Talk:Baldr

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Baldur[edit]

Imho all "Balder" should be replaced by "Baldur" for consistency. The reference to Balder (Swedish) would remain.

Nope, Baldur isn't the way most English speakers know the name. DreamGuy 22:27, September 6, 2005 (UTC)
I know it best as Baldur.. well maybe because that is my name. 8] --BiT 21:29, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Baldur's death: Past or Future?[edit]

Did the Germanic peoples consider the death of Baldur to be an event in their past, or in their future? The text doesn't make this clear. -- 84.57.73.92 20:53, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Baldur, Balder, or Baldr[edit]

Should this article have the modern Icelandic form of the name?--Wiglaf 13:50, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Since I am the only one who has an opinion on the matter, I have changed the name to baldr.--Wiglaf 20:17, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You may be the only one watching the article, but it does not follow that you are the only editor with an opinion, as listing at WP:RM would have discovered. Septentrionalis 22:29, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
You make it sound like it is a big deal, and a controversial move.--Wiglaf 19:00, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
It is a significant deal. It was a controversial move. See all the comments. Jonathunder 17:10, 2005 September 8 (UTC)
We announced this problem a long time ago at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Old Norse/Old Icelandic/Old English), but very few people have cared about it. If you consider this matter controversial your opinions would have been very welcome there.--Wiglaf 17:53, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
How did you announce this proposal to carve out an exception to the "use the most common name in English" rule and the "least surprise" principle and start "standardizing on 13th century Old Icelandic"? Had I known, I would have had a comment. Let me say it here: I strongly object. Jonathunder 18:06, 2005 September 8 (UTC)
Object to what? I have never suggested anything but the most common English name. Baldr was an exception, chosen as a neutral compromise, because not even back then could it be established whether Balder or Baldur was the most common form. I am personally glad that we're having a vote on this, and had I believed that this matter was so controversial I would indeed have posted it at WP:RM.--Wiglaf 18:12, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
Objected to the proposed naming convention. I agree with the one objection that was lodged there, that if an English version of the name exists, it should be primary over other versions on the English wikipedia. I think that should be incorporated into that proposed convention. Jonathunder 18:55, 2005 September 8 (UTC)
If it only were that simple this would be much easier. But, sadly, there's almost never "an English version" as opposed to "other versions". There are usually several different versions used in English. In this case, for example, there are three - and different readers are familiar with different versions. Take this comment by Sjc from the standard discussion page: "Certainly my understanding of the correct English spelling of Baldur was, er, Baldur." In many cases the anglicized forms are basically obsolete, having been used in some 19th century translations and then dropped. Take 'Loke', for example. That's an anglicized form. Would you prefer that to the standardized Old Norse form 'Loki'? Probably not, since it's not much used any more. The problem is that trying to determine in each case what happens to be the most common current use in English for an Old Norse name would be very difficult. And we would end up with a very confusing collection of article names where different names use different conventions of anglicizing Old Norse (in fact this is what we currently have but are slowly trying to fix). Standardizing on the Old Norse form is a good solution and reflects current academic usage, with its connotations of accuracy. In the case of Baldr it also reflects modern translations intended for the general English speaking public. Take even Brodeur's translation, which is from the early 20th century and available online:
"The beginning of the story is this, that Baldr the Good dreamed great and perilous dreams touching his life. When he told these dreams to the Æsir, then they took counsel together: and this was their decision: to ask safety for Baldr from all kinds of dangers."
The principle of the most common English spelling is not applied naively and mechanically on Wikipedia. Take Kraków and Zürich for example. A Google test there is much more one-sided than our Baldr tests below, and yet Wikipedia uses the spellings above, because they are perceived as more accurate by many of us. - Haukurth 08:16, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
Kraków and Zürich both violate the naming conventions here and should be fixed. Finding a few other examples of articles breaking policies does not in any way support the breaking of policy here. Any "many of us" who decide that are making things up as they go along instead of following clear policy. DreamGuy 21:57, 16 September 2005 (UTC) (Follow up: Having gone to the pages in question, I see listing them here to support yourself is extremely misleading, as there is no consensus to keep them where they are now, it's just that the votes to move them haven't reached a clear consensus either. Those two examples do not support either side of the argument.) DreamGuy 22:03, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that there is a consensus on Kraków and Zürich. The second of those names, at least, is quite controversial. Currently a poll on names like those two is running at 49 to 37 in favor of keeping the diacritics. Certainly not a consensus in favor - but it does show that many of us do not agree with you as to what the clear policy is. To reiterate, the principle of the most common English spelling is not applied naively and mechanically on Wikipedia. As for Baldr I think the most common English spelling in translations of the primary sources (both popular and scholarly translations), as well as the most common English spelling in reference works and academic discussion, is Baldr. The most common English spelling in popular retellings of the myths may well be Balder and I'll even concede the possibility that that anglicized form may be familiar to more people than the original spelling. I don't think it's overwhelmingly more common, though. But even a person who's only familiar with the form Balder will have no trouble at all finding the Wikipedia article under the more pedantically correct title :) I can understand your point of view and I think it is valid, we just assign different weights to the different aspects of the issue. - Haukurth 09:38, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

