Names of the Czech Republic

Names of the Czech Republic

More than a decade after the split of Czechoslovakia into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the latter continues to be known by several competing names in English and Czech. While "Czech Republic" (Czech: "Česká republika") is the unquestioned long-form name, Czech authorities, geographers and linguists have had difficulty convincing people to use the officially preferred short forms of "Czechia" [IPA|ˈtʃɛkɪə] and "Česko" [IPA|ˈtʃɛskɔ] .


In 1993, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs promoted "Czechia" as the short form of the country's name, though the official website of the Czech Republic,, operated by the ministry, currently uses the long name (2006). While similar names, such as "Tschechien" in German, the Russian "Чехия" ("Chekhia"), the French "Tchéquie", the Norwegian "Tsjekkia" and the Dutch "Tsjechië", have caught on, few English speakers use the word "Czechia". In Italian "Cechia" is hardly used, while in Spanish, both "Chequia" and "República Checa" are used. In Greek, the country is known as "Τσεχία".

As "Czechia" remains uncommon, and the long form "Czech Republic" is unwieldy, people often resort to the adjective "Czech". The "Czech national ice hockey team" brands itself as "Czech Team" rather than "Team Czechia" or "Team Czech Republic". English speakers (and Czechs speaking English) sometimes refer to the country simply as "Czech",Fact|date=October 2007 which if maintained would make it only the fifth sovereign state in the world to have a one-syllable name in English (after France, Spain, Chad, and Laos).


The Czech counterpart to "Czechia" is "Česko." Unlike the English word, the word "Česko" has achieved some popularity; it is widely used in the media, but is still opposed by many Czech peopleFact|date=May 2007.

While the promotion of the word "Czechia" is primarily a marketing concern, the word "Česko" touches on important issues of national identity in the Czech Republic. The country consists of three historic lands — Bohemia (in Czech, "Čechy"), Moravia ("Morava") and Czech Silesia ("Slezsko"). Of the three historical areas, Bohemia is the largest and the traditional seat of power. The same word — the adjective "český" — means both "Czech" and "Bohemian."

Many people use the word "Čechy" to refer to the entire Czech Republic; for example, "v Čechách", literally "in Bohemia", will be used by Prague speakers to mean, "in the Czech Republic". (This is also the case in Polish, where "Czechy" refers both to Bohemia and to the entire Czech lands, or in Slovenian where there is also no distinction between Bohemia and the Czech lands, since they are both referred to as "Češka"). Such usage may be compared to the use of the word "England" to refer to all of the United Kingdom, "Holland" to refer to the Netherlands, or, historically, "Russia" to refer to the Soviet Union. Just as Scots and Ukrainians may be offended in those cases, Moravians and Silesians may not appreciate the use of "Čechy" to refer to their country.

The Czech government adopted "Česko" as the country's official Czech-language short-form name in 1993. (The name had existed for centuries but was rarely used until 1993). The word combines the adjective "český" with the "-sko" suffix traditionally used for territories in the language. For some Czechs, the word sounds strange and harsh. []

In the mid-1990s, private television station TV NOVA started to use the word "Česko" because of the personal influence of Vladimír Železný, who was then in charge of the station. The use of the word "Česko" by the Czech media and public has increased in recent years.


Although it has no official status, the variant "Czechland" has appeared in English-language publications from the Czech and Slovak Republics. [ [] usage in Komerčni banka report, 11 June 2005] [usage by "Aero Club Zbraslàvice" website] [ usage in essay "The development of the Slovak industries during the first ten years of Czechoslovak Republic"]

Promotion of the official names

Some Czech politicians and public figures have expressed concern about the disuse of "Czechia" and "Česko." In 1997, an organization to promote the names was established. The following year, a conference of professionals aimed at encouraging the use of the names was held at Charles University in Prague. The Czech Senate held a session on the issue in 2004.

Some examples of the use of "Czechia" can be found at [] , [] , [] , [] , [] and [] .None of the examples listed here come from an official Czech institution, except the last one (Embassy of the Czech Republic in Singapore). The search engine of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs currently gives no examples of usage of "Czechia." (Some examples are available from Google; see [] [] [] [] .)

The Czech state agency for tourism registered the domain name and created a campaign with the same name that was later stopped by the opponents of the name.Fact|date=March 2007

ee also

*Use of the word American
*British Isles (terminology)


External links

*cs icon [ "Open letter to the Czech Olympic Foundation, Czech Sports Union, politicians, business people, media, etc."] , "National Geographic", 2001.
*en icon [ "Looking for a name"] by Daniela Lazarova, Radio Prague, May 13, 2004.
*en icon [ "Česko versus Czechy? On the geographic name of the Czech Republic"] by Leoš Jeleček, paper presented at the 2nd Slovak-Czech-Polish Geographical Seminar, Bratislava, September 1-5, 1999.
*en icon [ "Where are you from?" "I am from Czechia." ] for the "Journal of the Czech Journalists and Translators"

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Name of the Czech Republic — The name of the Czech Republic derives from the Slavic tribe of Czechs (Czech: Čechové). Because the name of the country has evolved significantly over time both in Czech and other languages, it remains a source of debate and contention. Nearly… …   Wikipedia

  • Outline of the Czech Republic — …   Wikipedia

  • Beer in the Czech Republic — A jug with czech beer. Beer in the Czech Republic (Czech: pivo) has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in 1118. The city of Brno had the right to brew beer from the 1 …   Wikipedia

  • Economy of the Czech Republic — Economy of Czech Republic Headquarters of Czech National Bank in Prague Rank 42nd (PPP) …   Wikipedia

  • List of German exonyms for places in the Czech Republic — Below are links to subpages with more detailed listings of the German language names of towns and villages in different regions of the Czech Republic. Many of these German names are now exonyms, but used to be endonyms commonly used by the local… …   Wikipedia

  • List of birds of the Czech Republic — This is a list of the bird species recorded in the Czech Republic. The avifauna of the Czech Republic includes a total of 415 species, of which 9 have been introduced by humans, and 44 are rare or accidental. 14 species are globally… …   Wikipedia

  • Supreme Control Office of the Czech Republic — Nejvyšší kontrolní úřad (NKÚ) Official logo, as of 2008 …   Wikipedia

  • List of universities in the Czech Republic — Contents 1 Partial list 1.1 Old universities 1.2 New universities 1.3 Historical universities 2 …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Jews in the Czech Republic — Part of a series of articles on Jews and Judaism …   Wikipedia

  • List of mammals of the Czech Republic — This is a list of the mammal species recorded in the Czech Republic. There are 71 mammal species in the Czech Republic, of which 0 are critically endangered, 1 is endangered, 6 are vulnerable, and 4 are near threatened.[1] Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”