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Subject: Fañch not French rss

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Rachel Simmons
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French baby boy banned from having name containing tilde

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/13/french-...
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Wendell
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It's interesting how many countries have laws about what you can name your kid.

On one hand, it bugs me that parents have to follow some set of rules in naming.

On the other hand, somebody really did name their daughter Ima Hogg.
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Wendell
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Also another example of France's Paris' 200-plus year drive to impose one language.
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C'est une loi diabolique.
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Mike Stiles
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wifwendell wrote:
Also another example of France's Paris' 200-plus year drive to impose one language.


I was talking about that with a coworker who's from Alsace. He corrected me in the exact same way ><
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Vic Lineal
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The cultural and linguistic policies of the French Republic have always been awfully centralist and jacobine. Nothing particularly new.
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In other publicized cases "Nutella" was rejected by French bureaucrats (they insisted on "Ella" instead) as was "Fraise" (French for Strawberry), but "Fraisine" was agreed to as a compromise.

For what it's worth, France is not alone in legislating baby names.

In Iceland, for example, names need to conform to the Icelandic alphabet, and you must be able to conjugate the name according to Icelandic grammar rules. It seems a pragmatic regulation, but causes problems with immigrants who want to use names traditional to their heritage.

Closer to home, and more egregious, is Québec, where the registrar can "invite" parents to choose a new name for their child if there is a fear of potential ridicule, and if the parents don't agree and the registrar feels strongly enough about it might go to court. There was a well publicized case in the late 90s where English parents were taken to court as the registrar objected to the name "Ivory", since it didn't follow Québecois tradition and could be confused with a popular brand of soap.

British Columbia has similar powers, but rarely uses them.

In Ontario, and most of the rest of Canada, the only restriction is that no numbers or symbols can be used in the name. I'm not sure what constitutes a symbol, so perhaps "Ledasha" as "L-a" would be allowed, since hyphenated names are common in Canada (Marie-Claire, Jean-Pierre, etc), but certainly Se7en would be rejected.
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Marco Schaub
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wifwendell wrote:
On one hand, it bugs me that parents have to follow some set of rules in naming.


I think it depends. Children aren't their parents' property and it's the state's duty to protect its most vulnerable citizens. A name can have long-lasting consequences so I generally don't see a problem when the state intervenes in extreme cases where a name could be to a child, e.g. naming your child "Spiderman."

Also, most if not all countries have rules regarding what letters are acceptable, namly the Latin alphabet in Western countries. Now, regarding the tilde, that seems to be a bit overly anal by the authorities.
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Vic Lineal
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emptyset wrote:
Also, most if not all countries have rules regarding what letters are acceptable, namly the Latin alphabet in Western countries. Now, regarding the tilde, that seems to be a bit overly anal by the authorities.


Especially because ñ is part of the alphabet of the Breton language; in fact, Fañch is the name of a traditional Breton pays (roughly a county).
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viclineal wrote:
Especially because ñ is part of the alphabet of the Breton language; in fact, Fañch is the name of a traditional Breton pays (roughly a county).

As I understand it, that is WHY they are motivated to eliminate it, as part of a campaign to impose a linguistic uniformity on the country. This seems like a rather sterile goal to me, and kind of counter to the entire history of language and its organic nature. Just an observation: I don't really have any skin in this game.
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Christopher Dearlove
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In English, where we generally restrict ourselves to no modifiying marks on letters of any type, there are at least two fairly common names that don't obey that restriction. And which aren't thought of as imported names. (All names were imported at some point, but I'm not thinking of an obvious import like René or Renée.)

Not giving my two examples (I have a third that's less often spelled that way) so people can guess and in so doing provide more examples I haven't thought of.
 
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Rachel Simmons
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So here's a link about baby name laws in the US:

https://www.thebump.com/a/baby-name-rules

It varies wildly by state, and it is by no means true that the more liberal states have more liberal naming rules. Computer systems are given as a comon reason for the limits, though it seems like their systems have to be able to account for different names when people move there, so the limits don't necessarily make a lot of sense that way.

(By the way, California, where I live, is 26 English letters only with no diacritical marks, which is kind of weird for a state with as diverse a population as California.)
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Somewhere on the Internet is a list of about 50 fallacies in naming. Some authorities are clearly trying the "you can get a square peg in a round hole with a mallet" approach of trying to decree away some of them. But ultimately the peg splits.

One of the least obvious of the fallacies is "everyone has a name". Bearing in mind these fallacies are aimed at people like database creators, in various circumstances, I'll leave you to think of why someone might have to be in a database but not have a name. Obvious really.
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Andy Leighton
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Dearlove wrote:
In English, where we generally restrict ourselves to no modifiying marks on letters of any type, there are at least two fairly common names that don't obey that restriction. And which aren't thought of as imported names. (All names were imported at some point, but I'm not thinking of an obvious import like René or Renée.)

Not giving my two examples (I have a third that's less often spelled that way) so people can guess and in so doing provide more examples I haven't thought of.


