Wiktionary:About Swedish

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See also Category:Swedish language

This page is intended to give guidelines for creating Swedish entries on English Wiktionary as well as on adding Swedish translations to English words.

The main guidelines for creating any entry on English Wiktionary is set forth in Wiktionary:Entry layout explained; this page is an addition to that page, not a replacement.

Creating Swedish entries[edit]

Entry layout[edit]

Swedish entries should be added under a ==Swedish== section, which should be placed on the page in alphabetical ordering of level 2 entries (with the exception of Translingual and English which always comes on top).

Basic article[edit]

The Swedish entry is organised by part of speech (Noun/Verb/Adjective/Adverb...) as the primary divider. These are normally given as a level 3 header: ===Noun=== etc.

This header should be followed by the headword line which minimally contains the entry name bolded; katt, but preferably also some basic forms of the head word. These should preferably be added through a headword-line template.

After the headword line follows the definitions of the entry, which as for all non-English entries on English Wiktionary, primarily should be a wiki-linked translation into English of the entry; if necessary with additional explanation on e.g. which of the various possible definitions of the linked word is intended. The definitions are added as a numbered list: #cat, animal.

Additional headings[edit]

Additional headings should be placed in the same order as for an English entry, see WT:ELE.


See Category:Swedish language for available categories.

Part of speech categories[edit]

If the headword line was created by means of a headword-line template, this template also placed the entry in the correct part of speech category. If not, it should be added manually, f ex Category:Swedish nouns.

Topic categories[edit]
Main category: sv:All topics

Apart from categorising by part of speech, it is also desirable to categorize entries by topic.

See Category:Context labels for available templates and Template talk:context for information about using them.


There are several sources for Swedish etymological information that can be used: Gibson, Hellquist, Kotsinas, NEO, Rietz, SAOB.


Swedish words that are derived from proper names tend towards lower case, as the words become more commonplace. This is the case for all nationals and residents of places (e.g. engelsk (English, pertaining to England), engelsman (an Englishman), stockholmare (a Stockholmer)), but also e.g. dieselmotor, nobelpristagare (a Nobel Prize laureate), röntgenstråle (X-ray). Nouns that are still strongly associated with a person are capitalized, e.g. Heavisidefunktion, Higgsboson. Many of them are written separately, e.g. Downs syndrom, Ohms lag, Pythagoras sats. Border cases are Fouriertransform/fouriertransform. See also Wikipedia's article on versalisering and Mikael Reuter's column "Äta falukorv under Sverigebesöket".


Main article: Wiktionary:Swedish index


Main article: Wiktionary:About Swedish/Pronunciation


Main article: Wiktionary:Swedish templates

Some adjectives have comparative and superlative forms, others don't. Some nouns have plural forms, others don't. Some verbs have passive forms, others don't. If you are not sure, reduce the listed forms by using {{sv-adj-abs}} rather than {{sv-adj-reg}}, {{sv-noun-unc-irreg-c}} rather than {{sv-noun-reg-er}}, and set the parameters {{sv-conj-wk|nop=1|nopp=1}}. If you know there are more forms, change the templates to include more forms, but also provide example sentences to indicate that these forms really exist. See the example sentence for the past participle vederbord in vederböra, for the passive undkoms in undkomma, and for the superlative egnast in eget.

Form entries[edit]

Example: the entry for gick:
 {{infl|sv|verb form}}
 # {{sv-verb-form-past|gå}}

Swedish words have many forms (plural, genitive, past tense, ...). To create a useful dictionary with minimal duplication of effort, make only very short referral entries for the inflected forms (using the sv-...-form- templates) and concentrate the useful information to the main entry. For verbs with dual forms (bli/bliva, dra/draga, ge/giva, ha/hava, ta/taga) let the shorter form be the main entry, providing conjugation patterns for both forms, and make only short referral entries for longer basic forms. This also goes for their compounds (e.g. medge/medgiva).

Obsolete spelling[edit]

Swedish orthography was first standardized in 1801, reformed in 1889 and again in 1906. For example, the word river was spelled elf (1801), älf (1889) and älv (1906), as in "Göta älv", the river between lake Vänern än Göteborg. The reforms were introduced in SAOL 6th ed. (1889) and 8th ed. (1923). Of larger online texts, the 1st edition of the encyclopedia Nordisk familjebok (20 volumes, 1876-1899) uses the 1801 spelling, e.g. Göta elf, while the 2nd edition (38 volumes 1904-1926) uses the 1889 spelling, e.g. Göta älf.

