Why Not Sakartvelo?
|Georgia and Georgia - quite a topographical contrast|
(screenshots taken from Google Maps)
If you don't agree with me on that point, however, consider this: Why don't we at least call other countries by the names they call themselves when doing so would make things easier for us?
In this case I am referring specifically to the country we call Georgia, located in the Caucasus Mountains along the divide between Europe and Asia. In the United States, however, (and probably in English generally), the name Georgia typically refers to the American state, the southernmost of the thirteen original colonies. It doesn't make sense to have two Georgias. Let's call the country in the Caucasus by its real name: Sakartvelo.
|the flags of Georgia and Georgia|
"Georgia" is ultimately an exonym—a name for a place that doesn't originate in that place. I don't think all exonyms should be done away with; sometimes exonyms are merely translations, like calling the United States los Estados Unidos: That's just a translation and serves to preserve the meaning of the country's name. On the other hand, names like "America" and "Canada" aren't really translatable, although other languages may spell them differently according to their own orthographies. The name for Georgia in Kartuli is Sakartvelo, meaning "land of Kartvelians." In English we could call the country Kartvelianland if we wanted to, but it really just sounds better as Sakartvelo.
Finally, I'd like to conclude my argument by pointing out that there's plenty of precedent for calling places by their endonyms, although typically that has happened when new countries were created or governments officially changed their names. In the case of Sakartvelo, it would really just be a lot less confusing and ultimately more rational to refer to the country in the Caucasus by its endonym. Our own interesting exonym may have had a long run over the centuries, but I think it's time for that name to become history.