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What’s in a name? The Czechia (Česko) brand takes centre stage globally


New York, USA, March 1, 2023 – Years of debate by the government, language experts, international organizations, and the public have landed on one conclusion: Czechia and the Czech Republic are synonyms, two official names for one Central European country. Using the full name or shortened version depends on the context and official guidance. 

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the longer name Czech Republic must only be used in: official government documents, embassy names, official correspondence, contracts and powers of attorney, instruments of ratification, and memoranda. This is based in part on the MFA’s embassy guidelines, and summarised here

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends Czechia (Česko) be used in all other cases based on two perks: it’s less formal and more practical for production. The shorter name may appear on everything from signage for official meetings at the highest political levels to promotional materials at international trade fairs. Czechia (Česko) works best for informal communication and correspondence, literary works, and newspaper articles, and brings an everyday tone to non-ceremonial political speeches for the general public. The shorter name already adorns jerseys and uniforms for teams representing the country in culture, science, sports, and other areas, including the Czech Olympic Committee. In summary: the Czechia (Česko) brand should be used for all press and materials presenting the country’s domestic achievements, history, and personalities on both promotional materials and by private entities. 

Prague rooftops, photo by Dmitry Goykolov

Consensus on a country’s designation goes far beyond tourism. The MFA’s Commission for a unified presentation of the Czech Republic abroad includes representatives of relevant ministries, Czech Centres, the House of Foreign Cooperation, the Czech Olympic Committee, CzechInvest, CzechTrade, CzechTourism, and other agencies. This collective group will address ambiguity and create a unified presentation of the Czech Republic, especially abroad. 

One prominent place you’ll see this change is in the Czech Tourist Board (Česká centrála cestovního ruchu) switching from “Visit Czech Republic” to “Visit Czechia.” This should be followed up – after mutual agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Regional Development – with an efficient and budget-friendly rebranding of promotional and information materials, including future trade fair presentations. 

Now, to avoid any misleading headlines claiming that “The Czech Republic is changing its name!” let us reiterate that the shortened name, Czechia, has been part of UN databases since 2016 (United Nations) – including the UNGEGN (United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names) and UNTERM (United Nations Terminology Database) – as well as in the European Union database since September 2022, including the language options below. We’re just making sure that people know when and where to use each version.

Language        Short name

Czech              Česko

English            Czechia

French             Tchéquie (la)

Spanish           Chequia

Russian            Чехия

Arabic                تشيكيا

Chinese            捷克

Photo by William Zhang on Unsplash

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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