Going cross-lingual: A guide to multilingual text analysis | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9085


Text-as-data methods have revolutionized the study of political behavior and communication, and the increasing availability of multilingual text collections promises exciting new applications of these methods in comparative research. To encourage researchers to seize these opportunities, we provide a guide to multilingual quantitative text analysis. Responding to the unique challenges research faces in multilingual analysis, we provide a systematic overview of multilingual text analysis methods developed for political and communication science research. To structure this overview, we distinguish between separate analysis, input alignment, and anchoring approaches to cross-lingual text analysis. We then compare these approaches’ resource intensiveness and discuss the strategies they offer for approaching measurement equivalence. We argue that to ensure valid measurement across languages and contexts, researchers should reflect on these aspects when choosing between approaches. We conclude with an outlook on future directions for method development and potential fields of applications. Overall, our contribution helps political and communication scientists to navigate the field of multilingual text analysis and gives impulses for their wider adoption and further development.


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