As I understand it, the phrase 「…」というラベルが付けられているもの literally translates to something like 'a thing with a label reading "..." attached to it'. Unlike in English, there is no verb equivalent to 'labeled'.

That said, this phrase alone seems insufficient to cover all cases that, in English, would use the word 'labeled', where the label is not a distinct object from the thing being labeled. Some other cases have other obvious translations. For example, if the label is directly written on the object in question, something like 「…」と書かれたもの would work. For others however I cannot think of an adequate translation, for example if words have been burned/branded onto an object.

Some alternatives I've considered are 付く, which unlike 付ける seems to include meanings like 'marked' or 'imprinted' as well as 'attached', and 表示する. However, I've been unable to find any examples using either in the way I'd like. I have only seen 付く used to describe things as being marked without specifying what the mark read, and 表示する seems to be limited to things like computer screens, when not being used to mean 'expression' or 'display' in a more abstract sense.

Would either of my alternatives, or some other possibility I've yet to find, do the job? Or am I overthinking either 「…」というラベルが付けられているもの or 「…」と書かれたもの, and thinking that they are more specific in meaning than they actually are?

  • 3
    "Unlike in English, there is no verb equivalent to 'labeled'." Says who?
    – user4032
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:43
  • " do the job"? which job? it seems you forgot to actually state it. Mar 14, 2018 at 9:11
  • @l'électeur Says every dictionary I've been able to find. 分類する works for abstract labels, (i.e. cats are labeled as carnivores) but not for physical/literal ones. Not discounting that there may be such a word that I have not been able to find, but if you are aware of one please present it as an answer.
    – P...
    Mar 14, 2018 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


Yes, ~というラベルが付いている usually only means there is a physical sticker/label/plate attached to the object. One expression you can use more generically would be ~の/~という印【しるし】がついている, which covers both stickers and written/imprinted/engraved/branded symbols. As long as the label is readable, 書かれている works regardless of the method. Of course there are many specific verbs for various methods (刻印されている, 焼き印が入っている, 彫刻されている, ...)

  • Thank you, いう印がついている was exactly what I was looking for!
    – P...
    Mar 14, 2018 at 23:02

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