Svenska Akademien (the Swedish Academy) was founded on April 5, 1786, by King Gustav III. It is modeled after the Académie Française, with 18 members. (A true esthete, he supposedly decided that the newly-founded Swedish Academy should have eighteen members, since the word aderton (eighteen) had a nice ring to it in Swedish language.)

The motto of the academy is “Snille och Smak” (talent and taste), and the primary purpose is to further the "Svenska Språkets renhet, styrka och höghet" (purity, strength, and sublimity of the Swedish language). Thus the academy publishes two dictionaries: The first is a one-volume dictionary called “Svenska Akademiens ordlista” and the second is a multi-volume dictionary, edited on principles similar to those of the Oxford English Dictionary and titled “Svenska Akademiens Ordbok.” Every year since 1901, the academy has decided who will be the laureate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded in memory of the donor, Alfred Nobel. The academy also awards the Dobloug Prize, a literature prize awarded for Swedish and Norwegian fiction.