Dewey in Sweden :
some experiences from the first year of the
Swedish Dewey project
Presentation at the
International Dewey Users Meeting
Gothenburg, Sweden, Friday, 13 August, 16:00-18:00
Magdalena Svanberg, National Library of Sweden
Ingrid Berg, National Library of Sweden
The Swedish Dewey translation – the mixed model
Some general experiences in translating DDC
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC
The National Library of Sweden and about 30 other research plan to
abandon the Swedish classification system and switch to DDC in 2011.
A switch is under discussion at most Swedish research libraries.
The consequences of a switch for the public libraries is under further
Interest among public libraries, but no formal decisions.
The Swedish Dewey project
• Translate DDC to Swedish using the mixed model
• Map Swedish subject headings to DDC
 Update and revise the existing conversion table SAB-DDC
 Develop tools for joint search and navigation of material with SAB codes
and material with DDC numbers
• Train librarians.
Started May 2009
What is the mixed model?
Use DDC data in the vernacular as framework
Insert English-language classes from full edition to complete hierarchies
where needed
In most cases, translate the tables (Tables 1-6) in full
Use standard terminology for instructions in the language of each record
(e.g., “Klassificera här:” / “Class here”)
Provide separate indexes featuring the terminology available in each
The Swedish mixed translation
Use level of specificity found in SAB as the guide for building the
vernacular framework
Use the level in the English-language abridged edition in cases where no
SAB equivalent
Translate all classes superordinate to a class
Speed the translation process up
Reduce costs
Difficult to translate all of DDC with little previous experience of DDC
Work in progress, possible to start using the Swedish translation while the
work is still going on
Translations of classes deep down in the hierarchy would sometimes be
of limited value.
– Few works on the subject in Sweden.
– No Swedish terminology
Nominating by caucuses and co-optation
Nominering vid caucusmöten och kooptation
Sometimes difficult to decide a resonable level for the translation
No exhaustive index in Swedish
Classes in Swedish and English are equal, is that obvious?
Deciding the level (1)
Possible disadvantages in using SAB to decide the level:
• Are there important classes in DDC that we will miss?
• Are the weaknesses of SAB brought into the Swedish translation of
Some examples from section 616 with more than 50 hits in LIBRIS, the
Swedish union catalogue, that will not be translated initially.
Traumatic neuroses
Behavior therapy (Behavior modification therapy)
Family psychotherapy
Deciding the level (2)
Will we spend time translating not so important classes that are mapped
to the DDC for completeness?
Most mappings are made on the level of the least specific system, often
However, some mappings are made on a more specific level, to handle
differences between the systems
Deciding the level (3)
Using the Abridged edition as a complement to SAB in deciding the
seems to be a good method to balance the bias in SAB
Deciding the level (4)
The mappings in the conversion table results in these classes being translated into
…with additions from the Abridged edition
Marriage and family
Marriage and marital status
Patterns in mate selection)
Types of kinship systems
Types of marriage and relationships
Intrafamily relationships
Husband-wife relationship
Parent-child relationship
Sibling relationships
Alteration of family arrangements
Separation and divorce
No exhaustive index in Swedish
What will happen when an index term is leading to both classes in
Swedish and classes in English? Risk of classification by attraction.
Swedish index entries
• Pingst—musik
English index entries:
• Pentecost
• Pentecost—customs
• Pentecost—devotional literature
• Pentecost—Jewish
• Pentecost—Jewish—liturgy
• Pentecost—music
• Pentecost—sermons
No exhaustive index in Swedish (2)
Possible solutions:
• Translate every instance of an index term that has been translated to
Swedish for some class
Drawback: takes a lot of resources (that we tried to save)
• Automatic translations of the additional entries in the index, based on the
translated entry for the term.
• The mapping SAO-DDC will sometimes help.
Merged index
• Switching between Swedish and English is easy.
Needs to be carefully discussed
The equality of languages
Classes in Swedish and classes in English are equal
The switch from Swedish to English has no implications and is not
intended to function as an abridgment mark.
Will that be obvious to the users of the Swedish WebDewey?
Swedish librarians are used to SAB that is a far less specific system, and
this might influence the choice of numbers
Are we in fact creating an abridgment of our own, something we wanted
to avoid?
Some general experiences in translating DDC
Cultural and social differences
The language dependence in classification systems
Translation of Swedish Wikipedia article
Cultural and social differences
Take Anglo-american phenomena in a broad sense that includes similar
Swedish phenomena?
Put the Swedish phenomena in a more general class, keeping the class
Anglo-american in scope?
Is SGF a Greek-letter society?
SGF (Sundsvalls gymnasiiförbund) is a gymnasistförening, a high school
371.85 Greek-letter societies
371.83 Student organizations
Class here student clubs
Is this a lily?