The name without a doubt should be Balder. Wikipedia naming conventions say we use the most common English spelling. DreamGuy 22:14, September 6, 2005 (UTC)

  • Balder as mentioned above (so it's listed here in bold and not missed. DreamGuy 21:57, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Balder Septentrionalis 22:29, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Support the better-known form to native English speakers of Balder. Jonathunder 22:30, 2005 September 6 (UTC)
  • Baldr is the Old Norse name of this god. Balder is an old attempt to anglicize the name but I don't think you'll find that form in recent translations, like Faulkes' translation of the Prose Edda or Larrington's translation of the Poetic Edda, both of which are intended for the general public rather than scholars. Older translations, like Brodeur's and Young's also have Baldr as far as I remember. I think you may have to go back to 19th century translations to find Balder and even there Thorpe's translation uses the Old Norse name. Currently ("Baldur's gate" etc.) the Modern Icelandic form seems to enjoy popularity in English but I don't think we should use that either. The form Balder may enjoy some currency in modern (and usually inaccurate or inventive) retellings of the myths but I don't think it's appropriate for an encyclopedia. In any case I'd prefer to discuss the issue of Old Norse names as a whole rather than in individual cases. I would welcome all comments at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Old Norse/Old Icelandic/Old English). - Haukurth 08:16, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment, on the other hand the convention permits individual standards such as Thor and Odin, and if someone suggests that a conventional form exists, such as Dreamguy does, the convention is that it should be discussed here. I renamed this article Baldr as a compromise between Baldur('s gate) and Balder.--Wiglaf 08:24, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
    You're right, of course. We could add 'Balder' to our short list of exceptions. Above I have argued why I think we should not do that. I think that the anglicizations 'Thor' and 'Odin' are far more familiar than 'Balder' and that 'Baldr' is the most common form used in English Edda translations. We already have a redirect from Balder and mention that form in the article as an anglicization so no-one starting with that form will have trouble finding the article. I'd also like to encourage anyone who wants to comment on this to read through the whole Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Old Norse/Old Icelandic/Old English) discussion. It contains much of worth. - Haukurth 10:23, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Support move back to Balder or even Baldur but definately not Baldr: this is the English Wikipedia, not the Icelandic. CDThieme 15:40, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
It's Baldur, not Baldr that is the Icelandic name. Baldr is the standardized spelling of the original Old Norse name, used in any number of works published in English. - Haukurth 15:53, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
It's perhaps also worh nothing that the article never has been at Balder, it was created at Baldur and stayed there for years until Wiglaf moved it to Baldr. The person creating the article at Baldur (back in 2001) was not Icelandic. - Haukurth 09:42, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Balder is the traditional English name. I think we should stay with that. More people will be familiar with it than the Old Norse or Icelandic. {vote from 2005 September 7 by Tree&Leaf}
  • Baldr, since there is no standard Anglicization; and frankly, because I disapprove of the practice to Anglicize proper nouns. Baldr cannot possibly seem more alien to the Anglophone eye than Aztec deities such as Quetzalcoatl or Huitzilopochtli. See also how Odysseus is not at Ulysses, Heracles not at Hercules. --Salleman 02:44, 17 September 2005 (UTC)
FWIW, Odysseus is the more commonly used version in English, and Hercules is its own article about Hercules, so these arguments don't apply. DreamGuy 20:45, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

