Academic writing can be difficult to get through, no matter what language you’re working in. It can be even more of a challenge if you’re trying to get through an academic text in your second (or third, or fourth, or whatever…) language – like Swedish. Just like all aspects of language though, there are certain words that appear more frequently than others.
For those of you just beginning to do more advanced reading in Swedish, you’ll start to notice certain words popping up again and again. Maybe you’ve even started jotting them down in a vocab list somewhere (which is a great idea by the way). But it can be incredibly frustrating early on as these new words keep appearing and you have to keep looking them up. It takes a while before they stick. Luckily, linguists and Second Language Acquisition researchers have taken note and tried to make that process just a bit easier by posting lists of the most frequent words used in various languages.
Below you will find a list of the 25 most frequent academic words used in Swedish – mostly from the humanities. These 25 words actually come from a much longer list (750 words) that I have linked to below. Researchers in various fields of linguistics, including Swedish as a Second Language, have combed through a corpus of over 12 million words and identified the most frequent words used. It’s an impressive project and one that can be incredibly useful for people trying to learn a language.
|En relation||Relation, relationship|
|Ett begrepp||Concept, idea|
|En form||Form, shape|
|En betydelse||Meaning, significance|
|Utifrån||From, based on|
|Att innebära||Imply, mean|
|Att utgöra||Constitute, to form, to make|
|En grund||Base, cause, foundation|
|En diskussion||Debate, discussion|
|Ett sammanhang||Connection, consistency, context, continuity|
Check out the full list here at En svensk akademisk ordlista! You’ll even find conjugations and example sentences from the corpus.
If you want to learn more about the project and the various researchers involved, be sure to click over to their Om listan page. For even more information, click on The Year of Languages at the University of Gothenburg.