Is this a lily? (2)
Wikipedia: No
Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are
commonly called water lilies and live in freshwater areas in temperate
and tropical climates around the world.
Is this a lily? (3)
English language and DDC: Yes
Class here Liliales, lilies
See also 583.29 for water lilies.
Swedish language: No, maybe it is a rose?
Näckrosor - Rosor
583.734 *Rosa (Rosor)
Se även 583.29 för näckrosor.
Is he jumping ?
Is he jumping? (2)
Wikipedia: Yes
Today, athletes compete in the pole vault as one of the four jumping
events in track and field. Because the high jump and pole vault are both
vertical jumps, the competitions are conducted similarly.
Is he jumping ? (3)
English language and DDC: No
796.432 Jumping
Including long jump (broad jump), triple jump (hop, step, and jump),
high jump
For pole vaulting, see 796.434
Swedish language: Yes
Stavhopp - Hopp
The language dependence
in classification systems
“Since a see-reference has structural implications, it would not be
beneficial to introduce additional ones on a per language basis” (EPC
Exhibit 133-28)
Reasonable rule
Not always easy to separate out the references based on a specific
– Does the reference from lilies to water lilies in DDC have something to do with
the lilies in water lilies?
– Does the lacking reference from jumping to pole vaulting have something to do
with the last element of the term being vaulting and not jumping?
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC
• serve as an entry vocabulary to DDC for cataloguers and end users
be one of the sources for the terminology in the Swedish translation of
semantic interoperability between different vocabularies are important for
retrieval and especially in the union catalogue LIBRIS after the switch
from SAB to DDC.
used behind the scene in retrieval systems to improve subject retrieval
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC (2)
Mapping the most important and most commonly used subject headings
of the 40 000 headings in Svenska ämnesord to DDC.
Editiorial work
DDC numbers in the authority records of Svenska ämnesord
$a Rda $2 kssb/8
083 0 4 $a 794.1 $2 22
$a Schack
750 0 $a Chess
794.1 Chess
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC (3)
Many subject headings in SAO are mapped to Library of Congress
Subject Headings (LCSH)
Many LCSH terms are mapped to DDC
All subject headings have notations from the Swedish classification
system (SAB).
SAB is mapped to DDC
Mapping is done mainly in three ways
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC (4)
SKOS mapping properties
For coding of relationship between the subject heading and DDC when
the relationship is not expressed in DDC.
ExactMatch/CloseMatch. An exact match between class number and
subject heading
No coding
BroadMatch: The scope of the class is broader than the scope of the
subject heading.
Heavily used.
NarrowMatch: The scope of the class is narrower than the scope of the
subject heading.
Rarely used.
RelatedMatch. Other type of relation between class and subject heading.
Never used so far
Terms in DDC found in:
- captions
- index
- class here notes
- including notes
083 $a 958.1045 $c BroadMatch $2 22
150 $a Afghanistankriget 1979-1989
751 $a Afghanistan $x History $y Soviet occupation, 1979-1989
752958.1045 Period of Democratic Republic, 1978-1992
083 $a 796.325 $c BroadMatch $2 22
150 $a Beachvolleyboll
750 $a Beach volleyball
751796.325 Volleyball
More than one number
Information about the different DDC numbers when multiple numbers are
$a 362.19888 $c Interdisciplinary works $2 22
$a 618.88 $c Medicine $2 22
$a 618.29 $c Nonsurgical methods—medicine $2 22
$a Aborter
$a Abortion
Name authorities
Names (people, corporate bodies, titles) are also mapped to DDC
083 $a 220.5397 $2 22
130 $a Bibeln.$l Svenska $s Bibel 2000
083 $a 839.7374 $2 22
100 $a Mankell, Henning, $d 1948-
083 $a 782.421660922 $2 22
110 $a Abba (musikgrupp)
Useful tool: WorldCat Identities
Experiences from the mapping SAO-DDC
Not as easy as expected
Limited experience of DDC
Easier to map between different subject headings systems than between
subject headings and classification
Useful tools
Classification Web
BIBI emner
British Library Integrated Catalogue etc.
People, places and things for the choice of subject headings to map.
All controlled access points – persons, corporate bodies, subject
headings, classification – are important for subject access
Do we have the information retrieval tools that can handle mappings
But what about the reindeer?
Visit poster 114
Bring out the reindeer – Swedish classification goes glocal
Listen to our presentation at Speaker’s corner, Swedish Library Arena
Saturday, 14 August, 11:00
Thank you!
Magdalena Svanberg
Ingrid Berg
National Library of Sweden
Telephone: +46 8 463 44 45, +46 8 463 42 10

DDC in Scandinavia : exploring new translation models of