Swenglish: Your own conclusions

Swenglish is what can happen when you figure out what you want to say in Swedish, then translate the Swedish into English… and the English version isn’t quite right.

In normal life, Swenglish doesn’t usually create difficulties in understanding. However, in a formal academic text, like your uppsats, it’s good to be as careful as possible. You can easily find more Swenglish examples online, but here, we’ll focus on some small words that have subtle (but important!) differences in meaning.

In this post, we’ll cover how the two languages differ for emphasizing the fact that you have made your own conclusions.

As an author of a research paper, you often report conclusions. These conclusions may be based either on your own research or on your reading. Often, you want to emphasize it when some particular conclusion is your own and not that of another author.

To express this idea in Swedish, one can write something like “Jag har dragit mina egna slutsatser”, although it’s also common to write something like “Jag har dragit egna slutsatser”. In both cases, the fact that the conclusions are those of author is indicated by egna. But the ‘possessor’ of the conclusion (i.e you the writer), as indicated by the word mina, can be left out.

In English, it’s a little different. Here, the word own can be left out, but not the possessive word my. In other words, you can write either “I have drawn my own conclusions” or “I have drawn my conclusions”, but it is not correct to write “I have drawn own conclusions” (without my). It is also incorrect to use ‘own conclusions’ as a subject, like “Own conclusions were reached based on personal experience.”

Here are some more suggestions for expressing the same idea (note that either draw or reach can be used).

I reached my conclusions based on personal experience.

It was necessary for me to draw my own conclusions based on personal experience.

Our conclusions are based on our own personal experience.

When possible, it’s even better use the word conclude, which is a verb (rather than the word conclusion, which is a noun).

We reached the conclusion that more tests were needed. (okay)

We concluded that more tests were needed. (better)

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