And finally… tilde’s out

Baby names with a tilde, as in the letter Ñ, are illegal in France, a court has ruled, sparking controversy in the distinct cultural region of Brittany.

A Breton couple went to court after officials in the town of Quimper refused to record their child’s name, Fañch, on his birth certificate.

However, the court ruled that there are “limits” to what a mother and father can name their child, causing outrage among Breton people. Fañch is a diminutive of Frañsez, the Breton equivalent of François.

The court in Quimper, Brittany ruled: “The principle according to which babies’ names are chosen by their mothers and fathers must have limits when it comes to using a spelling which includes a character unrecognised by the French language.”

Since Fañch’s birth, the couple has acquired some documents with his name, but are continuing their battle for full legal approval.

His father, Jean-Christophe Bernard, said: “He will have his tilde, that’s for sure. When? We don’t know.

“We’ll see with a lawyer and with the town hall what we can do.”

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