I have praised the Swedish students in the past about their wonderful English. When it comes to report writing, the written professional English is (sometime) a nightmare.
I have been warned by a fellow Canadian during the first few weeks after I arrived “don’t proofread their reports, because it doesn’t matter”. I can understand the warning. After the young Swedes earn their bachelor degree, the master’s education switches to English. The students are new to English writing. It is difficult to write well even for native English speakers.
I had the opportunity to proofread some writings at Chalmers Formula Student for external communication purposes. Man! I’ve seen some serious typos.
The Swedish students write with a “Swedish keyboard” setting. This prevents Microsoft from performing automatic spellcheck. When you open a document, your heart stops beating for a moment, as all you see are “red” squiggles. Then YOU change the language setting in Word to English. You face-palm and start with corrections. “S” and “Z” are often mixed up. Swedish language tends to staple a few words together into one long word. This is a very common English spelling mistake.
Then what did my fellow Canuck mean by “it doesn’t matter”?
I randomly opened a formal Chalmers publication. I opened three pages and I spotted three spelling mistakes. I was quite disappointed to be honest. But maybe typos are not as sinful as it is in an English speaking country? Perhaps people care about the content more than formality?
A typo is a typo. That’s my view.
I really cannot blame the Swedish guys as English is not their mother tongue.
But for non-native English speakers, they are probably still the word’s second best… well, that’s controversial. We can’t forget about Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. They speak well too!
If you want to change your keyboard setting to e.g. English (UK) while still being able to use “äöå”, add an English keyboard with Swedish configuration:
I also have a “Greek” keyboard to write engineering equations.
If you want to change your decimal point from “, – comma” into “. – period”, follow the instructions below.