Presentation of the book by the scholar Viacheslav Chirikba "Dictionary of Geographical Names of Abkhazia and Other Countries" was held at the press center of the World Abaza Congress.

The presentation of the scientific work of Professor, Doctor of Philology, Head of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Abkhazia, member of the Supreme Council of the WAC Viacheslav Chirikba "Dictionary of Geographical Names of Abkhazia and Other Countries" in a press conference format was held at the press center of the Congress office on August 24.

The press conference was moderated by the head and editor-in-chief of the Information Department of the WAC, Amina Lazba, who introduced the guests and journalists to the newly published scientific work and the composition of the presidium: the author of the presented book, Viacheslav Chirikba, and its reviewer, Doctor of Philology, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia, Valentin Kogonia.

Viacheslav Chirikba said that the work on compiling the book was carried out for a year and a half and became the first experience of the Abkhaz-Russian-English and Russian-Abkhaz-English dictionary of geographical names of Abkhazia. He noted that the book also includes a Russian-Abkhaz dictionary of geographical names of foreign countries, a brief Russian-Abkhaz dictionary of geographical terms and a Russian-Abkhaz dictionary of ethnonyms. 

According to the author of the book, the purpose of the dictionary was to create the spelling of the names of geographical objects of the country in the Abkhaz literary language and their exact transmission in Russian and English in accordance with scientifically based transcription rules.

"I consider it very important to correctly indicate onomastics on the maps of Abkhazia and toponyms on road signs. Driving along the roads of Abkhazia, we see inconsistency in the use of incorrect transcriptions. It is necessary to indicate scientifically based Abkhazian names, maximally close to the Abkhazian pronunciation. If in Russian transcription there is, for example, the letter "ы", why change and distort the name of the village "Eshyr" (Эшыр in Russian) to "Eshera", or "Kudry" (Кудры in Russian) to "Kodor" and the like. Such words are easy to pronounce in Russian and English transcription, while maintaining the Abkhazian pronunciation," Chirikba noted. 

He noted that the sources for the dictionary were the scientific works of one of the reviewers of his book, academician, doctor of philological sciences Valery Kvarchia, the works of scholars Khukhut Bgazhba and Taras Gytsba, as well as geographical maps of Abkhazia published in different years.

In the course of collecting material for compiling the dictionary, all the changes that have occurred on the geographical map of Abkhazia over the past 30 years were taken into account. The book contains a number of documents of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras concerning the renaming of geographical objects of Abkhazia and demonstrating the complex history of the formation of the modern nomenclature of geographical names of the Republic.

The reviewer of the dictionary, academician, doctor of philological sciences Valentin Kogonia, told journalists and guests about the value of the book from a philological point of view.

"This book has been compiled in three languages. This fact makes it already a historical book. The excellent work of the author contributed to the inspiration for writing a review. I am grateful to the author for the work done and the collected invaluable material. This is an invaluable dictionary for a wide range of specialists, primarily for philologists-translators, historians, geographers and cartographers. I express my special gratitude to Mussa Ekzekov for the opportunity to publish such a work," he said.

Kogonia believes that the book is of great value as a reference material that establishes a single Abkhazian spelling of the names of countries, their capitals and the largest geographical objects. He noted that in the dictionary the names of countries are provided with accents and both their full and short versions are given. Such a "subtle approach to compiling a dictionary simplifies the work of geographers, historians and all those who will be associated with onomastics and toponymy as much as possible."

The Chief of Staff of the World Abaza Congress, Kan Tania, who attended  the presentation, said that the publication of the book was received with great enthusiasm at the office of the Congress in St. Petersburg.

"The publication of such a work is fully consistent with the program of the Congress for the preservation and development of the Abkhaz language, history and literature of the Abkhaz-Abaza people, therefore we, for our part, could not help but do everything we can for the early release of this publication. I am sure that such a fundamental work will become the basis for issuing relevant legislative norms for the restoration and preservation of the Abkhazian toponymy," he said.

The moderator of the press conference, Amina Lazba, and the deputy of the People’s Assembly, the Executive Secretary of the Congress, who was present at the meeting, told reporters about how they witnessed the field collection of material outside of Abkhazia during business trips to Europe and the Middle East with Viacheslav Chirikba. They noted that the author of the book for many years does not miss the opportunity to communicate with compatriots in order to obtain useful information from the primary source, which serves as an important help in this work.

"Dictionary of Geographical Names of Abkhazia and Other Countries" was published with the financial support of the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the World Abaza Congress and President of the International Association "Alashara" Mussa Ekzekov.

The book was a run of 500 copies. Some of them will be donated to educational institutions of the country. The book is available in the bookstores of the Abkhazian capital. An electronic version of the book will soon be prepared and posted on the websites of the Abkhazia Internet Library and the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Abkhazia.