This article has been renamed after the result of a move request. Personally, I'm a fan of the "u" but this discussion clearly favors the "e". Dragons flight 20:00, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

I feel my objections were never adequately answered and that there are excellent reasons to have this article at Baldr. I'll probably request a move back after a suitable amount of time. - Haukurth 08:16, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Baldr/Baldur/Balder - Google test[edit]

I don't put much stock in Google tests. I think that in most cases relevant published books are more useful for determining the popularity of name variants. But since GT's are so quick and easy to do I thought I'd whip one up, just for fun. First I tried searching English pages for all three of our candidate names for this article.

  • 2,850,000 English pages for baldur
  • 381,000 English pages for balder
  • 42,900 English pages for baldr

I think this is more or less meaningless. Baldur is a reasonably common name and many or most of the above pages probably don't refer to the god directly. To try to limit the results to pages actually dealing with the mythological Baldr I searched for another name from the Baldr myth along with the variants. I chose Draupnir and Forseti because those are not excessively burdened with different anglicizations (though Draupner and Forsete are found). Searching for, say, Bald(u/e/Ø)r and Höðr is more complicated because there are many different anglicizations of Höðr in use.

This is what I got.

  • 1,830 English pages for baldur forseti
  • 1,020 English pages for baldr forseti
  • 796 English pages for balder forseti
  • 891 English pages for balder draupnir
  • 876 English pages for baldur draupnir
  • 615 English pages for baldr draupnir

This is far from conclusive, especially since the sample is so small. In my interpretation it does not support the theory that Balder is

  • the* familiar form to English speakers, as 'Thor' and 'Odin' are.

I'd much prefer to stay with the original name. - Haukurth 14:53, 7 September 2005 (UTC)

The search for Baldur by itself gets the name of the very well known game but it isn't relevant for the mythology article. Your atempts to add a search along with your own prefered spellings for lesser known other names of course brings up more hits on the corresponding spelling variation you are hoping to find. Let's make this simple:
Here's a comparison of the name with a term it goes with for matching purposes which the spelling is not under dispute:
Balder Norse: 50,600
Baldur Norse: 30,100
Baldr Norse: 19,900
Then we can search for the name with an item from the myth that is vital to the telling of the myth:
Balder mistletoe: 19,400
Baldr mistletoe: 1,410 (and note that many of these hits are Wikipedia and its mirrors)
Baldur mistletoe: 913
It's pretty clear cut... get rid of the video game and do a general search and Balder is far and away the most common use for the mythological character. DreamGuy 18:26, September 7, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's clear cut. And what do you mean with my "own prefered spellings for lesser known other names"? Forseti is Baldr's son. Draupnir is the ring exchanged by Odin and Baldr in the myth of Baldr's death. Worthwhile sources on Baldr are not unlikely to mention those two names as well - and I don't see anyone arguing for spellings like 'Forsete' and 'Loke'. I tried some more Google searches:
  • 11,900 English pages for baldr "old norse"
  • 9,300 English pages for balder "old norse"
  • 1,670 English pages for baldur "old norse"
  • 40,600 English pages for balder loki
  • 28,300 English pages for baldur loki
  • 19,300 English pages for baldr loki

Another attempt[edit]

Which spelling do we find in the recent translations of primary works ?

  • Faulkes, Anthony (1995). Snorri Sturluson: Edda : Baldr ;
  • Larrington, Carolyne (1999). The Poetic Edda : Baldr.

Which spelling do we find in the recent general secondary works ?

  • Lindow, John (2001). Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs : Baldr ;
  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Cassell's Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend : Baldr ;
  • Page, R. I. (1990). Norse Myths : Baldr;
  • Simek, Rudolf (1993). Dictionary of Northern Mythology : Baldr.

