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Czechia
Posted: 29 April 2017 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Like some others, I hadn’t even realised the Czech Republic was trying to change its English name, but suddenly I’ve been seeing it everywhere. Well, not everywhere, but independently in a few places. Google Maps has switched to it. Articles like https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/25/nobody-calls-it-czechia-czech-republic-new-fails-catch-on claim it’s a failure, but are they premature? I haven’t heard anyone actually say it yet.

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Posted: 29 April 2017 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve not encountered the term except in articles about the term.

Sounds too much like Chechnya.

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Posted: 29 April 2017 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Searching BYU’s NOW Corpus, limiting to the last six months when the name became official, yields 13 hits for Czechia and 3,339 hits for Czech Republic. Of course, that’s English usage, having nothing to do with whether Czechs use the name.

Journalistic organizations tend to use the official name, as recognized by either the UN or by their respective country’s foreign ministry. The US State Department recognizes the name Czechia, so US news organizations should be using it. But there are two factors confounding that. One is that the switch is recent, and it takes time for editors to catch up. The other is that Czech Republic is still the official name, with Czechia being a short, informal name. Editors may conclude that Czech Republic is not that much longer and more likely to be understood by their readers, so they use that and don’t pick up on the Czechia name.

The UN website uses Czech Republic, but includes a note that the informal, short form is Czechia. The US State Dept website uses Czechia. The UN will use whatever name the country wants used. The State Department follows the same practice, but with exceptions. For instance, the State Dept calls it Burma, not Myanmar, as a dig at the country’s rulers.

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Posted: 29 April 2017 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve always thought Czech Republic was a stupid, cumbersome name (we don’t call France “the French Republic,” for example, even though that’s the official name), and I really hope Czechia catches on.

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Posted: 29 April 2017 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Several countries with the definite article in the name have changed or are trying to change. A few that come to mind:

The Gambia - Gambia
The Ukraine - Ukraine
The Gold Coast - Ghana
The Argentine - Argentina
The Ivory Coast - Côte d’Ivoire

Although to be accurate the last two haven’t really changed, they just prefer that their countries be styled after the manner of their own language.

Diehards remaining:

The Netherlands
The Philippines
The United States of America
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

This is by no means an exhaustive list, I couldn’t find a wiki on this! Also I’m unsure about the last two. By the criterion of using the full and official name of the country who ‘scapes whipping?

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Posted: 29 April 2017 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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aldiboronti - 29 April 2017 06:41 AM

Also I’m unsure about the last two. By the criterion of using the full and official name of the country who ‘scapes whipping?

And right you should be. A lot of official names have the article:

The Kingdom of Norway
The Kingdom of Denmark
The Central African Republic
The United Mexican States
The State of Japan
The State of Israel

And so on.

Canada, however, is just Canada. (It used to be The Dominion of Canada, but no more.)

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Posted: 30 April 2017 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The Argentine - Argentina

Has anyone talked about “The Argentine” in the last few decades?  My impression was that it was as archaic as the Hapsburg Empire.

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Posted: 30 April 2017 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Corpus of Historical American English hits, the Argentine / Argentina:

1830s: 4 / 0
1840s: 5 / 1
1850s: 9 / 1
1860s: 7 / 3
1870s: 17 / 0
1880s: 8 / 0
1890s: 40 / 11
1900s: 32 / 41
1910s: 51 / 103
1920s: 99 / 182
1930s: 112 / 202
1940s: 196 / 702
1950s: 41 / 265
1960s: 28 / 240
1970s: 16 / 162
1980s: 57 / 354
1990s: 41 / 241
2000s: 20 / 204

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Posted: 30 April 2017 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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In fact, I’ve never heard any anglophone refer to “The Argentine”—it’s simply an inaccurate translation/rendering of “La República Argentina” ("The Argentine Republic"). Argentine stamps used to bear the name “República Argentina” years ago: I don’t know how they are labelled today. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber did a lot to help “Argentina” become the name used by many Anglophones for that country. Argentina was, of course, originally an adjective.

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Posted: 30 April 2017 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Agatha Christie has Captain Hastings going to or returning from the Argentine in some of the Poirot mysteries. When I read them as a youth the addition of the article gave me the impression that it referred to a region, maybe the Pampas, and not specifically Argentina. No idea now why I should have thought that. Later on I just presumed it was a common Brit thing after running across the Lebanon(which hasn’t been mentioned here yet) and the Gambia, neither of which were ever common in the US.

Oh, and there is also the Bronx.

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Posted: 30 April 2017 07:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I remember in 1998 or so Ukraine was very insistent that people should drop the article. It seemed almost impossible at the time, but became quite easy after a while. They also had a website with their preferred transliterations, but either it’s disappeared (most likely) or I can’t find it. Touchingly, it included things like L’viv’, if I remember rightly. Good luck with that one.

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Posted: 01 May 2017 02:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Bayaker - 30 April 2017 12:22 PM

Agatha Christie has Captain Hastings going to or returning from the Argentine in some of the Poirot mysteries.

Do they not call themselves La Argentina?

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Posted: 01 May 2017 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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No, just Argentina.  (See, for instance, the Spanish Wikipedia article.)

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Posted: 01 May 2017 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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languagehat - 01 May 2017 06:36 AM

No, just Argentina.  (See, for instance, the Spanish Wikipedia article.)

Well, the Wiki may point that way, but today’s issue of Clarín, a leading Buenos Aires newspaper, is not quite convinced.

Los gobiernos de ocho países de América latina, entre ellos la Argentina, manifestaron hoy su adhesión a declaraciones recientes del papa Francisco, quien sostuvo la necesidad de contar con “condiciones muy claras” para restablecer el diálogo entre el gobierno y la oposición en Venezuela.

bolding added

Just to complicate things a little, the headline omits the article: “Argentina y otros siete países se suman al pedido del papa Francisco sobre Venezuela”

source:  https://www.clarin.com/mundo/argentina-paises-suman-pedido-papa-francisco-venezuela_0_SkDqGz4y-.html

The other leading paper, La Nación, in keeping with its more conservative posture, uses the article in a recent headline:

“Sumaron al rugby como actividad en otros 25 penales de la Argentina”

When I worked there, a few decades ago, both forms were in use, depending on context.
Regardless of local, Argentine Spanish custom, it seems clear that the article is rare in current English.

The Wiki article references both usages, saying that the form including the article is “correct”, while the shortened name is widespread.  “El nombre oficial del país es «República Argentina». Por elipsis del sustantivo, suele decirse correctamente «la Argentina». Sin embargo, está muy extendido el uso sin el artículo.”

[ Edited: 01 May 2017 08:05 AM by cuchuflete ]
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Posted: 01 May 2017 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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languagehat - 01 May 2017 06:36 AM

No, just Argentina.  (See, for instance, the Spanish Wikipedia article.)

That article contains many sentences where “la Argentina” is used, and many others where the article is not used.
“En 1865, la Argentina se involucró nuevamente en una guerra civil en Uruguay, a lo cual el Paraguay respondió ocupando la ciudad de Corrientes. Tras firmar una Triple Alianza con el Brasil y Uruguay,46 la Argentina tomó parte en la Guerra de la Triple Alianza contra el Paraguay, que duró cinco años y requirió la participación de diez mil soldados argentinos.”

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Posted: 01 May 2017 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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When I worked there, a few decades ago, both forms were in use, depending on context.

Now that I think about it—I was there a half-century ago—that’s true, both sound OK.  Language is confusing!

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