Official Swedish dictionary completed after 140 years


The comprehensive dictionary of the Swedish language has finally been completed after 140 years.

The final volume of the Swedish Academic Dictionarythe Swedish equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary,’s final volume was sent to the printer just last week.

The dictionary was compiled by the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature, and contains a total of 33,111 pages in 39 volumes.

A total of 137 full-time employees have worked on the dictionary over the years.

“It started in 1883 and now we are done,” editor Christian Mattsson told AFP on Wednesday.

However, the Swedish Academy’s work is not finished. The volumes A to R are now so old that they will have to be revised to include modern words.

“One of the words is ‘allergy’, which began to be used in the Swedish language in the 1920s, but was not included in the A volume because this volume was published in 1893,” explained Mattsson.

“Barbie doll”, “app” and “computer” are among the 10,000 words that will be added to the dictionary over the next seven years.

The Swedish Academic Dictionary is a historical account of the Swedish language from 1521 to the present day. It is available online and only about 200 copies were printed, used mainly by researchers and linguists.

The Swedish Academy also regularly publishes a dictionary of contemporary Swedish.

The institution was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III to promote the country’s language and literature and strives for the “purity and strength of the majestic Swedish language”.