But almost fascinating to say out loud (I can't stop repeating the word like a mantra)!!
From my experience, in English, if you know it's a female, then it's always an actress, almost never an actor. Actor can be used if the gender is not clear, and actors are used for a mixed or all male group.
I think 'actor' has actually become more of a gender-neutral term in English, applying to a male or a female, especially when talking about amateur and professional stage performance and even most TV shows and films. 'Actress' isn't wrong; I'd just say these days it's sometimes better saved for referring to a well-known leading lady or maybe a star in a play, when some aspect of notoriety is involved.
Like if I had a female friend who studies theater and works in plays, I'd probably say she is an actor. But I'd say this either way: Meryl Streep is a good actor, or Meryl Streep is a good actress.
Actually many people today consider "actress" for a woman as pejorative, to indicate she's not quite serious as a professional - just google it to find discussions on the topic.
I have never considered that to be the case, this is my first time hearing of it. Actress is the female version of actor, simple as that... People are making mountains out of molehills all over the place these days. Next I will here that referring to a woman as a mother is pejorative and all parents should be called fathers -_-;
These type of facetious comments really get a bit tiresome. I have no dog in this fight personally. Those who do - for instance because it is their profession - quite clearly don't have an issue with the word itself, just with the condescending manner in which they feel it has come to be used. Sort of like "lady doctor" I suppose. Obviously none of that is the case with mothers or father, but hey, anything for a joke.
I don't think there's the historical weight behind "actress" that there is behind "lady doctor" and "male nurse". Actresses have been around for centuries at least. It seems a little nonsensical to insist on grouping male and female actors under one word while continuing to give separate awards for male and female actors.
I agree! In a society where political correctness increasingly rules, it is yet another example of trying to place both actors and actresses at the same level, which they are anyway. I am afraid that languages are not always improving as society advances.
In English, most professions used to have a male/neuter and feminine form (policeman/policewoman, actor/actress, author/authoress) but nowadays at least some people see the feminine forms as patronising or archaic. (It seems to vary a bit- Almost everyone says waiter and waitress, but referring to a female pilot as an aviatrix makes you sound like C. Montgomery Burns and every female comedian I've known hates the word comedienne).
Does Swedish have the same dynamic? Is "Hon är skådespelare" an acceptable sentence, or does it just sound like a mistake?
Edit: Having tried it, DL does accept "Hon är skådespelare", and the comments on "Min syster är brandman" suggests that the traditionally male form can apply to any gender, at least in some cases.
You can use either form in Swedish for female actors – basically if you would use 'actress' in English, you should go with skådespelerska in Swedish, and if the English sentence has 'actor' you should go with skådespelare.
We also used to have a lot of gendered words for professions but most of them aren't used anymore. Skådespelerska is one of the few that are still used pretty widely, so we wanted to include it in the course for that reason.
I think you meant bästa skådespelerska for the second one, but otherwise yup, that's technically correct.
We actually have names for the Oscars categories, though:
- bästa manliga huvudroll = best actor
- bästa kvinnliga huvudroll = best actress
- bästa manliga biroll = best supporting actor
- bästa kvinnliga biroll = best supporting actress
I don't know why, but I feel like this is a compound word. Does skådespelerska come from two or more smaller words?
Yes. skåde = theater, spela = to play, -ska = ending often used with professions
In the first 'Verbs' unit, it says that leker means 'play(s)' or 'am/are/is playing.' Is leker used with games, and spela with acting?
leka is usually applied to children playing, while spela is used for games and sports.
Well, there isn't actually a word skåde = "theatre" in Swedish -- although there is skåda (meaning "see, behold"). Skådespelerska is simply a feminine version of skådespelare, a direct calque (loan-translation) of the German word Schauspieler.
Sorry, little late here, but in Swedish (like French), they omit the article. So there will be no "ett skådespelerska", it will be just "Hon är skådespelerska". Convenient, am I right?
Apart from what HelloMiners said, skådespelerska is an en word so it's never used with ett.
aktör about actors sounds old fashioned, I rarely hear it. The feminine form aktris seems to be a little more common, though still not used a lot. The word aktör is more often used about what you can call an 'agent' or 'actor' in economics, a decision maker.
actress = skådespelerska
actresses = skådespelerskor
the actress = skådespelerskan
the actresses = skådespelerskorna
turtle = sköldpadda
turtles = sköldpaddor
the turtle = sköldpaddan
the turtles = sköldpaddorna
Mnemonic: My turtle is an actress.
Note: In Swedish, the words for actress and turtle are both Class 1 nouns (plural in -or), but the word for actor (skådespelare) is a Class 6 noun (singular and plural the same):
actor = skådespelare
actors = skådespelare
the actor = skådespelaren
the actors = skådespelarna
Note the difference in spelling:
Why is that, I wonder?