Black Swan Years in American English, French, German, Hebrew, and Russian

Document Type



comparative; history; ngram; viewer; revolution; war

Identifier Data



Scientific Research Publishing

Publication Source

Advances in Historical Studies

Rights Management

Copyright © 2021 by author(s) and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).


The Ngram Viewer database has been used to study history and culture, primarily by examining the frequencies of words, within a single or two languages (corpora). We examined numbers instead (specifically years) across five different corpora. The years were 1799, 1865, 1917, 1945, and 1948. The corpora were American English, French, German, Hebrew, and Russian. Our analyses suggest that these years reverberate in specific languages more than typical years, and therefore our approach can be used to identify years with significant historical impact, within and across languages (and by extension countries) and therefore may be useful in the field of comparative history