The Eastern European nation of the Czech Republic is considering changing its name to 'Czechia' to avoid the country's name being "distorted."
In a statement from the country's foreign ministry, officials said that many people were getting the name of their country wrong and that by changing to the name "Czechia," a lot of the confusion would be resolved.
"Our hope is that this step will overcome the problems we face with distorting the name and that the correct terms will dissolve into general knowledge," a press statement from the Czech foreign ministry said.
"What the Czech minister of foreign affairs is planningto do is to put an end to distorting our country's name in English (and some other languages, too) where many people use incorrect "Czech","Czecho", "Czechland" and other wrong terms."
The name Czechoslovakia – a name that became defunct more than 20 years ago when the country officially separated from Slovakia – is also still bandied about mistakenly and the country can also get mixed up with Chechnya which, like Czech Republic, is a former Soviet Union satellite state – although that's where the similarity ends.
Due to frequent misnomers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it planned to notify the United Nations (which keeps databases of countries' names) of the change. "These databases are used regularly by states, companies and individuals when in doubt about the correct name of a country" the statement added.
Seeking a formal change with the United Nations and its database ofcountry names was not an uncommon move, the ministry said, with many countries being called by a shorter name than their official name; the ministry noted that the Commonwealth of Australia is more commonly known as Australia.
"After its split in 1993, Czechoslovakia became two independent countries - the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. While the latter regularly uses Slovakia as its short name, the Czech Republic has been officially using only its formal name. However, the standardization of the short name in Czech ("Česko"), as well as in the U.N. official languages, was completed already in 1993," the foreign ministry noted.