Swedish Language Council

The Swedish Language Council (Swedish: Språkrådet) is the primary regulatory body for the advancement and cultivation of the Swedish language. The council is partially funded by the Swedish government and has semi-official status. The council asserts control over the language through the publication of various books with recommendations in spelling and grammar as well as books on linguistics intended for a general audience, the sales of which are used to fund its operation. The council also works with the five official minority languages in Sweden: Finnish, Meänkieli, Yiddish, Romani and Sami alongside the Swedish Sign Language.[1]

The Swedish Language Council comprises other organizations with an interest in the Swedish language, like the Swedish Academy and the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation. A number of organizations representing journalists, teachers, writers, actors and translators are also included.

The council has been publishing the quarterly journal Språkvård (lit. "Language care") since 1965, which publishes articles about the use and development of the Swedish language, readers' answers about spelling and grammar as well as providing guidelines for the use of Swedish in various contexts. It currently has over 6,500 subscribers.


The Swedish Language Council has its roots in the attempt to assert control over the official language use among the Nordic countries. The first ideas of a joint Nordic project surfaced in the 1930s and resulted in a Danish organization for Nordic language cultivation being founded in 1941. The idea of an all-Nordic cooperation was thwarted by the fact that all Nordic countries with the exception of Sweden were embroiled in the Second World War. On 3 March 1944 a group of 16 organizations held the first constituent assembly for what was then called Nämnden för svensk språkvård ("The Committee for Swedish Language Cultivation").

To counter difficulties in its finances, the council was reorganized in 1973 and assumed its current name. The government also assured the future of the council by guaranteeing the financing of four permanent staff members; a figure which today has grown and is no longer limited to a certain number of members, but by the actual needs of the council. Since the government assumed the responsibility for the financing, it also has the right to appoint the chairman and the head of the secretariat.

Ogooglebar is a word, in Swedish, that the Swedish Language Council has been forced to remove from its top 10 list of new words by a claim of brand protection from Google.[2] The word is translated as (and also when translated literally means) ungoogleable.[3] The council expressed its "displeasure" with Google's "attempts to control the language".[4]

See also


  1. "In English - Institutet för språk och folkminnen - Welcome to the Language Council of Sweden". Institutet för språk och folkminnen (Institute for Language and Folklore). Government of the Kingdom of Sweden. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  2. "BBC News – Google gets ungoogleable off Sweden's new word list". BBC Online. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013. The language watchdog defines 'ungoogleable', or 'ogooglebar' in Swedish, as something that cannot be found with any search engine.
  3. "språkvård, språkrådet – Institutet för språk och folkminnen" (in Swedish). Swedish Language Council]. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013. Företaget Google har uppvaktat Språkrådet om att ändra definitionen av ordet ogooglebar i nyordslistan. I dag tar vi i stället bort ordet och markerar samtidigt vårt missnöje med Googles försök att styra språket.
  4. "Google 'controlling' Swedish language". 27 March 2013.
  • Bergman, Gösta (1984), Kortfattad svensk språkhistoria, Prisma Magnum (in Swedish) (4th ed.), Stockholm: Prisma, ISBN 91-518-1747-0, OCLC 13259382
  • Bolander, Maria (2002), Funktionell svensk grammatik (in Swedish), Stockholm: Liber, ISBN 91-47-05054-3, OCLC 67138445
  • Crystal, David (1999), The Penguin dictionary of language (2nd ed.), London: Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-051416-3, OCLC 59441560
  • Dahl, Östen (2000), Språkets enhet och mångfald (in Swedish), Lund: Studentlitteratur, ISBN 91-44-01158-X, OCLC 61100963
  • Dahl, Östen; Edlund, Lars-Erik, eds. (2010), Sveriges nationalatlas. Språken i Sverige (in Swedish), Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets historie och antikvitets akademien, ISBN 978-91-87-76057-0
  • Elert, Claes-Christian (2000), Allmän och svensk fonetik (in Swedish) (8th ed.), Stockholm: Norstedts Akademiska Förlag, ISBN 91-1-300939-7
  • Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 0-521-63751-1, OCLC 40305532
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