G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N For Video Games

G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N For Video Games

Francesca Sorrentino

Wait, what? You didn’t think video game localization would be about numbers?

Well, aside from budgeting, (which is actually one of the most fun aspects of the video game localization process for me), you might have come across a few confusing acronyms such as T9N, L10N, I18N, C13N, and G11N. In this article, we will explain each one of them.

T9N = Translation

The process of converting text from a source language into a target language.

L10N = Localization

The process of adapting a game or software to a specific locale’s language, culture, and legal requirements. It involves modifications to the user-visible components of software such as the user interface, images, documentation, etc.

I18N = Internationalization

The process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes.

C13N = Culturalization

Content adaptation for different markets to be carried out according to culture-specific elements, such as history, religion, ethnicity, and geopolitics.

G11N = Globalization

The broader process to adapt and sell a software product to an international audience. It encompasses the rest of the disciplines, including marketing.

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Did you get the pattern? The numbers between the two letters represent the number of letters between the first and last letter of each word.


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Francesca Sorrentino has been in the video game localization industry since 2010, covering various roles: from marketing intern and translator for online games at Wooga and Bigpoint, to Senior Multilingual Localization Specialist at Electronic Arts managing large, multilingual titles such as FIFA, to Program Manager for the Games department at Alpha CRC.

Having experienced both the client and the service provider side of the industry, Francesca recently decided to become a freelance translator and consultant and is currently working as Conference Manager for Game Global, a conference dedicated to video game localization and QA, which is continuing to give her the chance deepen her knowledge about processes, challenges and best practices in the gaming industry.

Francesca holds a B.A. in Translation and an M.A. in Conference Interpreting, which she obtained in Italy, and has spent the last 10 years living and working first in Germany and now in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

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