You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have some books in Norwegian. Can I donate them to the Department?

Answer: While we appreciate your thinking of the Department of Scandinavian Studies as a recipient of  your gift of books, we do not have a dedicated library space. To ensure the books are available to students and scholars, while also preserved for future use, we recommend you donate your books to the University Libraries.

Please contact Carolyn H. Aamot,Head of the University Libraries' Gifts Program. You can reach her at 206-543-1859, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST to setup an appointment. More information about donations is available on the UW Libraries' Gifts Program website (

Q: I found some old papers written in Estonian. Is there someone in the Department who can translate them for me?

Answer: Our graduate students will sometimes provide translation services for a modest fee. Please send an email to outlining your request and providing contact information. We will forward your request to those students who may be able to assist you. You may or may not receive a response. Please note that this is a common request. We cannot provide free translations services.

Q: I would like to learn Swedish. Do you offer online language classes?

Answer: Our Department does not offer distance learning or online language courses at this time.

Q: I know a little bit of Danish and would like to study more. Unfortunately, I cannot attend all of the regular class meetings. Can I still study Danish?

Answer: We are always happy to try and help students and community members study the languages offered by the department. However, we cannot accommodate students or community members who cannot attend the courses. Graduate students and lecturers cannot offer “private lessons.” Students may inquire about independent studies with faculty. Please note that many of our languages have informal “language tables,” and attending these can be a good way to maintain or build your language ability through informal conversation. Contact program faculty or TAs for more information.  There are also some local heritage organizations that teach languages in the evenings or on weekends. A search of the internet will give you some options.

Q: My teenager needs to satisfy their language requirement for high school and learned some Latvian as an exchange student. Does the Department offer exams for credit?

Answer: Unfortunately, the University cannot provide credit-by-exam for non-UW students.

Q: Does the Department allow auditors in the language classes?

Answer: We do not allow auditors in our first year language courses. Please contact the main office at or 206-543-0645 to request an entry code for 200-level and higher.

Q: I'm looking for a Finnish-speaking nanny. Are there any students who might be interested?

Answer: Unfortunately, we cannot provide such contacts. Please consult the available sources for information about foreign-language nannies or au pairs. The local Scandinavian and Baltic community organizations can be a helpful source of information, or a site to advertise your search.