In addition, plural forms of verbs (I am, we are) were gradually abolished during the years 1944-1970. Plural present tense verbs often coincide with the infinitive (vi äta, ni dricka, de gå), the exception being äro. Plural past tense verbs are unique and thus obsolete (vi åto, ni drucko, de gingo). Separate forms for 1st and 2nd person plural were obsolete already in the mid-late 19th century (låtom oss, I varen), but were still used in some places in the 1917 Bible translation (låtom oss höja glädjerop, varen icke förskräckta).

Complete examples:

 # {{obsolete spelling of|älv|lang=sv}}


 # {{sv-verb-form-past|gå|plural of=gick}}

Wiktionary entries for obsolete spelling should contain:

  • the part of speech heading (e.g. ===Noun===),
  • {{sv-noun}} or another part of speech template
  • the definition using the template {{obsolete spelling of|älv|lang=sv}}

For the definition of plural verb forms, e.g. gingo, use the verb form template with an additional parameter: {{sv-verb-form-past|gå|plural of=gick}}.

Translating English entries[edit]

Swedish translations are added to existing English entries in this format:

* Swedish: {{t|sv|<Swedish word>|c/n}}

If more words are needed, they are separated by commas. The c and n part is for stating the gender of the word; c for common gender ("den"-words), and n for neuter gender ("det"-words).

The translation line should be added to the translation section of the English entry, placed in alphabetical order of the language name. Note that when the two-column format (with help of {{top}}, {{mid}} and {{bottom}}) is used, Swedish will always end up in the right column (i.e., between mid and bottom).

Checking existing translations[edit]

Due to reformatting of entries, existing translations will sometimes be marked as requiring verification. This is usually due to addition of new definitions, and verification is then needed to state whether or nor the existing translation is suited for the new definition. Mostly such additions are observed after the fact, and it is then necessary to mark all existing translation with the help the template {{ttbc}} - translations to be checked. These translations are then moved to a subsection of ===Translations=== called (you guessed it) ====Translations to be checked====.

Such translations needing verification is found in Category:Translations to be checked (Swedish). To verify a Swedish translation, the template needs to be removed from the line, and the word reinserted into the appropriate translation tables in the main section of ===Translations===. E.g. *Swedish: {{t-check|sv|katt|c}} needs to be added to the appropriate section in the form Swedish: {{t|sv|katt|c}}


  • Gibson, Haldo: Svensk slangordbok. Two editions: 1969 and 1978. A good source for determining when certain recent slang terms appeared.
  • Hellquist, Elof: Svensk etymologisk ordbok (1st ed. 1922) The 2nd ed. (1939) is better, but still in copyright and not available online.
  • Kotsinas, Ulla-Britt has published several books on modern slang, such as Norstedts svenska slangordbok and Ungdomspråk. She has taken a special interest in the dialects spoken by children of immigrants in suburbs of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö called, among other things, Rinkebysvenska and shobresvenska. She has also published a small suburb slang dictionary together with Dogge Doggelito called Förortsslang. Unfortunately, Kotsinas has not gone to any great lengths to verify definitions or to attempt anything like standardized spelling or unified pronunciation guides. In some cases in Nordstedts svenska slangordbok it's painfully obvious that she has no clue as to how some words are actually used, and definitions can be hopelessly vague and misleading (the entry for stekare is a good example).
  • Nationalencyklopedin ordbok (NEO) is a much more recent dictionary. Useful for more recent words, certain slang, colloquialisms and profanities, but is not very extensive. Much of it is based on SAOB's etymology, but there are still reasonably informative etymologies for entries that SAOB hasn't gotten to yet. Limited version available for free at ne.se, but for full entries you need a subscription. Swedish universities and many other organizations and institutions subscribe to it, so if you have internet access at work or school, give it a go.
  • Östergren, Olof: Nusvensk ordbok (10 volumes 1915-1972, also bound in 5 thick volumes).
  • Rietz, Johan Ernst: Svenskt dialektlexikon or Ordbok över svenska allmogespråket. Also called Rietz dialektlexikon. A dictionary of various dialectal words compiled in the mid-19th century. An excellent source of obscure and dialectal terms. It is not uncommon that the origin of very modern terms can be found in dialectal expressions that are long forgotten. Scanned by the Runeberg Project in 2007 and currently being proof-read and fully digitized.
  • Svenska Akademiens ordbok (SAOB) is the Swedish equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary. It is as of yet incomplete (about half-way through "A-TRIVSEL" as of March 2009) but is still the most extensive source of etymological information. The earliest articles are from the late 19th century, and the work on updating older entries will not begin until it is finished. Available free at Gothenburg University.
  • Svenska Akademins ordlista (SAOL), a handbook published in 12+ editions.