Italian Localization Style Guide

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The purpose of this guide is to provide stylistic guidelines for in-house translators and volunteers working on the Viewer, web pages, KB articles, e-mails and wiki pages of Second Life and XStreetSL. By style, we refer to preferred writing techniques to be used on various content types. By tone, we refer to the way Second Life residents should be addressed. Both the style guide and the glossary should be used at all times.


The purpose of this section is to list the most important rules as well as rules that are specific to Second Life.

1. Commas

Use commas to separate elements in a series consisting of three or more elements with a similar grammatical function. When one of the coordinating conjunctions “e”, “ed” “o” joins the last two elements in a series, do not use a comma before the conjunction. Use a comma before the coordinating conjunction only if it is repeated in the sentence or if the elements do not have the same grammatical function.


Una volta entrati in in Second Life, scoprirete un mondo virtuale in piena effervescenza, pieno di gente, esperienze e opportunità uniche.

2. Colons

Colons should be used before lists and explanations.

Do not use a capital letter after the colon, even after “Nota” or “Avviso”, "Attenzione", "Consiglio" etc., except if the text is at the beginning of a paragraph.


Nota: l'elenco delle fatture in sospeso non è l'elenco degli ordini di acquisto.

3. Quotation Marks

Please use Italian quotation marks (virgolette aperte e chiuse, «»).

For nested quotations, use English double quotation marks (“…”).

Non-breaking spaces should be used between the chevrons and the quoted text.

Punctuation marks that do not belong to the quoted text are always placed outside the quotation marks.


Su Second Life, puoi creare e personalizzare il tuo personaggio in 3D, chiamato anche "avatar".

4. Spacing/Non-breaking spaces

  • All double punctuation marks (quotation marks, colons, semi colons, question marks and exclamation marks) must be preceded by a non-breaking space.

To insert a non-breaking space, press CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR, type ALT+0160 in a word doc; In html, enter &+nbsp+;

Example 1: Quali sono gli articoli per i quali la Linden Lab non addebita l'IVA?

Example 2: Il nostro numero di partita IVA è: EU826011179.

Example 3: Benvenuti in Second Life!

Example 4: Se il tuo avatar non è completamente caricato, appare come una nuvola, un fenomeno chiamato "essere Ruthed”.

  • Use non-breaking spaces between words that should not carry over different lines.

If two words are connected by a non-breaking space, most programs will keep them together, even if subsequent editing causes line breaks to change.

  • Use non-breaking spaces in the cases below:
  1. As a thousand separator
  2. Between a unit of measure or currency and the corresponding number
  3. Between any items that should not carry across separate lines

Example: Ordini per un importo superiore a US $ 10 000 non possono essere trattati in magazzino.

5. Lists

Bulleted and numbering lists should follow the style of Italian lists, e.g., a semi-colon should be inserted at the end of each segment of the list except for the last item, which ends with a period.

The first letter of each item should start with a lower case, unless all segments of the list form a complete sentence.

Use parallel structure, e.g., if one segment starts with a verb, all should begin with a verb.

Example 1:

La storia del tuo account mostra:

  • Tutte le operazioni che hai fatto;
  • Se non hai pagato l'IVA;
  • L'aliquota IVA applicata al momento;
  • L'ammontare dell'IVA dovuta per ciascuna transazione.


Example 2:


  • La regione diventerà di proprietà della Università, e l'avatar che gestisce l'isola in Second Life dovrebbe essere un impiegato certificato.
  • L'attività sull'isola deve riguardare l'istruzione in relazione all’attività dell’ università che possiede l'isola.
  • Come indicato in precedenza, non vengono applicati sconti individuali; tra questi sono inclusi anche educatori che desiderano acquistare un'isola per uso personale, e gli sviluppatori che desiderano acquistare un' isola per l'istituzione.

6. Abbreviations

Only very common abbreviations should be used. Insert a space before measurement symbols. Here is a list of the most common abbreviations which can be used:

es. esempio

ecc. eccetera

Sig. Signor

Sigg. /Sig.ri Signori Signorina

Sig.ra Signora

Sig.ra/ Signora/Signorina


p./pag pagina

Soc Società

1 ° primo

1º, 2º primo, secondo

km kilometro

m metro

metro quadro

cm centimetro

mm millimetro

kg kilogrammo

g grammo

Kb kilobyte

Mb megabyte

MHz megahertz

h Ora

min minuto

sec secondo

V. Via

V.le Viale

L.go. Largo

V.lo Vicolo

Par. Paragrafo

For abbreviations of days, months and currencies please see the Formatting section below.

