Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:07 pm
Because of the language rules in Icelandic, it makes perfect sense to me that they need to have certain names on girls and certain names on boys. Names get conjugated in to the possessive form, and therefore the list of names corresponds with the language rules. It's not a law that says, "You can't name your kids anything. Here's a list of 20 names to pick from," it's a language law that names need to be able to follow so people can speak properly in Icelandic when conjugating names in to the possessive forms. English doesn't have gendered nouns, I feel like people get all crazy up-in-arms over this topic because many unilingual English speakers don't see nouns as having genders but, to me, this law makes sense.
The Blaer in question was only baptized with the name Blaer, it was never her legal name. The mother knows it wasn't on the list, she appealed, and it was rejected because it doesn't correspond with the language laws. Honestly, in my opinion, this is why you do your research.
I read in one article, though, that there's a female character named Blaer in a prize-winning Icelandic book, so I'm interested to see how the name was conjugated there, because obviously it *can* be done if there was a whole book about a female Blaer. Then again, maybe the book was written entirely without having to use the possessive form of the name. And I'm also curious about how the name has been conjugated with the girl so far in her life... I wonder if the people who know her tweaked the language to accommodate, or if they just conjugate in the masculine form.
I'm totally in favour of name laws. The countries that do have a pre-approved list will always let you appeal, the list is *constantly* getting added to, the lists are for preservation of the language, and for the well-being of the child. I mean... I can see there being problems when giving a child a name that does.not.conjugate. in the language.
I think most countries with pre-approved lists (and you can always appeal) are countries with languages that have gendered nouns. In English it wouldn't make as much sense to have this kind of a rule (though a law to protect the child's integrity would be pretty nice sometimes).
Seraphine, Eulalia & Edmund, Marius