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Keywords:

  • Automatic Coding;
  • Language;
  • Party Manifestos;
  • Political Text

Abstract

Automatic approaches to coding party manifestos and other political texts have become more widespread. This research note addresses the question to what extent the source language of a text affects the results. To do so, Swiss manifestos in German and French are coded automatically, comparing a keyword-based dictionary approach and Wordscores. Because of language differences, both stemming and particularly stop words are important to obtain comparable results for Wordscores. If both are used, the predicted scores are almost identical in both languages. With the right preparations, the challenge of language differences can thus be overcome.