It’s been a year since the word Czechia, a shorter version of the name Czech Republic, was entered in the UN database of geographical names of countries. To mark the occasion, the geographical department of the Faculty of Sciences in Prague organised a special conference, assessing how successful the process of adopting the name Czechia has been so far.
Charles University academic Ivana Bozděchová has taught Czech and Czech Studies in several corners of the world, including in the United States and in the South Korean capital Seoul. When we spoke, the conversation took in everything from the particular difficulties Czech tends to throw up for English speakers to Czechia to the use of -ová surname endings. But I first asked Ms. Bozděchová about her experiences of teaching at the University of Nebraska in 1990, right after the fall of communism.
2016 has been an eventful year both on the domestic and international front. Senate and regional elections in the Czech Republic indicate that traditional parties may be in a crisis, trust in EU institutions has sunk even lower following the Brexit vote and special security measures are in place around the country following the terrorist attack in Berlin. In this half-hour debate on Radio Prague I look back at the past year – and the challenges that lie ahead - with political scientist Jiří Pehe and the head of the STEM polling agency Jan
Earlier this year the Czech government made international news with its plan to promote “Czechia” as a snappy alternative to the cumbersome “the Czech Republic”. So far how has successful has this rebranding exercise actually been? I discussed that question and more with Professor Petr Pavlínek, a geographer who teaches at Charles University and at the University of Nebraska. He’s a member of the group Initiative Czechia, which began by advocating for the Czech-language name Česko before focusing on its English equivalent. I first asked Professor
The Czech Republic has registered the name Czechia in English, with other versions in the world’s main languages, as the country’s shortened title with the United Nations. The move was agreed by the government at the start of May in spite of opposition from some ministers that it would mean extra expense, in part rewriting and rebranding existing promotional material. The foreign ministry has led the call for an agreed shortened name for the Czech Republic arguing that the current official name is long winded and has given rise to a series of different unofficial short versions. Organisations will be able to choose whether to use the long or shortened versions but the ministry hopes to see Czechia taking off for sports and cultural events.
Around 100 people gathered at a demonstration organised by the Moravané (Moravians) party in Brno on Saturday in response to the name 'Czechia' - a shortened, informal term for the Czech Republic being pursued by the current government. Organisers criticised the name, saying historically it referred only to part of the country known as Bohemia and ignored the areas of Moravia and Silesia. The Communists abolished Moravia as an administrative entity in 1949. The Moravané party has slammed the government for pushing ahead with its own game plan, suggesting other solutions in English were worth consideration. Alternatives mentioned most often include the terms Czechomoravia and Czechlands.
Today in Mailbox: Listeners' response to the proposed new name Czechia; Iraqi refugees in the Czech Republic, memory of Český Těšín, mystery Czech quiz. Listeners/readers quoted: Karin Roos, Lynda-Marie Hauptmann, Stephen Hrebenach, Philippe D'Exelle, Alecx Schulz, Annika Tetzner, Jaroslav Tusek, Samuel Beckwith, Mark Palmer, George Frierson, Colin Rose, Alan Gale, Barry Jandera, Bonita Rhoads, Tim Knott, Ocean Eale, Evelyn Coviello, Paddy Phillips, Hans Verner Lollike, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Mary Lou Krenek.