Talk:Friedrich Fröbel

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Links to former Talk pages[edit]

Some edits have involved the creation of other Talk pages for Friedrich Fröbel, and even a duplicate article (now eliminated). The former Talk pages can be reached here:

Kelisi (talk) 14:12, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Name Spelling[edit]

There is currently an attempt by one editor to redirect this to a spelling of the man's name using the e instead of the umlaut, and by another to prevent that. There needs to be a discussion about this ~ a polite discussion, i hasten to add, before such action is taken. Consensus means some general agreement; we don't have that here for the proposed move; not yet, anyway.

As a start, i note that the name gets about three hundred thousand Google hits spelled Froebel and about one point two million spelled Fröbel. Google is not the be all and end all, but it does help to establish common usage, and that's what policy is going to require. Thoughts? Cheers, LindsayHi 08:33, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your involvement in this matter. It appears to have started when Kelisi moved this article to Friedrich Fröbel on 12 October 2008 and began to introduce German spelling. I assume this is part of his project to introduce foreign characters and symbols to the English language version of Wikpedia. From his talk page it seems he has irritated many users with his passion.
Apparently he was unaware of the extensive references to Friedrich Froebel in English language reference works for over 150 years.
I refer to Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Use_English_words and the more detailed explanation at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(use_English). Specifically, "Name your pages in English and place the native transliteration on the first line of the article unless the native form is more commonly recognized by readers than the English form. The choice between anglicized and native spellings should follow English usage . . . Sometimes the usual English version will differ somewhat from the local form as in Franz Josef Strauss; and rarely, as with Mount Everest, it will be completely different."
Friedrich Froebel would be the most commonly recognised name for this article using these guidelines.
It may not be relevant that Kelisi claims to be publicising the victims on the Nazis. But this is no excuse for a general attack on any article which he perceives to have a German component. In fact Froebel like most German intellectuals of the nineteenth century was rejected by both the Nazis and the Communists as well as Bismark's Prussian military establishment. None of these political systems required an education system where children were taught to think for themself! Froebel education has been mainly embraced in the liberal democracies, where individual freedom and achievement are fostered and nutured.
Kelisi appears not to understand that his enthusiasm for exotic and unsual foreign characters has been used by others as a form of Weasel words and is contrary to Wikipedia policy. Fred20x (talk) 14:55, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Freddie, Lindsay said a polite discussion. Trying to insinuate that I am introducing "weasel words" into WP is rather impolite. I am doing no such thing. Froebel and Fröbel are the same name; they both refer to the same man. They are both pronounced the same way. The former is simply the variant used when the "ö" character is not available, as has traditionally been the case in the English-speaking world for centuries — that is, until now. It is available here on WP now. For this reason, Hermann Göring's name is spelt like that at the WP article, even though for many years it was routinely rendered "Hermann Goering" in the English-speaking world for lack of an "ö" character in most typefaces. I merely wanted to respect a great man by writing his name the way that, after all, he wrote it (although I'll admit that Göring hardly deserves any respect). I am well aware that the name Fröbel has commonly been rendered Froebel in English-language publications for a century and a half or more. I simply maintain that to continue doing this is ignorant, for we now have the means to render Fröbel's name properly.
As for your basic argument that this will confuse English-speaking readers, I have two things to say:
1. Give your fellow English-speakers a bit of credit; they're not all brainless fools.
2. It didn't confuse you, Freddie; you knew what it meant.
Now, there are plenty of articles in WP that contain those ghastly "foreign characters". Check out Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Ernő Rubik, Lech Wałęsa, Matinée, Déjà vu, Călăraşi County, Château, Mazatlán, Jón Sigurðsson, Björn Borg, Simón Bolívar, České Budějovice, and I could go on and on and on. All of these appear as article titles despite many of them often being rendered in the English-language press without the little marks. That last one is apparently not considered recognizable at all, with many papers reminding readers that it is known as Budweis in German, where the beer came from. Despite what that page that you keep citing says, Freddie, it appears that WP's policy is actually to be faithful to the original spelling. Fröbel deserves the same treatment. He wrote his name like that. Why can't we? Well actually, we can.
Actually apart from Wikipedia, most English language resources use Bjorn Borg and Erno Rubik. Even the Noble proze website uses Lech Walesa as does CNN, BBC and Britannica. So these examples do not in fact conform to Wikpedia policy either Fred20x (talk) 05:27, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
What Nazis, Communists and Bismark's Prussian military establishment have to do with how we spell Fröbel's name is quite beyond me, Freddie. Some of your arguments are quite irrelevant.
As for "irritat[ing] many users with [my] passion", what in blazes are you talking about? A few users have discussed diacritical marks with me, but few if any have been "irritated".
It seems to me that you are the one with a passion, for this one article, inexplicably. You even created an account just to argue this one non-issue. If we put this question to a vote, I feel sure that given the general tendencies here on WP, you'd lose. Kelisi (talk) 00:37, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Google search[edit]

