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While Slovakia is an acceptable short name for the Slovak Republic, it seems that Czechia should not to be used for the Czech Republic. Why?

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  • In Dutch (Tsjechië) and Scandinavian languages one uses words which are related to 'Czechia', not 'Czech Republic'.
    – Glorfindel
    Aug 1, 2015 at 7:11
  • Incidentally, I know a person from the Czech Republic who, when speaking English, simply calls the country "Czech". As in, "They make very good beer in Czech." I'm not sure that this is formally correct, though. (It could be related to the fact that he is older than the Czech Republic, which came into being in 1993, so in some sense he is really from Czechoslovakia.) Aug 1, 2015 at 14:50
  • It's the name that that nation wants to use.... theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/15/… There is no okay or not okay, or should or shouldn't about it. Countries can decide what they want to be called. Apr 15, 2016 at 18:57
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's nothing to do with English, let alone learning English. Apr 16, 2016 at 15:42
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    @AlanCarmack: I already did! It was reading the meta question that led me to come and closevote this one. As to the actual real-world issue itself, I only just heard about it on the news last night... the Czech Republic's president, prime minister, heads of parliament and foreign and defense ministers have all approved the name "Czechia". Bully for them, but since when do the Czechs need approval from Anglophone grammarians when it comes to deciding what to call themselves? Apr 16, 2016 at 16:56

4 Answers 4

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It's OK to use "Czechia", but the word is not used because it is considered to sound awkward (/ˈtʃɛki.ə/). It was used in the early 90s of the last century. It even was being a part of Oxford Dictionary in 1989. It was used as "Czechia" in United Nations' "Geographic Names" at the same time. But in modern history it is used as "Czech Republic".

You also can read this article with a bit of name's history: Czech out the proposed name

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    But your 1989 source should be referencing "Czechoslovakia" - the two countries didn't split until 1993. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czechoslovakia
    – Catija
    Aug 1, 2015 at 18:01
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    @Catija The Republic was formed in 1993, but the Velvet Revolution which lead to separation was in 1989. Splitting Czechoslovakia and forming Czech Republic is not the same event.
    – Ronin
    Aug 1, 2015 at 21:34
  • Also, even from your link we could see that "1969–1990: The federal republic consisted of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic." So a bit of separating started even in 1969, 20 years earlier than actual separation, 24 years before forming Czech Republic.
    – Ronin
    Aug 1, 2015 at 21:55
  • What does "early 90th" mean in this context?
    – Joe
    Apr 20, 2016 at 17:56
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Officially, the status of the words Czech, Czechia, Czech Republic is indeed absolutely analogous to Slovak, Slovakia, Slovak Republic. The new Czech ministry of foreign affairs made Czechia the official name in early 1993 when Czechoslovakia split, along with the politicial official name the Czech Republic.

The only problem was that "one name" of the country, the Czech Republic, seemed enough for the English speakers and most of the world didn't use the word Czechia, unlike analogous words. In fact, most people were unaware of the fact that "Czechia" was a correct short name – that should be used in the same situations as Slovakia or France.

Two days ago, the top Czech political representatives decided to revive this issue and make the U.N. agree that Czechia is the primary word in "not quite official situations". The plan was approved by the president, prime minister, chairs of both chambers of the Parliament, and the minister of foreign affairs, among others, less important ones.

The government should still give a majority support. At least one or two ministers are known to vote No. Minister of finance Babiš is a billionaire and was born in Slovakia. He doesn't like "Czechia" much but it turned out that he doesn't understand the difference between Czechia and Bohemia (the latter is just 60% of the former) or Česko and Čechy, the Czech translations, so he shouldn't be too active given his ignorance.

If the U.N. receives the verbal note, it should enforce "Czechia" as the name in all situations where short names like Slovakia or France are used. That could include global conferences and the Olympic Games in Rio.

Lots of newspaper articles were published in recent days that explain the plan. For a debunking of 16 myths by the fans of the term "Czechia", see

http://www.go-czechia.com/

See also my text about the topic

http://motls.blogspot.com/2016/04/czech-political-elite-trf-beg-un-world.html?m=1

The rebranding will surely remain controversial. While most top politicians and most linguists agree that the name "Czechia" is needed and needs to be propagated, 70% of the Czech people in the polls say that they dislike "Czechia". But a similar opposition existed towards the – much newer – word "Česko", the Czech translation of Czechia, in the 1990s. The word "Czechia" existed in Latin since the 17th century and English since 19th century but "Česko" was a genuinely new invention of the 1990s – one that was largely made viable by Vladimír Železný, the founding director of the first post-communist big TV station, TV NOVA, who used it for all sports events etc.

Despite this new status and opposition by many people, it's pretty clear that by now, "Česko" is the most widespread term that Czechs use for their own country, and it has surpassed both "Česká republika" and "Čechy" (which should only be reserved for the "kingdom" part of the country). It still has some controversy but it is used all the time, too. In other languages like German, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Scandinavian languages, Romanic languages etc., the one-word names for Czechia exist and they're not even controversial. Russian has actually used the term "Czechia" for the Czech part of Czechoslovakia well before Czechoslovakia dissolved.

So the English language is the "clearest exception" at this moment because it "only" uses a two-word political name of the country, and the plan is to close this exception so that the intuition expressed by the OP becomes valid in practice. After some years of usage, it's obvious that the English speakers would get used to Czechia, too. There are quite many people who were actually using it, anyway.

Incidentally, while Slovakia is widespread, the term "Slovak Republic" (or its variation popular among the geographically challenged speakers, the "Slovakian Republic") is still being used much more frequently than e.g. "French Republic" although their status is the same. This is clearly due to people's application of the "Czech Republic template" to Slovakia as well.

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"Czech" by itself is wrong (it is an adjective).

"Czechia" is correct but very rarely used. The Czech Republic chose its short name back in 1993 but hasn't used it actively since. Somehow thinks that political-formal name is more noble or what. More

You can't read about Czechia on Wikipedia, because admins keep deleting it. They say that wiki can't promote something that is not widely known.

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The Czech Republic controls the territory of the former Kingdom of Bohemia (as its borders existed after the War of the Austrian Succession). Thus, Bohemia is the traditional name (in English) for this country.

Unfortunately, the name Bohemia is ambiguous. It could refer to:

  • The portion of the Czech Republic that is called "Bohemia" (as opposed to the portion called "Moravia")
  • The entire Czech Republic.
  • The former Kingdom of Bohemia, as its borders existed before the War of the Austrian Succession (including "Bohemia", "Moravia", and "Silesia").

By the way, Frederick the Great failed to conquer two Silesian townships during the War of the Austrian Succession. These two townships are now part of the Czech Republic. The remainder of Silesia is now part of Poland.

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  • It's strange to build one's opinions about this question on some particular - not essential for the Czech lands - war some 250 years ago. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Austrian_Succession It's just too far and this war wouldn't make it to the top 10 events in the Czech history, anyway. The reality is that in the recent 2-3 centuries, Bohemia was always used to represent the "kingdom" without Moravia, Silesia, and some territories that no longer belong to Czechia today. People were careful about it, it's just wrong to suggest that they shouldn't be. "Bohemia" isn't ambiguous. Apr 24, 2016 at 8:23

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