The Swiss portal for the historical sciences

1914 - Newspapers at War

In this project, we are translating articles of two french-speaking newspapers from Switzerland from 1914 into German.

1914 was an interesting year not only because of the beginning of the First World War. The first cars clattered along unpaved dust roads, the first telephone lines crackled, trams drove through rapidly growing cities: Switzerland from the beginning of 1914 was dynamic and ambitious. But the war brought fear and uncertainty to the neutral country.

In our project we take a look at Switzerland in 1914, when Switzerland had 3.8 million inhabitants and life expectancy was around 54 years.

In addition, a rift between German- and French-speaking Swiss also developed during this period. After Germany's invasion of Belgium, many Belgians fled to France, from where they wanted to reach French-speaking Switzerland. Swiss who wanted to take in such refugees were asked to register with a private organization in Lausanne. Within a few weeks, hundreds of applications were received there.
This hospitality caused frowning in German-speaking Switzerland.

This was the beginning of a rift called the "Röstigraben" which still runs along the language border today.

On Opendata.swiss we found the data of two French-speaking Swiss newspapers from 1914. The data include articles of the year 1914 of the newspapers "Gazette de Lausanne" and "Tribune de Genève".
Our plan was to translate as many articles as possible into German using the Google Cloud Translation or the DeepL API. After some conception-work we decided not to use these APIs because we didn't need them. We wanted to focus only on a few articles of special events which can be translated manually. We thought it would be better only to publish relevant

The translated articles are being published on a website and are being enriched with similar articles from nowadays.

Link to the data: https://opendata.swiss/en/dataset/journal-de-geneve-gazette-de-lausanne-1914
Link to the prototype: https://glamhack2020.sandroanderes.ch/

Event: 
6th Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon
Date: 
6. June 2020
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