I've noticed on my travels around Japan that on maps there are two ways of indicating the viewers position in the manner of the English "You are here":

  • 現在地{げんざいち} is common on maps in Japan, and seems to be directly from Chinese as I saw it on maps in China and/or Taiwan (possibly with variant characters).

  • 現在位置{げんざいいち} is common here in Sapporo and I think elsewhere in Hokkaido, though I first saw it on the ferry from Okinawa to Kagoshima.

Now are these both words? Or are they phrases? Or is it a case of one of each? How do I parse them? Are there any subtle differences between them?

I just got reprimanded for adding the longer variant to the English Wiktionary for being "not a word and obviously sum-of-parts". What makes the first good and the second bad? Is the first the only one that has entries in dictionaries?

At the very least would the second be considered to at least be a set phrase?


2 Answers 2


"Chi" is a pretty common morpheme but seldom used as a word, except in certain fossilized phrases. "Ichi" is unambiguously an independent word. So they are different in that respect. I would call it a qualitative difference; others may disagree.

Whether that difference is sufficient to allow one as a Wiktionary entry but reject the other depends on Wiktionary policy, I guess. FWIW the Kojien has "genzaichi" but not "genzaiichi", so Wikipedia is not in bad company.

  • Oh don't worry I'm not asking you guys to back me up or make Wiktionary policy decisions. I just want to be informed. It just happens that I'm learning Japanese and contributing to Wiktionary in parallel. Commented May 5, 2014 at 9:55
  • FWIW Wiktionary has "boiled egg" and "fried egg" so is in peculiar company even with itself (-: Commented May 5, 2014 at 9:58
  • 1
    No argument there! I should have restricted that comment to the case of these two potential entries specifically.
    – Matt
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 10:00

​I get the feeling that 現在位置 is more likely to be used when the [present position] is rapidly or continuously changing.

Just to show [You are here], ​現在地 would do fine.

I'm glad others agree :


  • 「地」は陸地を尺度とした位置という意味が強いので、たとえば航空機が上空で使うなら「現在位置」の方が良いのではないでしょうか。

Great point. In a SciFi, ​現在地 wouldn't usually be used about a place on Mars.

  • 「現在位置」を検索すると、GPSとかカーナビとか何かのアプリとか出てくるので、動いている人や物を示す時は「現在位置」の方を使うのかなと感じました。

"現在地点" is more precise than 現在位置 -- See https://www.google.co.jp/?gws_rd=ssl#q=%22%E7%8F%BE%E5%9C%A8%E5%9C%B0%E7%82%B9%22&tbm=bks

"現地点" is curious. At least 90% of the news articles seem to be using it incorrectly -- See https://www.google.co.jp/?gws_rd=ssl#q=%22%E7%8F%BE%E5%9C%B0%E7%82%B9%22&tbm=nws


kimanity.blog53.fc2.com/blog-entry-533.html  現地点での.  2007-06-02 時間の流れの上のある一瞬を表す「時点」のかわりに「地点」を使っている例をよく見かけます。 多くは「現時点」を「現地点」に取り違えるというもので、これはうろ覚えというよりは勘違いの部類かもしれません。

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .