Ever wonder how they derived i18n and l10n to represent internationalization and localization? Don’t be embarrassed, I wondered the same thing.

The answer is easy, they simply took the first letter of either word, appended the letter count of the word, then closed it with the letter n. So the 18 in i18n represents the number of letters in the word ‘internationalization’, and the 10 in l10n represents the number of letters in ‘localization’.

This abbreviated approach is much easier to maintain than having to create vars, files, dirs based on spelled out versions. It   may also clear some confusion if you ever saw I18N or L10N on systems where the I and L look like the number 1 (one).