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A friend travelling in Europe is attempting to tell me that the Czech Republic is now called 'Czechia' (arguing it's a 'new' country if counting, but that's a side issue).

From what I can find online the new name is failing to catch on, but I'm hoping for a definitive official legal source - is there an actual say, legal list of countries with their names? (In English for sake of argument, to prevent exonym confusions like Deutschland/Germany..)

Alternatively, a link to a law change decreeing the new name would also be acceptable.

Note: The related question is in regards to speaking with Czech people, but this is about amongst the English world in general, if we should be shifting to a new name, officially.

  • 5
    I would also note that the short name of the country in Czech is Česko, which is an equivalent of Czechia. The Guardian article is nothing but ciickbait — you can't expect the new name to catch on so quickly. There are millions of people who still think the country is called Czechoslovakia and that was 25 years ago... – JonathanReez Aug 25 '17 at 10:40
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    As a Czech citizen I prefer Czech Republic in all cases, "Czechia" is a particularly terrible to the ears translation of the locally more accepted "Česko", promoted by our current government, but the long-form name is still just as valid. To avoid confusion in the country, just default to "Czech Republic", everyone will understand. – 8DX Aug 25 '17 at 11:07
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    @8DX I am also a Czech citizen and I like Czechia very much! – vojta Aug 25 '17 at 14:21
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about travel. – Revetahw Aug 25 '17 at 17:28
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    This is basically a crutch for English speakers. We were used to "Czechoslovakia" so when that came to an end it felt natural to keep the extra syllables of "Czech Republic" and popularly stuck to the long name. By the same token, Slovakia is usually just called by its short name since, again, that was familiar (even though, by the same token, the proper long name for Slovakia is the "Slovak Republic"). Wikipedia provides strong evidence for this preference in its entries - "Slovak Republic" is a redirect to "Slovakia" but "Czechia" redirects to "Czech Republic". Go figure. – J... Aug 25 '17 at 17:31
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Czechia is a preferred short English name but Czech Republic is still the official full name of the country.

Short country name "Česko"/"Czechia" to be entered in UN databases

The name “Czechia” will not replace the full official name of the Czech Republic. It is simply the English version of the country’s short name (”Česko”) and as such it will be entered in the UN databases of country names. In fact, “Česko” has officially been the Czech Republic’s short name since 1993. It is part of a national standard established in that year by the Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre and approved (from the linguistic perspective) by the Czech Language Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

The full country name “Czech Republic” (“Česká republika”) will remain the country’s official political name. “Czechia” will be used only as the English version of the short country name “Česko”. It is up to each entity to decide whether to use the short version (“Česko/Czechia”) or long version (“Česká republika/Czech Republic”).

In some languages the Czech Republic’s short name is already well established e.g. in French - la Tchéquie, Spanish - Chequia, German - Tschechien.

(The emphasis is mine)

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic


Talking about Czechoslovakia CIA World Factbook states that

On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. The country changed its short-form name to Czechia in 2016

(The emphasis is mine)


Then the website of republic itself in a number of graphics lists the new short name, there are also articles on the website itself that discuss the name change. One of them says

It’s been a year since the word Czechia, a shorter version of the name Czech Republic, was entered in the UN database of geographical names of countries. To mark the occasion, the geographical department of the Faculty of Sciences in Prague organised a special conference, assessing how successful the process of adopting the name Czechia has been so far.

Source (This article is a must read)


Then this article on the official website details the process as well

The Czech Republic’s top officials are meeting to try and agree on a shortened name for the Czech Republic. The frontrunner in English appears to be the name Czechia and that could soon be popping up all over the place.


Then this one is very relevant to aliens so they know what to say

Earlier this month the Czech Foreign Ministry launched a five-minute video promoting the Czech Republic or should we say – Czechia. Apart from showcasing the country’s achievements the video is also meant to reinforce awareness of the recently approved short version of its official name.


Then we have this information from the UN

UN Statistics on Czech Republic

Czechoslovakia was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 10 December 1992, its Permanent Representative informed the Secretary-General that the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic would cease to exist on 31 December 1992 and that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, as successor States, would apply for membership in the United Nations. Following the receipt of their application, the Security Council, on 8 January 1993, recommended to the General Assembly that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic be both admitted to United Nations membership. Both the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic were thus admitted on 19 January of that year as Member States. On 17 May 2016 the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations informed the UN that the short name to be used for the country is Czechia.

(The emphasis is mine)


TL;DR

We can use either of the names but their Government prefers/promotes that we use the shorter one in English.

11

The official name is Czech Republic

As a Czech citizen, I have to agree that there is some confusion in these names. However, the official name is Czech Republic, with Czechia being a short name for Czech Republic. If you need a little "example", it's a little similar to Thomas and Tom.

Czechia is equivalent to Česko, Czech Republic to Česká Republika

Also, note that using Czechia for the whole Czech Republic may make people from Moravia and/or Silesia angry. These parts of Czech Republic have historically been separated from the rest of Czech Republic and I've had people be angry at me for using Česko (the Czechia) instead of Česká Republika (Czech Republic).

  • 3
    Yes, Moravians and Silesians can get angry at "Czechia", this is a useful point, it's why I also prefer Czech Republic/Česká republika to Česko. – 8DX Aug 25 '17 at 14:26
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    As a Moravian, I don't think people get angry because it sounds like you're excluding Moravia or Czech Silesia. There is a clear difference between Čechy/Bohemia and Česko/Czechia. If they're angry about Czechia, it's just because they're not used to it yet (just like they were angry about Česko in the past). – svick Aug 25 '17 at 18:10
  • @svick Well, I know certain people that get angry over Česko/Czechia every day. But them not being used to it is a valid point. – Kryštof Píštěk Aug 25 '17 at 18:44
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For sure both, in diplomacy the Czech Republic, in daily life (sports, travel, culture) Czechia, as France and the French Republic. Short name and a formal one, both have different roles. And yes, it is only a matter of getting used to it. Czechoslovakia was called "awful" and "unfair handicap" by National Geographic in 1921, 3 years after the state foundation still. Leading Czech intellectuals, brothers Capek called Czechoslovakia "ridiculous" in 1922 still. The short name works well in most of the languages, no reason English being an exception www.https://www.czechia-heart-of-europe.com/articles

protected by JonathanReez Aug 25 '17 at 12:57

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