7. Acronyms and abbreviations

  • Acronyms:

An acronym is a group of initials, each representing a word. They should be written in capital letters without periods or spaces. Acronyms should not be translated. Only the most common acronyms should be used in Italian and should be followed by their full spelling in parentheses the first time they appear on a page or an e-mail.

Here are some Italian acronyms commonly found on the Italian site, viewer and KB articles:

IVA Tassa sul valore aggiunto

IM Instant Message (Messaggio istantaneo)

FAQ Frequent Asked Questions

SpA Società per azioni

Srl Società a Responsabilità Limitata

Cap Codice Avviamento Postale

NB Nota Bene

  • Abbreviations:

Abbreviations such as "SL" or "iw", "av" or "avi", "tp" should be avoided as they may confuse users (especially new ones!) They should be replaced by regular expressions such as "Second Life", "nel mondo virtuale", "'avatar'", "teleportare".

8. Brackets (parentheses)

  • Parentheses should be used to clarify statements or provide additional information.


Second Life ha molti negozi dove è possibile acquistare tutto il necessario per personalizzare il tuo avatar (i capelli, le forme del corpo, la pelle ecc.)

  • Use only regular parentheses () for parenthetical notes. Do not use braces [] or curly braces {}.
  • Angled brakets <> are used to show snippets of code within text.

9. Capital letters

The source text uses capital letters to convey important messages. In Italian, such messages would be perceived as rude and should be avoided.


English: The Basic Access Account is FREE.

To be avoided: L’account base è GRATUITO.

Preferred: L’account base è gratuito.

10. SECOND LIFE specific punctuation rules

When referring to a Second Life page or feature, a button, or a link, do not use quotation mark as in the English. Instead, start the name of the page, link or functionality with a capital letter.


English: Go into SL and click on the "Find" button

To be avoided: Entra in SL e clicca sul pulsante “Ricerca”

Preferred: Entra in SL e clicca sul pulsante Ricerca


1. Dates

  • In Italian, the date format is DD MM YYYY and not MM DD YYYY as in English.

Example: 28 marzo 2009

  • For the abbreviated from, use slashes (/) as separators, and use zeroes (0) for days and months from 1 to 9.

Example: 24/06/04

  • Days and months take an initial capital in Italian.

The abbreviations of the months and days of the week are as follows.


Genn. Feb. Mar. Apr. Mag. Giu. Lug. Ago. Set. Ott. Nov. Dic.

Lun. Mar. Merc. Gio. Ven. Sab. Dom.

2. Time

Time should be expressed following the rules in your target language.

English examples: at 8:00 a.m. at 8 p.m. 12 noon

Italian examples: Alle 8.00 alle 21.00 12 a mezzogiorno

Please note that 21:00, 8:00 and 12:00 is also an acceptable format.

3. Numbers

Follow Italian conventions for numbers with four or more digits.

English examples: 1,000 10,000 25,389,572

Italian examples: 1000 10.000 100 256 865

Please note that in Italian a period separates each group of three digits 1.000 but is common a straight four digits if the number is not exceeding that length.

4. Currencies

  • Currency symbols should be placed after the amount and preceded by a non-breaking space.

English example: USD 50

Italian example: 50 USD

  • Use a period for thousand separators and a comma for decimal separators.

English example: USD 2000.50

Italian example: 2.000,50 USD

Viewer, web pages, e-mails

1. Style and tone

  • The style of the viewer, web pages, and e-mails should simple, direct, and clear.
  • The tone should be engaging and friendly.
  • The 2nd person of the singular ("tu" form) should be used.
  • Both style and tone should be consistent throughout the application, and all web and KB articles, as well as e-mails.


Use "real world" language, and not overly "techie" or "robot-like".

If the source English is too technical, unclear, or confusing, do not hesitate to simplify it.

Example 1:

English: Inventory fetch from server timed out. Retry?

Italian (to be avoided): Il periodo di estrazione dell’ inventario dal server superato. Riprova?

Italian (preferred): Il caricamento dell’inventario dal server ha superato il tempo normale di caricamento. Vuoi riprovare?


The tone should not be overly formal but not too casual or too colloquial. It should always be polite.


English: Oops!You tried to wear a [TYPE] and it did not load. Don't panic. Try again in a minute to give things a chance to settle down

Italian (to be avoided): Oops! Si è tentato di indossare un [TYPE], ma non è stato caricato. Niente panico. Prova tra un minuto, per dar modo al problema di poter essere risolto.

