Speed Reads

say my name say my name

The Czech Republic wants to rebrand itself as 'Czechia'

Czechoslovakia may have split into two countries with easier-to-pronounce names (the Czech Republic and Slovakia) in 1993, but Czechs still think calling their country "the Czech Republic" is a mouthful.

And they're actually trying to do something about it — maybe out of the goodness of their hearts, but also maybe because it will be helpful for marketing purposes. From The Guardian:

The Czech Republic's leaders have chosen "Czechia" as the one-word alternative name of their country to make it easier for companies, politicians, and sportsmen to use on products, name tags, and sporting jerseys. [The Guardian]

Provided that the name gets cabinet approval (the president, prime minister, and other government officials have already given it a thumbs up), "Czechia" will be on its way to being recognized by the United Nations as the country's official short name. While the country's official name would still be the Czech Republic, the BBC notes that short names — like France is to the French Republic and Greece is to the Hellenic Republic — are pretty much how most countries are referred to in common parlance.

But while "Czechia" will more easily fit on things like beer labels (one of the country's most delicious exports), not everyone is thrilled with the proposed change. Some people think the name is ugly, while others are concerned that it sounds too similar to Chechnya. Others, still, prefer "Czechlands" or even simply "Czech" as a noun.

And of course, English speakers are already wondering how, exactly, Czechia is pronounced. Go Czechia, however, has no sympathy for the pronunciation argument: "English pronunciation is variable and English speakers simply have to learn the pronunciation of particular words," Go Czechia's website reads. In other words, you got used to Czechoslovakia, so you'll get used to this.