Re: [Czechlist] CHAT: Czechia rears its head again
- Jezismarija soudruzi akademici meli zase jednou dlouhe prazdniny..
Note that most of these no doubt distinguished people are from Brno, where this sort of linguistic/national pioneering has always emjoyed a healthy tradition - I could hear a Brno accent even in English and on paper in that excerpt :) I'm from Ostrava and studied and lived in Brno, by the way, so not another prazak who thinks Moravia starts in Pruhonice..
What these people miss, IMHO, is that you can't invent a name based on a few examples (the ones that fit) and a poor sense of English, that most of those names were created naturally and not by academics... if you are going to invent a name, go all the way - count me in for Czecho!
Seriously though, suppose they hired an expensive PR outfit and managed to persuade everyone that we will call ourselves Czechia from now on (they should have no trouble up at Prague Castle).. wouldn't that just sound funny and weird to most native speakers? Or have they become numb to new names of breakaway states and provinces far away and would think it's a country somewhere between the Black Sea and Afghanistan, with lots of Al Q outfits in it, better drop a few bombs before they give us trouble?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 12:49 AM
Subject: [Czechlist] CHAT: Czechia rears its head again
I get occasional emails from these people to my rozhlas address on
this subject. The latest one is below. I am posting it here, because
I reckon some of you might be interested:-)
please find enclosed a text which responds to the inconsistent use
of the standardized English equivalent of the geographical name
Cesko. While the translation of this name does not cause any
difficulties in other languages, the situation in the English
language has been chaotic (and hence unsatisfactory) for as many as
fifteen years of independence of the Czech Republic. In our opinion
it is our professional duty to draw attention to this fact.
Therefore we contact you, too: considering your activities, we
believe that you cannot be indifferent to the present state of
affairs and that you can contribute efficiently to its rectification.
PhDr. Libuse Cizmarova, CSc., Brno, linguist and translator
Doc. PhDr. Jiri Felix, CSc., Praha, linguist
PhDr. Eva Horova, Brno, linguist and translator
RNDr. Leos Jelecek, CSc., Praha, historical geographer
Karel Kopriva, Brno, representative of the Civic Initiative
Mgr. Pavel Krejcií, Ph.D., Brno, linguist and translator
Petr Schnur, M.A., Hannover, historian and sociologist
Don´t be afraid of CZECHIA, it needs your help!
Pavel Krejci, PhD
Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts
Department of Slavonic Studies, Section of South Slavonic and Balkan
(Written for the Internet journal for historical geography and
environmental history Klaudyan (www.klaudyan.cz)
"Combining the political name of a state with geographical
names of other states appears communicatively unsuitable,
stylistically clumsy, mannered, and undiplomatic."
(From the "Opinion of geographers, linguists, historians,
and other experts in science and humanities on the problem of the
official one-word geographical name for the Czech Republic", Prague,
Albertov, January 1998)
Almost every state in the world has two denominations which,
as a rule, are based on the name of the majority nation. (As a
matter of course, this does not often apply to post-colonial states,
or those considerably influenced by European nations in Africa,
Asia, and Latin America; the present paper is concerned with the
area of Europe which, in the past is decisive to us.) One of these
denominations, the political name, renders the state´s structure and
is used mainly on formal, official occasions. It has one essential
disadvantage: a change of the state´s system of government implies a
change of its political name. At present, for example, France is a
republic but it used to be an empire and a kingdom; Serbia is also a
republic today but, in the past, it was also a principality, a
kingdom, a people´s republic, and a socialist republic. In a
majority of the world´s countries, the political name contains in
itself what is called the geographical name (or, in other words,
the "short name"), that is, the other name of the state.1 This name
usually originates in usage, derives from the name of the majority
nation2 and is mainly used in commonly spoken language but also in
social intercourse when it is more suitable and more natural than
the political name (non-formal communication in politics, the fields
of business, advertising, journalism, culture, sports, juristic
texts [if the system of government of the state that they mention is
irrelevant] etc.). It is short, most often monosyllabic and
therefore easier to remember. Not least, the geopolitical,
international, cultural importance of a state´s geographical name,
which plays a unique role in the citizens´ historical identity, is
based on the fact that, contrary to the political name, it implies
the historical continuity of the territory concerned, its permanence
and anchorage in time and space (even if it may be liable to
changes). While the subject called the Czech (Socialist) Republic
has existed since 1969 when the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
changed to the Federation of the Czech and the Slovak Socialist
Republics, that is, for as few as 39 years (the last 15 of them
since 1993 as an independent state after the peaceful split-up of
the Federation in 31. 12. 1992), the history of Czechia has been in
progress for more than a thousand years and includes the history of
its three parts, i.e., the historical lands Bohemia, Moravia &
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- Thanks, Josef and Gerry. My hunch is now that this abbreviation is,
in fact, document specific and doesn't call for translation.
On Sep 6, 2008, at 3:15 AM, Josef Hlavac wrote:
> This is most likely a very specific jargon or a document-specific
> abbreviation. Maybe even a brand/model designation. Certainly not a
> commonly recognized abbreviation, not even in elec engineering.
> James Kirchner wrote:
> > Can anyone tell me what "DM" stands for in "DM ovladac" in an
> > electrical appliance?
> > Thanks.
> > Jamie
> > ------------------------------------
> > Translators' tricks of the trade:
> > http://czeng.wetpaint.com/
> > Yahoo! Groups Links
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