Italian (preferred): Siamo spiacenti. Hai provato ad indossare un abito/oggetto ([TYPE]), ma non è stato caricato. Per cortesia riprova tra un minuto.

Rule 3:

The content should be accurate, precise, encouraging, and user focused.

When the source English is unclear, or "complicated", try to make your translation simpler and "accessible" to a broad audience.

We are addressing residents from all levels of experience, and not Second Life experts.

Always try to put yourself in the shoes of a new user.


English: Simulator primitive usage

Italian (to be avoided): Utilizzo dei prims sul simulatore

Italian (preferred): Prims utilizzati nel territorio

2. User interface


When steps to follow are given, UI elements should be separated by a > symbol.

English example: Invite People to this Group using the 'Invite New Person...' button in the Members & Roles tab > Members sub-tab.

Italian example: Invita altri residenti in questo gruppo cliccando sul bottone Invita un nuovo residente nella finestra Membri e Ruoli > scheda Membri


Buttons should be kept short. If a verb is used, the second person form should be used.

English example: Invite New Person...

Italian example: Invita un residente...


When referring to a UI element, in Italian, only the first letter of the UI element should be capitalized

English example: Create New Notice

Italian example: Crea un notice


In Italian, localization results in text expansion (about 30%), which means that many Second Life menus, windows, buttons etc. might end up truncated.

While translating UI elements, try to use the shortest possible translation (no longer than English) when possible and if doing so does not affect the quality of the translation.

3. Rules about Terminology

Expired terminology

As Second Life has matured, Linden-favored terms have changed as well. When translating, please sure to be consistant in the terminology that is used and do not use "expired" terminology.


  • "Regioni" ("regions") instead of "sims" or "simulators" when referring to a single region.
  • "Résidenti” ("residents") instead of "utilizzatori" (users), "abbonati" ("subscribers"), "clienti" ("customers"), "avatars", etc.
  • "Regioni private" ("private regions") instead of "îsole" ("islands"), “îsole private” (private islands), etc.
  • "Linden Dollars" instead of "denaro" ("money"), "dollari", "contante", "lindens", etc.
  • "L$" instead of "$", when denoting Linden Dollars.
  • "US$" instead of "$" when denoting US dollars.

Second Life specific terminology

A few terms were "invented" for Second Life and are not part of the English vocabulary.

Here is how to translate them for now:

  • To rez: rezzare
  • Rezzed: rezzato
  • In-world (also used: inworld, iw): nel mondo virtuale

Note about the use of the expression "real world":

In English, the term "real world" is often used to refer to the "physical" world (as opposed to the virtual world).

In Italian we will use the same terminology: nel mondo reale

In the same way, when the source English refers to residents' real first and last name, in Italian we'll talk about "il tuo nome e il cognome nel mondo reale".

What to capitalize?

    • Proper nouns: Second Life, Linden Lab.
    • Acronyms: IM, IVA etc.
    • The first letter of Second Life Region names: Ahern
    • The first letter of each term that identifies a particular button or menu item within the Second Life client: menu Modifica, bottone IM etc.

Menus, pie menus, windows, dialogs, tabs, buttons, fields

    • Menu (Menu in Italian): appear at the top of the Second Life window.
    • Pie Menu (Menus a torta in Italian): wheel of selections that shows up whenever you right-click on something in-world.
    • Window (Finestra in Italian): window that appears internally within the Second Life window, i.e. The Inventory window or the Search window.
    • Dialog (Finestra di dialogo in Italian): blue box that appears in the corner whenever something happens in Second Life (when someone or something tries to give you inventory or if it turns out you can't sit on that thing you wanted to sit on etc.)
    • Tab (Scheda in Italian): tab that lives inside the windows in Second Life.
    • Button (Bottoni in Italian): button that appears in the UI.
    • Fields (Campi in Italian): pretty much anything used to provide input to Second Life that's not a button is a field.

Knowledge Base articles

There are two basic types of Knowledge Base article: the ones that answer a specific question ("Come creare abiti?") and the ones that give some general knowledge about a topic ("FAQ per I nuovi proprietary terrieri").

The rules governing the tone and style of Knowledge Base articles are the same as the ones for the Viewer.

Note that the style of KB articles can be very familiar and unclear at times.

Please keep in mind that residents reading these articles are looking for an answer to a question they have. Therefore, try to be as clear and concise as possible, even if you use humour here and there.