Guide for freelance translators

Last changed: 28 November 2023

This guide contains useful information about SLU that you need to keep in mind when you translate for us. It includes some key terminology and links to internal and external resources.

SLU has a language team comprising one in-house translator and one language coordinator. In order to manage the large volumes of text that need to be reviewed or translated, we rely on the Kammarkollegiet framework agreement. We appreciate that as an external translator tied to this agreement, you may have questions about language use and terminology, but your deadline may be short and your agreement with your translation agency may prevent you from contacting us directly.

Therefore, we have tried to collect the most important information on this page to help you save time and help us ensure consistent language use, and good quality. Naturally, if you have any questions about generic SLU terminology and style, please feel free to email If you are uncertain about any subject terminology, please contact the person ordering the translation. CC your project manager if necessary.

About the university

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU was founded in 1977 following the merger of the Agricultural, Veterinary and Forestry Colleges with the Forestry School in Skinnskatteberg and the Veterinary Institute in Skara.

The university spans the whole of Sweden. Our main sites (huvudorter) are located in Alnarp, Skara, Umeå and Uppsala, but we also have research facilities, field stations etc. all over the country. SLU is a research-intensive university, and around 70% of our turnover is research-related.

Our mission statement and vision are often quoted in documents for translation.

The SLU website

SLU has three websites, all of them with a different target group. Language cover (and quality) varies.

SLU style guide summary

SLU has a style guide that anyone translating for the university must follow. By following the style guide, you are helping us to develop and maintain a cohesive language profile. It will also save you time and ensure consistent results. You will likely come across several pages on our websites that do not follow the style guide – work is ongoing to update them. Read the style guide in full.

Style guide in brief

1. Spelling

Use British English and ‘s’ spellings (organisation, utilise, etc.).

2. Contractions

Do not use contractions in administrative documents.

3. Date format

Write the date in full: 15 April 2020. If space is an issue, use DD/MM/YYYY or DD MMM YYYY.

4. Tricky word

Education is not always the best translation for utbildning – try courses and programmes, or studies.

5. Programme and course levels

In formal texts such as governing documents, use first-cycle, second-cycle and third-cycle.

In other texts (e.g., for the website) use Bachelor’s or undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral for first, second and third-cycle respectively.

Use ‘doctoral’, not ‘PhD’ or ‘postgraduate’ for words formed with doktorand-.

6. Inclusive language

Use person-first language, singular ‘they’. We recommend consulting the SumOfUs Progressive’s Style Guide (link to PDF) if you are uncertain.

7. Titles and names

Consult the titles list (link to PDF).

If you need to find the translation of a title that is not in the list, or the name of a department or other unit, use ‘Search employee’ in the top right corner on one of our websites, search in Swedish and then switch to English.

8. Abbreviations

Use the Swedish abbreviations for all faculties, boards, councils etc. in English (e.g., PN-S for the Programme Board for Forest Sciences).

9. Uppercase vs lowercase

If in doubt, use lowercase:

  • the university, not the University
  • vice-chancellor and other titles are lowercase unless used together with the person’s name
  • faculties, departments, boards, councils – lowercase unless the full name is used. Abbreviated faculty names (VH Faculty, NJ Faculty etc.) count as full names.
  • capitals for the names of programmes and degrees, but lowercase for subjects (‘the Agroecology programme’ but ‘our research in agroecology’)
  • sentence capitalisation in headings.



The UHR glossary is the main resource for anyone translating texts related to higher education in Sweden.

We have our own SLU glossary that is based on UHR’s, although there are some differences – primarily titles. In addition, the SLU glossary contains some SLU-specific terminology. The glossary is not exhaustive, so please contact us if you have any questions.

Below you will find information about terminology relating to SLU's organisation, faculties and departments.


The SLU Board is made up of both SLU and external representatives.

University management (universitetsledningen) consists of the vice-chancellor (rektor), the deputy vice-chancellor (prorektor), pro vice-chancellor (vicerektor) for international relations, and the pro vice-chancellor for collaboration and environmental monitoring and assessment, plus the chief operating officer (universitetsdirektör).

The University Animal Hospital (UDS) is part of SLU, and the only university animal hospital in the country.

SLU is made up of academic faculties (fakulteter). Each faculty comprises a number of departments (institutioner), which in turn can consist of divisions (avdelningar). Four of SLU’s departments are inter-faculty departments (FGI, fakultetsgemensam institution) and belong to two faculties.

The four faculties

  • the Faculty of Forest Sciences (S Faculty, based in Umeå)
  • the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science (LTV Faculty, based in Alnarp)
  • the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (NJ Faculty, based in Uppsala)
  • the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (VH Faculty, also based in Uppsala)

The administrative divisions

A number of administrative divisions (administrativa avdelningar) make up the University Administration (gemensamma verksamhetsstödet). These include:

  • the Division of Communication (kommunikationsavdelningen)
  • the Division of Educational Affairs (utbildningsavdelningen)
  • the Division of Human Resources (personalavdelningen)
  • the Division of IT (IT-avdelningen)

More about SLU’s organisation.


Research, education, collaboration and EMA

Like all universities, SLU has three main tasks:

1) utbildning – education and teaching
2) forskning – research
3) samverkan – third-stream work, i.e. interacting with society through knowledge transfer, collaboration with the surrounding community and related industries, etc.

SLU has an additional fourth task:

fortlöpande miljöanalys – environmental monitoring and assessment, abbreviated EMA.

NB: Translate miljöanalys as environmental assessment, not environmental analysis.

SLU is active in den gröna näringen – the land-based sector (covers agriculture, forestry, horticulture). Do not translate as ‘the green sector’ as this primarily refers to activities related to environmental protection.

These four areas correspond to the top-level menus on


Degree programmes

At SLU, you can study everything from landscape architecture to veterinary medicine. We offer first-cycle (Bachelor’s/undergraduate), second-cycle (Master’s) and third-cycle (doctoral) programmes

Some of the degrees offered are professional programmes (yrkesprogram) and lead to a professional degree (e.g., veterinary surgeon). Some of the programmes offered are only available at SLU, e.g., those in veterinary medicine and equine science.

Find more info on our programmes and courses (including their names) on the SLU web. The syllabuses should contain translations of the course or programme title.