Girl wins right to name

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I think there are reasonable limits. Gender should not be ones of them. Langauge restraints make sense, but things should be taken into account. A foreign family could have a birth name and given name for instance. So Carolina Green could be Carolina *insert Icelandic name here* Green.

But...there is a young lady named Her Majesty...and it is not spelled that way. Pronounced that way, but the spelling escapes me. For that reason alone I pause

Lilani:

Hardcore_gamer:
Our language is very different from most, so lots of names don't work in Icelandic.

There are a lot of names in a lot of languages that don't work in other languages. Do you know what those other languages do? Deal with it. My name is "Caitlin," and there is no "L" sound in the Japanese language, so if a native Japanese person were to say my name it would come out something like "Cait-oo-rin." Close enough, I'd be able to answer to that. And I remember a Korean exchange student in my high school who we called Kim, because that was the closest we could get to his name was "Sun Kim," so that's what we called him. No government intervention, no barring entrance into the country because his name was hard to say. Seems like a silly kind of thing for the government to worry about, to me.

I think the alphabet problem is more a problem in any written documents, not actually pronouncing it. You wouldn't be able to give your child a name where I'm from (Finland) if there is no way we could ever accommodate the name on our systems. The name needs to be spelled so that it can be read and pronounced. And as far as I know, it's pretty common in countries to change names that have letters they do not have. A perfectly good Finnish name "Päivi" would be changed to "Paivi" in a country where "ä" is not recognized as a letter of the alphabet. But I admit it does sound strange that Iceland doesn't have a C in their alphabet. What do they call CD's for example?

Anyway, I believe government should have a say in the names parents give kids. Like others have pointed out, the child is not owned by their parents and should not be subjected to ridiculous names. We have restrictions to names, but not as harsh as Iceland it seems. If the name is normal in your own culture it's normally allowed, but there are exceptions. For example Pascal is a pretty normal name in several countries, but you wouldn't be allowed to name your kid that. Blablahb gave a good example of why certain names are not allowed as well.

And I don't buy the "they can always change their name later" either. When they are legally allowed to change their names, they have possibly been subjected to some bullying and whatnot for many years before that. And hate their parents.

Batou667:
...and a swastika is a Hindu symbol of peace, but even so, there's a difference between intention and effect.

I've been in Buddhist temples in the UK which are covered in swastikas, you'd have to be a pretty unreasonable person to assume that it was indicating Nazi sympathies. The same is true here.

Moreover, here there is no double meaning. "Jihad" is an Arabic word which non-Arabic speakers sometimes use as a loan-word. That's fine, loan words are an important part of cross-cultural understanding and the evolution of language, but it doesn't give non-Arabic speakers the right to decide what an Arabic speaker means when they use the word, and it certainly doesn't give the right to tell people how to use a word in their own language, particularly one with such a long history and broad meaning.

At the end of the day, we all have to live together and I do think we need to make concessions to one another's sensibilities sometimes. However, I don't think this is one of those times. We should not have to structure our lives on the basis of other people's ignorance.

evilthecat:
I've been in Buddhist temples in the UK which are covered in swastikas, you'd have to be a pretty unreasonable person to assume that it was indicating Nazi sympathies. The same is true here.

I don't see how that is different because the context isn't the same at all. In the case of the Buddhist temples, those were built before Nazism, so yes it would take a very ignorant person to claim they were pro Nazi. But if we're talking about a post 9/11 kid being called Jihad, yes there are going to be misunderstandings and yes those misunderstandings are perfectly reasonable. While the true meaning of Jihad may be perfectly benign, I'm afraid it's picked up a few bad connotations given its recent history. It would be like naming a kid Adolf after WWII. Is the origin of the name a problem? No, but what people associate it with is a bit of a problem.

Moreover, here there is no double meaning. "Jihad" is an Arabic word which non-Arabic speakers sometimes use as a loan-word. That's fine, loan words are an important part of cross-cultural understanding and the evolution of language, but it doesn't give non-Arabic speakers the right to decide what an Arabic speaker means when they use the word, and it certainly doesn't give the right to tell people how to use a word in their own language, particularly one with such a long history and broad meaning.