Noël, Zoë and Chloë? You might also include Esmé and André. I am not sure how recent those imports are and quite a lot of people do not use a diaeresis at all these days (presumably difficulty in typing it). If you include Welsh and Irish names you could include Siôn, Seán, Caitlín, Pádraig, and probably more.
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Vic Lineal
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In Spain now AFAIK the restrictions are

1) No offensive or "objectively damaging" names: no, your child's name can't be "Adolf Hitler García" or "Mierda Martínez". As Marco said, your child is not your property and can't be deliberately harmed by your creativeness. Provided they are not offensive as per above, creative or fantastic names are acceptable, but they may be reviewed to check that they do not carry offensive cultural connotations. (i.e. if you try to be smart and try to call your kid "Uruk-hai" or "Forrest", someone may have a say about it).

2) All foreign traditional names are acceptable, particularly if you can show that they are a foreign form of any valid name in any of the legal languages in Spain (so pretty much anything). I think you have to be able write it in Latin alphabet, but characters and modifiers that don't exist in any legal Spanish language are ok (so your kid can be called Božena or Bjørn).

3) You cannot deliberately misgender your child, i.e. cannot use a traditional female name to a male child or vice versa (no male Maria or female Theresa. You can, however, use neutral names (such as Ariel or Alex), including some traditional gender-neutral names (such as Reyes or Pau), so pretty much any name which is not a version of a traditional (read: saint) name is acceptable as gender-neutral.
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Alexandre P.
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Meat wrote:
In Iceland, for example, names need to conform to the Icelandic alphabet


From what I have read, this name was refused because "ñ" is not a part of the character authorized.

bowen wrote:
As I understand it, that is WHY they are motivated to eliminate it, as part of a campaign to impose a linguistic uniformity on the country. This seems like a rather sterile goal to me, and kind of counter to the entire history of language and its organic nature. Just an observation: I don't really have any skin in this game.


There is no will to "kill" regional languages in France, plus the EU seems to work on their defence.
In the other hand, there is an official language (French) and so there are obligations to use at least French (and a local language in addition if you will) in some cases, for example "political propaganda" (i.e. the papers you receive to knpw what are the candidates political views).

It is often said, and I don't know to which extent it's true, that France has made a strong effort to decree the use of the same language in all the French territory as during the war of 1870 officers (speaking French) couldn't transmit efficiently orders as the troops were speaking several different regional languages and no information could pass.
 
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David Dearlove
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Xahendir wrote:
Meat wrote:
In Iceland, for example, names need to conform to the Icelandic alphabet


From what I have read, this name was refused because "ñ" is not a part of the character authorized.

bowen wrote:
As I understand it, that is WHY they are motivated to eliminate it, as part of a campaign to impose a linguistic uniformity on the country. This seems like a rather sterile goal to me, and kind of counter to the entire history of language and its organic nature. Just an observation: I don't really have any skin in this game.


There is no will to "kill" regional languages in France, plus the EU seems to work on their defence.
In the other hand, there is an official language (French) and so there are obligations to use at least French (and a local language in addition if you will) in some cases, for example "political propaganda" (i.e. the papers you receive to knpw what are the candidates political views).

It is often said, and I don't know to which extent it's true, that France has made a strong effort to decree the use of the same language in all the French territory as during the war of 1870 officers (speaking French) couldn't transmit efficiently orders as the troops were speaking several different regional languages and no information could pass.

It's just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. French will be a dead language in 200 years, probably less.
But pretending that the French state has not systematically aimed to destroy languages spoken inside the French state that are not French is just nonsense.
 
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DavidDearlove wrote:
It's just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. French will be a dead language in 200 years, probably less.


Ah ? Why do you think so ?

Quote:
But pretending that the French state has not systematically aimed to destroy languages spoken inside the French state that are not French is just nonsense.


But you think it's still the case ?
 
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I'm no expert on France and French, but here in the US we've had a long history of periodic waves of hostility to languages other than English, including today. Here, though, the hostility tends to come from xenophobia stirred up by demagogues rather than any concern to maintain the purity of English as she is spoke.
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DavidDearlove wrote:

French will be a dead language in 200 years, probably less.


What makes you think this?
Is Cantonese or Mandarin going to take over?
Or possibly Hindi, Spanish, or (Brazillian) Portuguese?
 
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DavidDearlove wrote:

It's just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. French will be a dead language in 200 years, probably less.
But pretending that the French state has not systematically aimed to destroy languages spoken inside the French state that are not French is just nonsense.

I strongly doubt this but the language will be different. There are (I'm pretty sure but haven't the facts and figures to hand) more French speakers outside of France than in it. French literature increasingly comes from Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean, although Canadian French is a bit weird.

More likely is that French in France will develop into a diglossa with the written language diverging from that which is spoken.
 
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Xahendir wrote:
Quote:
But pretending that the French state has not systematically aimed to destroy languages spoken inside the French state that are not French is just nonsense.


But you think it's still the case ?


I don't. But also I don't think they have gone quite as far as they could in encouraging diversity of language.

I think French will soldier on as a language, but the Académie Française will gradually lose control and cease to be within that period. I think we will probably see a French more influenced by the population. We already see quite a few French neologisms borrowed from other languages (typically English) I can only see that continuing.
 
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