Tanya teaches detectives to decode threats

summer school

Education at UCPH is not only long, coherent degree programmes, but also continuing education for professionals in their field. Every summer, professionals can, for example, learn to analyse threat messages and make linguistic profiles of threat-making perpetrators 

Threat messages is a growing problem in society: Between 2015 and 2019, threat messages reported under section 266 of the Danish Criminal Code rose by almost 80 percent according to Statistics Denmark. At Copenhagen Summer University, Associate Professor and Linguist Tanya Karoli Christensen teaches lawyers, the police, interpreters and judiciary staff how to examine the language of threats.

This happens on a short and practice-oriented course in forensic linguistics where participants work with specific threats, for example from court cases. Over three days, the participants will dive into the language of threat messages and acquire linguistic methods to examine who the person behind a threat is – for example their level of education or age. By analysing linguistic details, the participants will be able to pinpoint the exact details in a text that make it possible to determine that it is actually a threat.  


  • Copenhagen Summer University offers around 20 courses each year. They always take place in weeks 33 and 34, which in 2021 means 16-27 August. Usually some 250 people attend the courses.

  • Forensic linguistics is the study of language in legal and criminal contexts, from the language of laws to interrogations and threats.

  • Read more about Copenhagen Summer University