Frequently asked questions on language

Last changed: 03 April 2024

Here, you will find answers to some frequently asked questions on language at SLU.

You will find answers to questions on style, such as when to use uppercase/lowercase, in the style guide.

Can you revise my manuscript? Can I get help translating some web pages for my project?

As our in-house resources are limited, we prioritise texts where the target group is all of or most of SLU. We are unfortunately not able to assist individual researchers or projects. If you need to order translation or language revision, there is a national framework agreement that offers competitive prices. Please note that as a public authority, SLU is obliged to use this agreement – we are not allowed to buy language services from other suppliers.

How much does translation/language revision cost and how long does it take?

That depends on how long your text is, for revision the quality of the text also affects the price. Plan for at least 5-10 working days. You will find more information on the pages on translation and language revision.

I need a press release translated, what do I do?

For press releases that are of interest internationally, you can get translation assistance through SLU's cooperation with Expertsvar, a service for journalists. Contact one of the media contacts in Uppsala for more information.

Why aren't all the pages on our websites/all governing documents available in both Swedish and English?

We produce large amounts of text at SLU as web pages, electronic documents, printed matter etc. Translating everything would require substantially more resources.

According to our language policy, we use the two languages in parallel, for different purposes. This is not the same as being bilingual.

What determines if a text needs to be translated or not?

According to our language guidelines, everyone should have access to the information they need to do their job. As SLU is a public authority, there are also documents that must be available in Swedish as this is the official language. Other than that, it is the author of a text who decides as they are the ones with knowledge of the target group. Read more about when we need to have two language versions.

What is a certified translator?

Certified translator is a protected title for those who have taken the certification exam organised by Kammarkollegiet. The exam covers the subject fields law and public service information.

A certified translator can certify translations, which is needed e.g. for academic diplomas and agreements. This means that you do not need a certified translator for a web page or a report, but it may be necessary for legal documents. Contact the language coordinator if you need more information.

If I order a translation, how can I be sure the translator knows my subject field?

When you order from the framework agreement, you should state the subject field and the intended audience to help the supplier pick the right person for the job. You can also request to see the reviser's/translator's CV. However, it is important to remember that the translator can never be a subject-matter expert like yourself – you should be prepared to answer questions on content.

Why can't we just use Google Translate or AI?

Because machine translation and AI still do not produce reliable quality.  A human translator will spot vague wordings and ask for clarification if necessary, an AI will not. Machine translation and AI also do not know SLU-specific terminology. Texts translated with these tools must be carefully revised. 

Do translations need to be registered and assigned an SLU ID?

No, only the original needs to be registered.