Swedish Language Board
The Swedish Language Board serves as a coordinating body for questions related to the use of Swedish by government authorities. The role of the Board is to foster clarity and comprehensibility in the legal and administrative Swedish used in Finland.
The Swedish Language Board also publishes the ‘Svenskt lagspråk i Finland’ handbook and the ‘Språkråd’ magazine.
In its work, the Swedish Language Board emphasises coordination of the use of Swedish, especially legal Swedish, by government authorities. The Board is responsible for harmonising translation and language revision services especially in questions related to recommended expressions and acceptable technical solutions for legislation, as well as for issuing guidelines on writing and style. The Swedish Language Board carries out these functions by publishing guidelines and recommendations and by organising seminars.
History of the Swedish Language Board
In 1960, the Government of Finland appointed a board tasked with “considering measures to remove linguistic inaccuracies and rigidity in translations into Swedish and to harmonise the Swedish language used in general documents”.
The members of the board were elected for an indefinite period, and no further provisions were issued on their duties and activities.
Since 1989, the Government Swedish Language Board has met regularly and performed its assigned duties in line with the methods laid down for it. Nowadays, the Swedish Language Board’s activities are based on the Government Decree on the Swedish Language Board (112/2017).
Svenskt lagspråk i Finland (Slaf)
‘Svenskt lagspråk i Finland’ (Slaf) is handbook on Swedish legal language for translators, legislators and law drafters published by the Swedish Language Board. An updated edition of the handbook was published in 2017 as part of the Publications of the Prime Minister’s Office. The primary target group of the guidelines is the central government, but Slaf is also a useful tool for other people working with legal language.
Publication: Svenskt lagspråk i Finland – Ruotsinkielinen lakikieli (2017)
You can send feedback on the handbook via email to:
Katri Hautamäki, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Legislative Affairs
Ministry of Justice, Management Support and Core Services, Legislative Editing and Development of Legislation, Laintarkastus, legal revision legal language Telephone:0295150090
Angelica Lindqvist, Senior Specialist
Ministry of Justice, Management Support and Core Services, Legislative Editing and Development of Legislation, Laintarkastus, legal revision legal language Telephone:0295150244
Katarina Petrell, Senior Ministerial Adviser
Prime Minister's Office, Government Administration Department, Translation and Language Division, Ruotsin kielen yksikkö Telephone:0295160291
The Swedish Language Board’s Språkråd magazine features articles on topical questions related to legal language and provides recommendations on the Board’s preferred terminology and other information about legal language in Swedish.