Prague, April 12 (CTK) – The Czech Republic should also use the official name Czechia and this shortened version should be added to the United Nations Geographical Names database that contains the official names of countries and cities in six languages, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said yesterday.
Zaoralek told journalists that he believes Czech top constitutional officials would support the change at their meeting scheduled for Thursday.
Provided that the foreign minister, the defence minister, the prime minister, the president, and the heads of the two houses of parliament reach agreement on the shortened name in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, the Czech Republic will ask the United Nations to add these names to the database.
“It is not good if a country does not have clearly defined symbols or if it even does not clearly say what its name is,” Zaoralek said.
He said it sometimes happened during his foreign trips that the name of his country was mangled.
Zaoralek said Czechs have been unable to tell the world that they use the shortened name Cesko for their country and that this name has only one correct translation according to them.
He said the name “Czechia” unfortunately has not become widely popular, although there seems to be no other alternative. This name got into the English language via Latin, he said.
Some people use the adjective Czech instead, while others prefer the name Czechlands.
President Milos Zeman has already been using the English translation Czechia in his speeches. During his visit to Israel in 2013, he said Czechia was shorter and had a better sound than the unfriendly official name, the Czech Republic.
In other languages, such as Slovak, Italian and Spanish, the shortened name of the country is commonly used. The German equivalent is Tschechien, not Tschechei, which is sometimes viewed as pejorative.
Zaoralek said the benefits of adding the shortened name to the United Nations list would be seen at sports and other international events, it would help the promotion of the country and the labels of Czech products.