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On correct language use

The way authorities spell place-names often influence the language and its users.

This is why it is important that place-names on signs, in documents and in public information adhere to a correct usage of Swedish. Errors are often highly unpopular with the public and gives rise to high costs when corrected.

Place-names are part of the language and like other words they cannot be spelled anyhow one pleases, if communication between people is to function without misunderstanding.
It is important that geographical names are presented in a uniform way on signs, maps and in different address. This is particularly important when the fire brigade, ambulance or police are searching for a certain location or address in critical situations.

According to the Heritage Act, the spelling of place-names must follow accepted rules of correct language use. In practice this means that place-names follow the norm for the spelling of Swedish words as specified in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy Glossary.
So called “old-spelling” was removed from the Swedish language through a spelling reform in 1906, which also included place-names. The reform introduced simplified spelling and aimed for greater regularity in spelling.

If you want to find out more about language cultivation and language planning, please contact: Institutet för språk och folkminnen (New window) or Språkrådet (the Language Council of Sweden) (new window), the official language cultivation body of Sweden.

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