I agree with you that a Google search of Fröbel yields about one point two million pages. Of these about one hundred thousand are written in English. Although I have not checked them all they will include references, blogs and homepages of living people in German with the surname Fröbel. However the question before us is not, how to name an article about a living person named Fröbel, but rather how to present and article about the historical person, who is usuually referred to in English reference works as Friedrich Froebel.

A Google search of either Friedrich Fröbel or Friedrich Froebel yields exactly the same pages written in English - about 33,000. Many of these pages do not include the word Fröbel. Fred20x (talk) 15:14, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Umlauts and other printer's devices[edit]

According to Wikipedia, Gothic scripts were developed from Carolingian because they were more compact and therefore more words could be fitted onto an expensive sheet of parchment or vellum. I assume that umlauts and other printer's devices were similarly developed to save space and therefore the cost of the printed material. As Wikipedia is not subject to these price constraints we can afford the luxury of "oe" or "ss" and do not need to resort to the cost saving of old fashioned printers devices. The other advantage of using the standard 26 letters of the English alphabet is that most English speaking contributors can type them easily. By all means show the German, Greek, Russian, Hebrew or Arabic letters for the interest of the erudite - but please keep the text of the article in English Fred20x (talk) 16:24, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Freddie, you assume, nothing more. If you knew the slightest thing about German, you'd know there's a bit more to the umlaut than parchment saving. Kelisi (talk) 00:40, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, Freddie, the whole idea of an encyclopaedia is to make less learned people a bit more learned. Native forms are hardly merely "for the interest of the erudite". They're for the edification of the benighted, if you will (and even if you won't).Kelisi (talk) 00:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Paradoxically the very people who actively promoted the English spelling Froebel 150 years ago were native German speakers. In those days educated people were fluent in several languages. What you call ignorance they would have proudly claimed as intellectual rigour. Times change and it is now the fashion to scatter foreign words or phrases through English text. Whether the intention is to edify or bewilder the reader is for others to judge. Recently sports writers delighted in using Torino rather than Turin. Should we be using Deutschland rather than Germany? or München rather than Munich? Bayern rather than Bavaria? I notice Wikipedia currently has Oberweißbach rather than Oberweissbach. Although I am sure you know that German school children as now taught Oberweissbach. I appreciate that in the new millenium there is a desire to preserve the quaint and achaic, to preserve regional differences against the uniformity of modernity. But is Wikipedia the forum for this campaign to be fought? Fred20x (talk) 03:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
No such campaign is being fought on WP, Freddie; I've given my reasons for preferring Fröbel over Froebel. Furthermore there is nothing quaint or archaic about umlauts. They're an everyday reality. If you want to see quaintness, look at English spelling. There is also an interesting note in this article (skip down to Schreibweise) about the retention of the "ß" in the word Litfaßsäule, just because it comes from Ernst Litfaß's name (and notice how that's spelt, even in English). Now that's quaint, but every language is entitled to its quaintness. I suppose German is very quaint in some ways, with its four grammatical cases and all their attendant inflections which have mostly disappeared from other Germanic languages, and with its needlessly long SCH trigraph, which must have wasted a lot of parchment. But as I say, English spelling is very quaint, too. How much vellum could we have spared had we found less quaint ways of spelling "knowledge", "gunwale" or "Greenwich"?
Actually, you're wrong about Oberweißbach. German schoolchildren are taught no such thing. I "know" no such rubbish. What I know is that proper names are exempt from Duden's pronouncements; so Oberweißbach it shall remain, because that's how the people there write it. And anyway, nobody has to obey Duden, and many Germans use the old spellings.
So, you are mistaken, and that puts everything else that you say in question.Kelisi (talk) 05:43, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
My apologies, I had assumed that you were acquainted with the German spelling reform of 1996 and the changing of street signs in Germany to conform. The new orthography is obligatory in schools. If Wikipedia is to be a useful resource for children, it should at least follow the orthography used in schools Fred20x (talk) 06:01, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Read it again, Freddie. I think I made it quite clear that I am acquainted with German spelling reform! If cities and towns in Germany wish to change their street signs to conform to the new spelling, then fine. Have they officially changed the spelling of Fröbel's name? Then what are you going on about? As for Wikipedia being a useful resource to children by using current German spelling, I reckon that's a question for German Wikipedia.Kelisi (talk) 06:19, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Then perhaps you would like to correct the spelling to Oberweissbach? Fred20x (talk) 07:10, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Once again, nobody has to obey Duden, and proper names (that includes placenames) are exempt. The spelling of Oberweißbach has not changed. Look at the German article. Freddie, are you sincere about all this? I must ask because it seems to me that you deliberately misread or disregard anything that I write here. It seems to me as though this is some kind of game to you. WP certainly isn't the right forum for that.Kelisi (talk) 07:46, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