Sigo 19:21, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Google is not the bible, and in particular I think we should use the correct form, Baldr ΗΣLΙΦS89 17:14, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, sure, let's move it back. Haukur 21:40, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

OK, let's try, since we have the support of our Italian colleague. Sigo 01:16, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Just make it Balder - Come on! This is an English Wiki and Balder is obviously the most accepted version. 114.77.6.119 (talk) 02:29, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

No, it's not obvious, nor consistent, that's one of the reasons for much of the debate. LokiClock (talk) 12:35, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Some ethnocentricity going on here! Of course, within Nordic and Germanic 'Kulturboden', different intonations of the name would have been found, yet I think it especially important, when dealing with a Nordic/Germanic belief system (albeit largely defunct) that due acknowledgement is made to the primary culture from within which the name arose. Many names are difficult for English speakers to pronounce and have therefore been distorted to allow an approximation - this is why we have diacritics (which could be used here) as in "Atlas (Eng. /'æt.ləs/ Gk. Ἄτλας)" on another Wikipedia page. However, especially during domination by one nation over another, this distortion becomes gross and is conceivably used as a tool for cultural subordination. An unfamiliarity with the spoken word is also indicated - why English speakers say "Moonik" rather than Munchen possibly indicates a hastily read map durin a military campaign. It is a universal method of diminishing the 'other' and thereby enhancing one's own culture. This is what is happening here. It is not 'English/American' Wiki - it is multi-cultural, global encyclopaedia that can achieve respect amongst scholars. It begs, as well as being accessible, to be accurate. It also can be a force for the spread of multi-culturalism - not just a handy posting board for pretentious quasi-scholars. One more rant - why is there a reference to a computer game on this page? These inclusions are both ephemeral and irrelevant and should be excised immediately. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gr1bble8s (talkcontribs) 09:58, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Not to offend anybody, but to me it makes sense to use Baldr. I say this because both Balder and Baldur denote the same pronunciation to me, as in pronouncing the word "balder" (i.e. more bald), so there is really no reason, personally, to go with one or the other. I may be misunderstanding either spelling, but that is more a problem with the English language, I think. Baldr indicates, to me, something similar to "balder" but not exactly the same thing (I don't know much about pronunciations and the like, but I can tell it is a slightly different vowel). Also, Baldr just gives off the feeling of unusualness that gods' names should, and certainly Balder does not have the same effect. To work against my case, Edith Hamilton, in her Mythology uses the spelling Balder. Just putting in my two cents, if anybody were up to hearing it. Helixer (talk) 03:40, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Ragnarok[edit]

One of the Ragnarok links sent me to the Ragnarok Online wiki page, and not the Ragnarok page, so I changed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.92.48.76 (talk) 20:22, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

What a mess.[edit]

I find this article completely impossible to follow and understand. -- AvatarMN (talk) 08:45, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

-likewise here. please clean up... "Too Human" plot does not need to be explained on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.89.68.162 (talk) 20:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Toponyms[edit]

Others may be (in Norse forms) Baldrsberg in Vestfold county, Baldrsheimr in Hordaland county Baldrsnes in Sør-Trøndelag county — and (very uncertain) the fjord and municipality Balsfjord in Troms county.

What exactly is meant by "in Norse forms". If this means Old Norse (as opposed to Modern Norwegian), are the names actually attested in these spellings (or are they normalised spellings of names that are actually attested in Old Norse)? If they are attested in Old Norse, it would be nice to know whether the names survived, and what form they take nowadays. Also, if it means "Old Norse", the sentence could be rephrased to make it clear that Balsfjord is a modern form. But if "Norse forms" is meant to imply that these are reconstructions based on modern forms, that could be made clear too.

The name Balder is also the name used by the inhabitants for their village Berlaar in Belgium.

What are the earliest recorded forms of this name? How old are they? Have any experts commented on the name? Is there a generally accepted etymology, and does it involve the god Balder?

Dependent Variable (talk) 18:20, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Does the name "Baldergade" have any connection to the name "Belgrade"? (Collin237) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.129.208.135 (talk) 13:48, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Unlikely. I think Belgrad just is Serbo-Croatian for "White City". 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 16:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Baal-Tir?[edit]

Is Baal-Tir really one of his names? Where does this come from, what is the source? 178.201.23.62 (talk) 09:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Greek myth[edit]

Is there any link to Achilles and his mother who tried to make him immortal and invulnerable but missed one small thing? 86.168.43.205 (talk) 20:16, 15 March 2014 (UTC)