Frequently asked questions
The language committee here creates a web page of frequently asked language questions at KTH.
You are welcome to mail your questions to the language committee.
How should you use Swedish and English at examination? Are we obliged to implement all procedures concerning the assessment in Swedish if an individual student so desires?
If the students have been informed in the course catalogue before the start of the course that English will be used for the course, then a student may not require that the exam should be given in Swedish. However, a student cannot be prevented from answering in Swedish and fail because of this.
KTH is a Swedish government agency whose activities are governed by laws and regulations in Swedish. Course syllabi and other legally binding documents must therefore be in Swedish. English versions of legally binding documents such as couse and programme syllabi, curricula, protocols, etc. should only be seen as translations without legal effect.
Examination is an exercise of public authority. Students must always have the right to hand in their answers to an examination in Swedish, unless the test concerns knowledge of language and linguistic terminology, irrespective of which language is mainly used in the teaching.
If a course is taught in a language other than Swedish, it must be prescribed in the official course syllabus. Students must be informed in advance that another language will be used. This applies even if the essential elements of the course will be given in another language and especially when another language is used in the examination.
On page 40 in "Rättssäker examination" (by Högskoleverket) the language of examination is discussed (in Swedish).
Do we need to have Swedish translations of every English web page where we describe the research of our group?
It depends on the intended target group. Web pages that are only intended to be read by specialists in the area do not have to be translated into Swedish. But it is a good idea to describe the research of a research group in a popular scientific way in Swedish, to make it more accessible to the general public in Sweden.
The language policy does not require that there is a Swedish version of every web page. The language policy proposes a conscious language choice related to the intended target group. Since the research is mainly funded by the Swedish tax payers, they are entitled to know what results their money led to. And since Swedish is the official language in Sweden they are entitled to read about it in Swedish. Therefore we recommend each research group to maintain a web page with a popular scientific presentation of the research in Swedish.
Should I write my thesis in Swedish or English? Do I have to write an abstract in both Swedish and English?
Degree project theses can be written in either Swedish or English. Licenciat and doctoral theses are normally written in English. In all three cases there should be an abstract in both languages. For other reports the language is an agreement between student and supervisor / examiner.
The KTH language policy states that
"Every Master’s dissertation, licenciate thesis and doctoral thesis that is written in English is to include a Swedish Abstract. Similarly, every dissertation or thesis written in Swedish is to have an English Abstract."
The KTH regulations state that
"The degree project can be written and presented in Swedish or English. A summarization should exist in both languages.
Licentiate thesis is normally written in English and shall, according to the Language Policy for KTH, have a summary in Swedish. A licentiate thesis in another language requires approval by the Director of Doctoral Studies. A summary in English must always be included.
Doctoral theses are normally written in English and shall, according to the Language Policy for KTH, have a summary in Swedish. A doctoral thesis in another language requires approval by the Director of Doctoral Studies. A brief summary – abstract – in English is attached to the doctoral thesis."
Should I give my trial lecture for appointment as a docent in Swedish or English?
Normally, trial lectures for appointment as a docent should be given in Swedish.
The KTH language policy and regultaions state that
"To promote the development and spread of Swedish terminology and to give Swedish-speaking researchers practice in presenting their research in Swedish, they are recommended to give their trial lecture for appointment as a docent in Swedish, unless there are reasons for using some other language."
What is the name for KTH in different languages?
Official names for KTH only exist in Swedish and English. In other languages the English name is used in official documents. See also Rules for writing KTH.
In daily speech there may be a need for a name in the local language. The language committee has recommendations for Japanese and Chinese.
Official name in Swedish: KTH
If the full name in Swedish is to be written then use Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Official name in English: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
(first time; later in the text just write KTH)
Recommended name in Japanese: 王立工科大学
Recommended name in Chinese: 皇家理工学院