Back in April, Czech politicians approved the shorthand name ‘Czechia’ for submission to the United Nations database of geographical names.
In other languages, the Czech Republic has long had a shorthand version: ‘République tchèque’ becomes ‘Tchéquie’ in French, ‘Tschechische Republik’ is usually ‘Tschechien’ in German, ‘República Checa’ can be ‘Chequia’ in Spanish, and so on.
You might think the introduction of an official English-language shorthand name, useful in many areas in this era of text message abbreviations, would be a welcome one.
Still, the debate rages on. And the anti-Czechia campaign is decidedly more outspoken.
Mere mention of the word on this site, almost exclusively used in an editorial manner to save space in titling, sparks more ire than any actual content.
“Please, don’t call my beautiful country Czechia!” Lucie Řeháková wrote to us via Facebook, in one of the few comments suitable for publication. “It’s Czech Republic…this stupid ridiculous name shouldn’t be used!”
Yet the pro-Czechia lobby has also offered praise for its use.
“Thank you all, editors & readers, for using the short geographical name of this country in the English language,” Eva Horová commented on another article.
On July 1st, however, it became a little more official: the shorthand name ‘Czechia’ was officially entered in the UN database.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the announcement via a tweet:
— MZV ČR (@mzvcr) July 1, 2016
Ministry spokesperson Michaela Lagronová stressed that the short version of the name is not a replacement for Czech Republic, reports iDnes.cz.
“It does not change anything about the fact that you can still use ‘Czech Republic’,” she said.
But we don’t expect this to be the final word on the matter.