‘Responsible’ as a noun

In Scandinavian languages, ‘ansvarig’ is an adjective which means ‘responsible’, but is also often used as a noun to denote a role. E.g., every university course has a ‘kursansvarig’. People typically translate this as ‘the course responsible’ in the English versions, which always bugs me, as it sounds wrong and I can find no support for this use in English dictionaries. (And universities should not promote careless translation!) The official translation of ‘kursansvarig’ is sometimes given as ‘course administrator’, but nobody says that, in particular since a course also has a dedicated ‘administratör’ in the administrative staff, who is responsibe for keeping track of which students are registered etc., while the ‘kursansvarig’ is in the teaching staff and normally (but not always) the main teacher on the course.

Am I correct in my repugnance to the nominalized ‘responsible’ and can you see any alternative form that I could use, and try to get others to use?

EDIT: Thanks for the answers and comments. They haven’t made me much wiser, but confirmed that it’s a difficult subject. Many gave suggestions for alternative translations. A few of them would be quite possible, but there’s no clear “solution” among them. (Most suggestions sound more like other roles.)


I am a native English speaker, and I find “course responsible” flat-out ungrammatical. In general, English doesn’t allow the use of adjectives as singular nouns denoting people (except for some adjectives having to do with geography, ethnicity, and such) to the extent that other Germanic languages do.

I’ve seen “course head” used in American universities, and I think it conveys the correct meaning.

Source : Link , Question Author : njlarsson , Answer Author : Connor Harris

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