When were umlaut marks introduced?[edit]

According to Wikipedia the two dots over the "a", "o" or "u" developed from 16th century handwriting and were sporadically introduced into printed works during the 16th century. This would suggest that Martin Luther's Bible did not include these marks. According to Wikipedia in medieval German manuscripts phonological umlaut was denoted by adding an e to the affected vowel, either after the vowel or, in small form, above it. According to Wikpedia a graphical designer was commissioned by the Prussian ministry for culture in 1911 to develop Sütterlin hand written script. I am interested in your opinion that Froebel may have written his name as Fröbel and wonder what evidence you have to support this idea? Fred20x (talk) 07:42, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

There you go
There you are, Freddie. That's from 1541. The little e's above some of the letters are a common way of rendering the umlaut in Gothic script, and are still seen in some modern Gothic shop signs and so forth. This I know from time I've spent in Germany. As for the modern mark, I'm sure you must have come across the part about how the Sütterlin "e" evolved into two little strokes. The umlaut was in use by Fröbel's time, either as a little superscript "e", or as two little strokes derived from the Sütterlin "e". An umlaut is an umlaut, whatever style it's written in.Kelisi (talk) 07:59, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
We are in complete agreement that the "e" superscript was typical of German printing. If as you suggest the two dots were derived from the Sütterlin "e", then they are a development that occurred after Froebel's death in 1852 and would explain why his both his students and relatives in England always wrote Froebel in English. Fred20x (talk) 14:07, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Freddie, that's as ignorant a thing as ever I've read. Those e's ARE umlauts. The two dots are simply how that e is written today, most of the time (not always, as I've indicated).Kelisi (talk) 15:09, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Modern Celebrities and Historical Figures[edit]

