In future, registered users will be able to read 20 Minuten articles in the most widely spoken languages in Switzerland.
We’re starting with English. Other languages, such as Portuguese, Albanian, Serbian, Croatian and Spanish, will follow. The articles will be translated automatically.
The service is aimed at anyone who wants to read the news in their preferred language.
Hier gehts zum Artikel auf Deutsch.
According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, around 480,000 people in Switzerland count English as their main language. And they can now easily change the language setting to English in the 20 Minuten and 20 minutes apps, as long as they are registered users. Software will automatically translate all the 20 Minuten articles in the app – but not surveys, videos or advertising. They won’t be flawless translations. And that’s something we’ve accepted because we want to offer the whole country the opportunity to access up-to-the-minute information. At launch, the function is not yet available on some Android devices, but it will follow very soon.
We’re starting with English because it is the most commonly spoken foreign language in Switzerland. However, there are plans to gradually introduce further languages, such as Portuguese, Albanian, Serbian, Croatian and Spanish. This new option means that immigrants and expats who are still beginner learners of one of the country’s official languages, or who prefer to read in their first language, can keep abreast of important news and debates.
Almost no daily news about Switzerland in English
British author Diccon Bewes, who has lived in Bern for 16 years and written several books about Switzerland, thinks there will be considerable interest in the service among the English-speaking community: ‘At the moment, it is very difficult to find articles in English about Switzerland – especially daily news.’ Yet the need for information has increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new language option from 20 Minuten will fill a gap, even if the translation contains the occasional Swiss-ism or fictitious word.
Bewes believes that expats who find it takes a while to learn the ‘difficult German and French languages’ are very interested in news about Switzerland. ‘I wrote about the same-sex marriage referendum recently. I received a lot of emails afterwards. People told me that they finally understood what was in the newspapers,’ he says.
Even Bewes likes to switch to English now and then: ‘Although I understand everything in German, reading it sometimes feels a little like homework.’ By comparison, it’s ‘almost like a holiday’ to read in his native language from time to time.
Breaking down language barriers
Susanne Johanna Jekat, Professor of Language Technology at the ZHAW, also sees the service as a valuable tool to make information accessible to the whole population: ‘It can help people gradually get used to the culture and events in a country.’
The choice of language is now possible thanks to advances in translation software: ‘The English database is so large that the translation is good quality.’
My 20 Minuten
Als Mitglied wirst du Teil der 20-Minuten-Community und profitierst täglich von tollen Benefits und exklusiven Wettbewerben!