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The link between automated translation of the Arabic language and quality of websites


Mohamed Benaida, Ahmad Taleb, Abdallah Namoun


Vol. 18  No. 9  pp. 65-72


Statistics show that Arabic is the fourth used language on the Internet with more than two hundred and twenty million users and Arabic speakers represent more than 5% of the World’s population.. This study examines the effect of translating web content from the English language to the Arabic language and how the accuracy of translation may influence the overall quality of websites. This study also carries a deep analysis of the Arabic morphology to illustrate the complexity and richness of the Arabic language and how this morphology could impose difficulties for content writers and designers of websites. The infamous Alibaba website, a gigantic online e-commerce company, is chosen as a key case study to investigate in this research. Expert evaluation of the website’s translated content, including the morphology of the language used, is conducted and data were collected to identify the challenges and mistakes of translation that could influence the perceived quality of the website. The main finding indicates that the Arabic language is more complicated than expected, especially when diacritics are not used. When diacritics are omitted, Arabic words can be pronounced in multiple ways resulting in different meanings. The combination of a machine translation and human translator is the appropriate method to achieve the most accurate form of translation. Practically, translation through machine systems may be used to reduce translation costs and expedite the translation process. However, it is vital to follow up this process by a professional translation service to rectify any translation errors made during the automated translation. This study also shows that the acceptance or rejection of a website could be highly dependent on the accuracy of translation to the Arabic language. Another finding shows that Google translation is not the right choice when translating long text to the Arabic language. Occasionally, Google translate is unable to recognize and translate several words from Arabic due to the richness of the language.


Translation, Arabic language, websites, user satisfaction