Texts and choice of language

All texts written at the University must follow the Language Policy at Umeå University and the Swedish Language Act. Writing functional texts is to adapt the text depending on who the reader is, the purpose of the text and the medium for publishing.

Language is a matter of quality

A well-written and thought-through text saves time and leads to a good reputation. A carefully prepared text is adapted to its intended recipient, purpose and medium, makes it easy to understand and gives a good impression both of the author and the University as the sender. A well-written text may take longer to draft, but saves time in the end.

Mention the key parts first

Take a minute to think before you start writing:

  • What is the purpose of the text?
  • What should the information in the text be used for?
  • Who should read the text?
  • Where and how should the text be published?
  • How can you simplify for the reader to use the text in the right way?

Once these questions have been answered, make sure to structure your text with the important information first and use subheadings where appropriate.

Plain language must characterise the University's communications

Plain language means that texts must:

  • be adapted to its recipient
  • be suitably structured
  • be clear and unmistakeable
  • be characterised by a cultivated, simple and comprehensible language
  • be accessible and inclusive
  • be characterised by a respectful tone of voice.

Choice of language

Umeå University is a Swedish-speaking university, and Swedish is the language that should primarily be used in the administration, education and – whenever possible – in research.

  • The University's departments, centres, units and offices must have Swedish and English names.
  • The University's courses and study programmes must have Swedish and English names.
  • Any deviations from using Swedish as a work language and in communicating in the role as a public authority must be thought-out and well-founded.

Working with questions of language should be a natural part of planning and follow up, and be seen as a part of the University's quality enhancement activities.

Read more in the Language Policy for Umeå University

Anna Lawrence