What's In a Name?

Published on 27 February 2024 at 16:15

Well to me, a lot. I am the kind of person who appreciates being exposed to a variety of different names from different cultures, and I prefer to see them transliterated as accurately as possible. If the two languages are compatible in terms of sounds etc, why not show the name as it is instead of anglicize it needlessly. For example, drawing from my book, why show Vermund when I could write Vermundr? We don't write Juli for Julius or Drus for Drusus, why? Because we're familiar with Latin names. 


However, I understand that it can be confounding to run across accented letters or foreign ones altogether, such as þ and ð. Initially I retained the ð and transliterated þ as 'th', keeping also the accented vowels of Old Norse. Now I have devised a simpler system where I can show the names in their true form while anglicizing the spelling. I have kept only a couple accented letters, with a pronunciation guide, where the sounds really are necessary, but I have dispensed with ð entirely. So we now have Ragnfrithr for Ragnfríðr, Thordis for Thórdís, etc. I hope this will make things easier for everyone while preserving the spirit of the book!

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