There is a fundamental difference between the naming conventions of modern celebrities and historical figures. Quite properly modern celebrites do not as a rule anglicise their names and modern printers often accomodate the range of characters required to represent these names. In contrast, historical figures were often represented by different names in different languages. The Wikipedia policy is flexible adopting the form more commonly recognized by readers. In this case the weight of English language usage for over 150 years is solidly behind Friedrich Froebel. Unlike the other examples you mention, Froebel has generated an extraordinary body of literature in the English language. Fred20x (talk) 02:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Freddie, you've been arguing all along that the "Froebel" spelling ought to stand just because it has been used for so long. Has it occurred to you that this might qualify it as "archaic" or "quaint"? In actual fact, I agree that modern usage should prevail, and modern technology, like computers that can render any letter, even very exotic ones like Ħ, Ŋ, Ɋ, Ϣ or even Ѭ, ought to be used to their full effect. Luckily, we don't have to go quite so far off the deep end. I'm only asking for two little dots. Fröbel spelt his name like that. Can't we be modern and knowledgeable and render Fröbel's name as he wrote it? Redirects can handle any variant spellings, and those, quaint or otherwise, can be noted in the article, leaving nobody confused.Kelisi (talk) 06:08, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Game set and match[edit]

Kelisi, I think you have conclusively demonstated that Friedrich Froebel is the preferred form in English. It has the weight of 150 years of usage by scholars and reference works. It has the combined weight of current usage by The Noble Prize committee, CNN, BBC, Britannica etc . . And it is how English text book refer to him. As to Duden and the Prussian Sütterlin hand written script these are both developments after Froebel's death and after Froebel have become the usual form in English. There is simply no reason for a modern German spelling of this historical figure in an English language resource - although I see no problem with a notation (German: Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel). Will you do the honors or will I? Fred20x (talk) 14:21, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

I have conclusively demonstrated exactly the opposite, Freddie. Now are you going to cut this out and stop coming up with new reasons to support your position every time one is shown to be untenable? Are you going to insist on saying that Fröbel didn't write his name with an umlaut (not your original assertion, but one you came up with when your original one wasn't convincing enough) despite evidence to the contrary? I think you just like to argue.
Well, no consensus has been reached, and on WP, that means that we make no change. Don't bother doing any honours.Kelisi (talk) 15:03, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Neutral Point of View[edit]

Kelisi, I suggest you take a look at Ludwig_van_Beethoven to get some idea what a neutral point of view article about Friedrich Froebel may look like. Both men were born about the same time and lived through the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna. Both men were born into simliar families, educated court officals of Principalities. Both men made major contributions in their fields which have won international recognition. There is no attempt to render place names like Cologne (Köln) or Vienna (Wien) in their German equivalents in the Beethoven article - or even in the place name pages at Wikipedia. I do not think it is too much to ask that Friedrich Froebel be treated with the same respect. Fred20x (talk) 15:01, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Our current article IS NPOV, Freddie. Furthermore, a city can ask the world to call it by its native name if it so wishes — İstanbul did that on 28 March 1930, objecting to the world calling it Constantinople — but a dead man can't do that. If Vienna would like to be called Wien, no problem, but it seems comfortable with Vienna. Kelisi (talk) 15:22, 20 November 2008 (UTC)


I'm sorry, but i think that the stress does not go ->[ˈaʊɡʊst] but [aʊ'ɡʊst].ҢДM(Hundry Marquina!) 18:16, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

If you're certain about it, by all means make the change. The month August is pronounced with stress on the second syllable, but I'm not so sure about the man's name, myself. Kelisi (talk) 14:13, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I have just had a look at the German Wiktionary (check it out), and it would seem that the man's name August is indeed pronounced with stress on the first syllable. So, please don't change anything. Kelisi (talk) 14:25, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but in german we say [aʊ'ɡʊst], with the stress on the second syllable. The word is written the same in both german and english, but the stress goes in different positions. Check it Out!! ҢДM(Hundry Marquina!) 04:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that's for the month, not the man's name. Kelisi (talk) 00:21, 26 July 2009 (UTC)