Going cross-lingual

A guide to multilingual text analysis


  • Hauke Licht Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, University of Cologne
  • Fabienne Lind Computational Communication Science Lab, Department of Communication, University of Vienna




multilingual text analysis, text-as-data, computational social science, computational text analysis, comparative methods


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 compar- ative 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.




How to Cite

Licht, H., & Lind, F. (2023). Going cross-lingual: A guide to multilingual text analysis. Computational Communication Research, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.5117/CCR2023.2.2.LICH