At the end of the day, we all have to live together and I do think we need to make concessions to one another's sensibilities sometimes. However, I don't think this is one of those times. We should not have to structure our lives on the basis of other people's ignorance.

Again, I have no doubt the word has a perfectly benign meaning. But I'm afraid after 12 years of media spinning it has a very different place in Western culture, and there isn't anything that can bring us back to the way things were except time.

Lilani:
But if we're talking about a post 9/11 kid being called Jihad, yes there are going to be misunderstandings and yes those misunderstandings are perfectly reasonable. While the true meaning of Jihad may be perfectly benign, I'm afraid it's picked up a few bad connotations given its recent history. It would be like naming a kid Adolf after WWII. Is the origin of the name a problem? No, but what people associate it with is a bit of a problem.

I think Lilani hit the nail on the head here.

Lilani:
In the case of the Buddhist temples, those were built before Nazism, so yes it would take a very ignorant person to claim they were pro Nazi.

I said "in the UK", the ones I'm talking about were built a long time after Nazism.

It would still be incredibly ignorant for someone to take offence.

Lilani:
But if we're talking about a post 9/11 kid being called Jihad, yes there are going to be misunderstandings and yes those misunderstandings are perfectly reasonable.

I disagree. A misunderstanding which is based on the basic ignorance of one party is never reasonable to me. It might be understandable, but not reasonable.

I don't think our society should be determined by bullies and ignorance. For me, that is what makes it tolerable to restrict certain freedoms of expression and choice in order to allow others to make free choices without fear or harassment. But when you're asking people to limit their choices based on the possibility of other people's ignorance and prejudices, that's the point where I don't think it becomes justifiable.

It's the same argument which gets wheeled out in opposition to gay adoption, for example, or adoption across ethnic boundaries (but weirdly, I've never seen anyone use it to suggest that ethnic minority people shouldn't have children at all, which would seem to be the logical conclusion). The relentless fear that children might be bullied or discriminated against is given way too much severity. Of course your children are going to be bullied at some point, heck I was teased about my name to the point where I hated it at one point, and it's one of the top 10 most common names in my country. Parents have very limited control what their children will suffer, but they can certainly help by correctly allocating blame.

In the UK back in the year 2000 there was a big media panic about paedophiles, during which a paediatrician's house was vandalized. You really can't plan for human stupidity, neither do I feel you should be forced to make allowances for it.

Lilani:
Again, I have no doubt the word has a perfectly benign meaning. But I'm afraid after 12 years of media spinning it has a very different place in Western culture, and there isn't anything that can bring us back to the way things were except time.

I disagree.. If we go a thousand years with everyone simply continuing to (mis)use the word "Jihad" in exactly the same sense, it will still mean the same thing in a thousand years time. Time alone doesn't do anything, it is social action which changes how words are perceived.

We're talking about a hugely important word in Islam. If we want to genuinely share our society with Muslims in an inclusive and welcoming way, we're going to have to get over our widespread ignorance around this word, and that means not passively allowing Western media to dictate its use to those people for whom it is a vital component of their lives.

If nothing else, doing so strikes me as extremely dangerous, because there's always the risk that they might start to agree.

evilthecat:
I disagree.. If we go a thousand years with everyone simply continuing to (mis)use the word "Jihad" in exactly the same sense, it will still mean the same thing in a thousand years time. Time alone doesn't do anything, it is social action which changes how words are perceived.

As I said, the recent use of Jihad has a bad rep, so that makes it a bit of a bad idea to use it at this point in time. If in 1000 years society has calmed down about it, then I'm sure people will use it again with no problems. I'm sure there are many names we use now that in the past that have been taboo for one reason or another. And for whatever reason we got over it and use them now.

But right now, at this moment in time, people get some very bad vibes from the word Jihad. I can't tell you how things will be in 1000 years, but again given its recent history it's about as bad as Adolf, given the recent history of another certain Adolf.

