Language tips and tools

Last changed: 03 July 2024

On this page, you will find links to resources such as the SLU style guide and glossaries. If you have any suggestions for other resources you think should be added, please send them to the language coordinator.

Style guide and other writing tools

According to the Swedish Language Act from 2009, the language of the public sector is to be 'cultivated, simple and comprehensible'.

Make sure your writing is simple and comprehensible by adapting it to your intended readers and applying the principles of plain language. For cultivated language, follow the stylistic rules and recommendations in the SLU style guide and other guidelines.

Style guide

A consistent style is important. It facilitates communication and ensures that we speak with 'one voice' when we write. Just like we have a visual identity, described in the brand manual, that specifies which colours and fonts to use, we have a style guide that describes what choices to make when it comes to style.

Other guidelines

Readability indexes

When you calculate the readability index of a text, you estimate how difficult it is to read. You do this by measuring attributes such as word length, sentence length and syllable count to determine its complexity.

A readability index is a blunt instrument as it does not tell you if the content is what the reader needs, if the layout is helpful etc. However, a poor score indicates that the content has problems.

There are several indexes using slightly different formulas. If you want to test your text, this page calculates the readability index of your text using six different formulas.

Glossaries and term banks

SLU glossary

The SLU glossary (Excel) contains names of programmes and degrees, research subjects according to the Statistics Sweden classification, administration/HR-related terms and most of the entries from the dictionary compiled by the Swedish Council for Higher Education.

The glossary is intended to be used from Swedish into English, but it is, of course, possible to search from English to Swedish as well. The glossary is however based on the Swedish concepts, and any comments are in Swedish only.

Titles at SLU

The Division of Human Resources is responsible for maintaining the list of titles for SLU staff. If you need the translation of a title, you can use the pdf version of the list.

Names of departments/divisions at SLU

The easiest way to find out the name of a department or division is to use 'Search employee' on the staff web. Write the Swedish or English name in the Department/division/unit field and when the search result is displayed, switch languages.

Dictionary of the Swedish Council for Higher Education

The Swedish-English dictionary of the Swedish Council for Higher Education covers several concepts in higher education. Unless the SLU glossary has a different translation, use the translations proposed in this dictionary. Most entries from the dictionary are also included in the SLU glossary.


The Swedish national term bank Rikstermbanken contains mainly Swedish terms but also covers other languages such as English, French, German and Finnish.

The terminology of the EU institutions

The EU institutions' term bank Iate (Interactive Terminology for Europe) is free and covers EU policies in most fields and several EU languages.

Glossary of the Swedish Riksdag

This glossary contains common terms related to the Swedish parliament translated into English, German and French.

Joint Group for Swedish Life Sciences Terminology

The Joint Group for Swedish Life Sciences Terminology  (Svenska biotermgruppen, information in Swedish only) is a network set up to coordinate Swedish terminology within life sciences such as biotechnology, molecular biology and genetics. The network consists of scientists, journalists and terminologists. Their concept definitions and term recommendations are available on their website.

Utrikes namnbok

Utrikes namnbok contains translations into English, Finnish, French, German, Russian and Spanish of the names of Swedish government agencies and organisations as well as translations of Swedish titles used in public administration. The main body of the text is in Swedish, but the multilingual list can be used without any knowledge of Swedish.

Learning Swedish

Interested in learning Swedish? The Swedish Institute hosts a free, online course for beginners, corresponding to CEFR level A1-A2.

SLU's Division of Human Resources also organises Swedish courses for SLU staff, at two levels (beginners and those with some knowledge of Swedish).

More resources

  • Duolingo
  • Forvo: how to pronounce +100,000 Swedish words
  • Memrise: useful Swedish phrases, also available as an app (Google Play and Appstore)
  • Swedish 101: vocabulary flashcards, verb conjugator and more
  • Quizlet: flashcards with basic vocabulary
  • news in easy-to-read Swedish