Localization Quality Assessment for More Reliable E-Commerce Applications in Arabic





Journal title


Hamza Ethelb
Abdulfattah Omar
Waheed M. A. Altohami
Bahramuddin Hamidi


E-commerce software and applications are mainly designed to let business go globally with less cost and higher accessibility. The localization of such software and websites into several languages is intended for reaching the largest number of consumers through minimizing the impact of linguistic, cultural, and technical barriers. Such barriers are assumed to affect the quality of localization and accordingly the reliability of the e-commerce software of website. In exploring the persistent problems influencing localization quality in the Saudi context, this study sought to analyze consumers’ perceptions and attitudes regarding the Arabic version of Saudi Amazon (Arabic Amazon.sa) in respect of accessibility, readability, understandability, and translatability issues. Toward this overarching objective, two main research instruments have been used: an online survey covering diverse localization problems and a zoom-based open discussion with the website’s users to collect some concrete examples of the problems influencing the localization quality and website’s reliability. The findings showed that although localization adopts a functional approach to translation for the sake of reaching a large number of consumers, most of the users of the Arabic version of Amazon.sa developed a negative attitude. Such a negative attitude evolved owing to some salient problems that negatively affected the quality of localization and the reliability of website. Although website’s localizers managed to adapt the English version both technically and culturally, some other linguistically oriented problems prevailed including partial translations, vague and misleading translations of promotional texts, inconsistent translation of headings, the foreignization of the website’s settings, the absence of text boundaries, and the occasional mismatches between the website’s English and the Arabic versions.