© 2018 by Czechia Civic Initiative

 

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CZECHIA FROM LINGUISTIC POINT OF VIEW

  The name Czechia is created naturally, in terms of linguistics. The suffix -ia (originally Latin) is a frequent phenomenon in the English language and the word is derived naturally from the name of the nationality of the majority population of a country. As the name has its origin deep in Czech history in Latin denomination (see "History of the name"), the choice not to use the English name "Czechia," falls short of any validity, whether linguistic or historical.

  In addition, the name has the same suffix as all particular Czech lands - Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. 

 

An explicit approval was given to the one-word geographic name Česko/Czechia by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a memorandum sent to all Czech embassies and diplomatic missions in 1993: the Ministry recommends to use the official title „only in important official documents and texts (such as laws, treaties, notes, etc.), in titles of important institutions of the state (such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Embassy of the Czech Republic in ....) and in official speeches and addresses. In all other cases, the one-word name Česko can be used. (....) Its equivalents in some of the worldwide languages are: Czechia in English, Tschechien in German, Tchéquie in French, Chequía in Spanish, Cecchia in Italian, Čechija in Russian.“ 

 

  Czechia has an equivalent in other languages and in the significant majority of them it is obvious, that the natural formation comes from the original Latin form (see the table).

The acceptance of a one-word name for the state in Czech has been riddled in disagreement by Czech citizens and officials since the separation of Czechoslovakia. During the second half of the 1990s¸ most people accepted the name "Česko" because there was no alternative. Now, "Česko" is commonly used by the overwhelming majority of all Czech newspapers, on the internet and TV. Since 2010, "Česká republika" (Czech Republic) has been substituted by "Česko" (Czechia), also on the Czech Wikipedia page. It is worth noting that the Czech National Geographic is called, "National Geographic Česko". The name Czechia has had a similar destiny as its Czech equivalent had, but more complicated, because its wider application depends on the activity of Czech state insitutions and representatives.

It can be said, that the long-running problem in the Czech language has been intuitively transported also into the "lingua franca" of today. There has not been any disagreement in English speaking lands concerning the official one-word name for the newly formed country, they accepted Czechia in the beginning without any objection, and the appropriateness of the name was also confirmed by English linguists and other specialists (e.g. Royal Geographical Society, prestigious publishing houses Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, etc.). In 1999, the Association of Communication Agencies (AKA) in cooperation with the New York American Marketing Association and the London Institute of Practitioners in Advertising carried out a survey opinion, asking five hundred native English speakers about the name Czechia. 99% of participants responded: "No problem and do it now".