to as jobbkaffe ("job coffee"), morgonkaffe ("morning coffee") or eftermiddagskaffe ("afternoon coffee").
Peter Isotalo 21:07, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Swedish dricka kaffe and fika to me are exactly identical, whereas dricka te is not, and Andejons may be correct in stating indirectly that in American English have coffee also can have the identical meaning and include tea or hot chocolate or ice tea or ice coffee options, depending on the participants' tastes, as well as light eats. These opinions may not be relevant to an article's talk page, without sources, but then again...
If I were to question anything substantial about this article, it would be it's existence at all on English Wikipedia, which I think needs to cut down on ("Do not introduce new and specialized words simply to teach them to the reader, when more common alternatives will do.") superfluous foreign language lessons, not add many more such. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 22:15, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
"Fika" is not an exact concept either. When we take a break at work, the one who suggests it could suggest either "fika", or "kaffe", and mean the same thing (and to me, "för/eftermiddagskaffe" refers to the actual coffee that some people need at those times to function). Anyway, Peter asked for a source, and I can see no reason for why Bonniers synonymordbok is not good enough.
Andejons (talk) 18:12, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Serge, dricka kaffe is what Wiktionary regulars would define as a "sum of parts entry". It's a basic verb phrase that really doesn't have idiomatic status. There's a wider "cultural zone" around the drinking of coffee in Sweden in general, but it would hard to distinguish it from simply meaning "to drink coffee". I see nothing in fika that indicates WP:JARGON or overly specialized usage. We have English-language sources in the article[15] that specificially refer to "fika" as an "an institution in Sweden". And that's just the work break aspect of it. There's plenty of other sources that describe the concept in general.[16][17] The term is easy enough to find on Google Books.[18]
Andejons, Bonniers synonymordbok is a thesaurus. They frequently list synonyms that might be quite far off from the original meaning, even if they are related. Their primarily purpose is to provide alternative terminology, but they seldom, if ever, provide context or usage info. We need to look closer at actual usage and descriptions of the fika culture. And we need to clearly separate descriptions of the culture from the words used to describe that culture per WP:NOTADICTIONARY.
While I'd like to avoid discussion on personal experience, I should stress that we seem to have different experiences of what the fika culture is. The exclusion of tea, for example, is not something that I, or my friends, would recognize. This makes it even more important to go strictly by what we can actually back up with sources.
Peter Isotalo 10:09, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Here's a list of sources that could be useful for the article:
Peter Isotalo 15:13, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Can't belive this is on again. I LIVE in Sweden. I live in the South of Sweden, even if originally I am from Stockholm. EVERYBODY daily and hourly uses the term fika. WHY do you edit Swedish articles if you don't know about an elemetary thing like that? Fika is one of the most common words used for coffee-break. Yes, in Scania. Hafspajen (talk) 00:54, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Origin of fika[edit]

See article at Washington Post. Could it be that "fika" came about to empirically maximize production by giving a boost at the ideal time of day? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Swedish lesson - why?[edit]

One could take this entire article and exchange the exclusively Swedish word fika for the less cumbersome English words coffee break or have/ing a coffee break, and include all this in a section on Sweden in an article about coffee breaks. Why, in this case, has it become English Wikipledia's objective, by repeating a foreign word over and over and over and over and over again, to teach non-Swedes Swedish? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:54, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

"Having coffee"/"coffee break" and "fika" don't mean the same thing. Repetitive or not, there is no English translation because it's all about Swedish culture.
Peter Isotalo 20:08, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
You opinion is worthy of respect, but I'm afraid it's not accurate, though, to someone less knowledgeable, it could look like a good defence for the very existence of this article. I am 100% bilingual between English & Swedish & I stand by every word of what I wrote above, and especially by my question. If we're lucky, someone more neutral than you or I will answer it. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 00:53, 16 November 2015 (UTC)--SergeWoodzing (talk) 00:50, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Your question was clearly rhetorical and is obviously about your ideas about "phonetic empathy". The article is clearly referenced, so individual opinions are fairly irrelevant in this case.
Peter Isotalo 01:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I am never so predisposed, as you seem to be, to dismiss the opinions of neutral editors on subjects like this. You also underestimate the support my wording of phonetic empathy (actually just an extention of basic policy on English Wikipedia) has had, regardless of your tendency to dismiss that too. This article carries much too far the desire some of you apparently have to mix as many unnecessarily cumbersome Swedish words as you can into English text. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)