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CZECHIA - GEOGRAPHICAL NAME OF THE COUNTRY

Background map: 

S.A.Martson: World regions in global context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tourist maps, road and other atlases

Czechia in "World Regions in Global Context: Peoples, Places, and Environments" (5th Edition): Sallie A. Marston, et al.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are three distinguishable categories for the names of states separated into 2 categories - official and unofficial:

* POLITICAL NAMES 

 an official denomination of the political formation of the state, that includes the type of state system, e.g. Czech Republic, French Republic, Kingdon of Spain, United States of America, Federal Republic of Germany, etc.


* GEOGRAPHICAL (short) NAMES 
 an official denomination of the country, e.g. Czechia, Spain, France, United States, Germany, Austria, Poland, etc.


* UNOFFICIAL geographical names 
  unofficial, commonly used names of the country, e.g. America, Holland, Britain, etc.

IMPORTANCE OF GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES OF STATES in light of Czech paradoxon :

* Political names are connected with the momentary political system of the state, therefore have a transient character
* Geographical names do not depend on changes of state political system, therefore represent the continuity of the state in space and time

The Czech state has existed for more than one thousand years and the Czech Republic only 26 years. Its geographical and short name “Česko” in Czech and the synonyms in various languages (Czechia, Tschechien, Tchéquie, Chequia, etc.) were approved as official, standardized names only in April 1993, and that delay paradoxically became the reason for Czech politicians to question Czechia as a name and instead insist on using the political denomination, despite the fact that the name "Czechia" (unlike the Czech Republic) has existed for centuries, represents the Czech state in all historical continuity and gives it a timeless dimension. On the other hand, Germany was born by the unification of many territorial units under the leading role of Kingdom of Prussia only in 1871, but nobody questions its historical continuity! 

Historical first evidence of the name CZECHIA: 1569 in Latin preface to the "Musica" of Jan Blahoslav, Czech writer, poet, hymnographer and music theorist, 1795 in English (in the newspaper Hampshire Chronicle, England)

 

To oversee and determine Czech geographical names, main regulatory body is the Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre  (Český úřad zeměměřický a katastrální).

 

The executive branch is its terminological commission, consisting of the government authorities, state authorities of the Czech Republic, scientific institutions of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Czech Language Institute, Institute of History) and Czech universities. The Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre published an English guide entitled Toponymic Guidelines of the Czech Republic, compiled in accordance with Resolutions No.4 of the 4th Conference, No.14 of the 5th conference and No.7 of the 6th Conference of the United Nations on standardization of geographical names. It is intended for foreign editors of maps and other works dealing with Czech toponyms. It is similar in form and content to the toponymic guidelines of other countries.

 

The geographical name of the Czech Republic "Česko" in Czech and foreign language versions (Czechia in English, Tschechien in German, Tchéquie in French, etc. - see the list of translations in "Linguistics" below) has been codified there and also in the publication "The United Nations Geographical Nomenclature Lists - The Names of States and their territorial parts“ (1993).

The name was also accepted by English speaking geographists, which is, for example, documented by the book "European culture area: systematic geography of Europe" by Alexander B. Murphy, Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov and Bella Bychkova Jordan : "As for the names of independent countries, we have opted for commonly used anglicized short forms rather than formal country names (e.g., Germany instead of Federal Republic of Germany). The one case that might be less familiar to readers concerns the Czech Republic. Increasingly one hears the short form Czechia. Even though that name is not as widely known as other truncations (e.g., Slovakia for the Slovak Republic), we have decided to use Czechia for consistency and to reflect its growing use in the country itself."