On the one hand, this law seems like a ridiculously strict law and I feel sorry for people who have to live under and put up with such ultra-conservative measures.

On the other hand, if this is what Iceland wants to do, so be it. No snot out of my nose.

Helmholtz Watson:
The person was talking about how they felt it would be unfair for a person immigrating to Iceland to have to abide by the laws of Iceland in regards top naming kids, which is why I responded that it was the person who wished to live in Iceland responsibility to educate themselves about the laws of Iceland. Its absurd to move to another country thinking that you can "just wing it" and that you shouldn't take the time to try to learn if they have laws different from your own country.

And they're perfectly reasonable to say they find it unfair. Just because a law is in place doesn't mean it should be. But, yes, they should be aware that they're going to a place with such laws beforehand.

Jack Rascal:
But I admit it does sound strange that Iceland doesn't have a C in their alphabet. What do they call CD's for example?

The Icelandic word for CD is "geysladiskur".

We typically don't adopt foreign words into Icelandic, we just create completely new ones. Lots of other countries do the same.

Hardcore_gamer:

Jack Rascal:
But I admit it does sound strange that Iceland doesn't have a C in their alphabet. What do they call CD's for example?

The Icelandic word for CD is "geysladiskur".

We typically don't adopt foreign words into Icelandic, we just create completely new ones. Lots of other countries do the same.

I know, we tend to translate the names of foreign inventions too, but not all. We have no translations for video, television or radio for example but the word for computer in Finnish is "information machine" (or more humorously "knowledge machine"). Even so, we still have letters on our alphabet that do not appear in any native words; such as C, X and Q. Letters have been adapted to our alphabet to accommodate foreign words and other languages close to us. I just thought it's strange you do not have C.

On principle alone, I don't think the government should have any hand in naming children, whatsoever. Unfortunately, the child cannot decide for itself, so the responsibility lies with the parents. The problem with the name is that it is such a crucial identifier and in such regular use, otherwise I'd say they should just make changing one's name easier. The question is, would I rather have some really off-the-wall stupid names on some children, or some governments who restrict naming rights to an unreasonable extent. I choose the former, but both situations are detrimental, and both can be fixed by common sense. Parents, don't name your children stupid things, governments, only intervene when the name is particularly stupid or political or an advertisement or something.

I think someone should take a child away from parents who wnt them name the dumbass names thats only going to screw them for life (yes including the parents who back when named their child something out of a skyrim game and it was big news here and thought to be cool and great), but I dont think the government should be allowed to expressedly step in and say nope, cant name your child that, pick again. creates the problem you have in iceland (because eventually it would get to that point for some reason) and before someone says to use common sense, youd hope hte elected officials would have it, but more and more you see stories showing they dont.

Hardcore_gamer:

The Icelandic word for CD is "geysladiskur".
We typically don't adopt foreign words into Icelandic, we just create completely new ones.

ah, so half of it is greek then, yes?

@purf

ah, so half of it is greek then, yes?

Yeah, "diskur"; at what point does an adopted word become "sufficiently [insert language here]"?
Considering how languages change and develop, how fluid it all is, I'm often amused by people trying to "preserve the German language" (or whichever else). Hell, I probably couldn't even understand German that's more than a couple of hundred years old.

Skeleon:
@purf

ah, so half of it is greek then, yes?

Yeah, "diskur"; at what point does an adopted word become "sufficiently [insert language here]"?
Considering how languages change and develop, how fluid it all is, I'm often amused by people trying to "preserve the German language" (or whichever else). Hell, I probably couldn't even understand German that's more than a couple of hundred years old.

And this is actually what makes the Icelandic language special and is the reason for why it matters so much to us as a culture. Because Iceland has been so isolated from the world throughout history (and still is), our language is almost exactly the same as it was over a thousand years ago. Modern Icelanders can actually take a look at old Icelandic texts from centuries ago and read them just fine.

This is one of the key reasons for why we want to protect our language, its such an important part of our culturual heritage.

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