My example:「現在の私の日本語」 vs 「私の現在の日本語」?

Since both 「現在」 and 「私」 are intended as modifiers of 「日本語」, at least by the rules I am aware of, either order would be fine. Though I could see the latter being interpreted as (私の(現在の日本語)), so "My understanding of modern Japanese" (or something like that; I know 現在の日本語 doesn't mean "modern Japanese").

This might not be the best example, but in general, given such a situation, what would be the correct approach? Order by importance, or for least ambiguity, or does it not matter?

I'm very sorry if this has been answered before, but in my search, I couldn't find a question dealing with this exact issue.

EDIT: I should add for clarity, that the intended meaning of my example is "my current (understanding of) Japanese".

  • Isn't 現在 modifying 私 in this case? When you say 現在の私の日本語, I think you get 「(現在の私)の日本語」. I'm pretty sure they don't both modify 日本語 in either sentences. The second one only sounds like "My modern Japanese" to me and sounds a bit unnatural. – Shurim Oct 1 '20 at 18:03
  • 2
    Might be related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/80306/… – APK Oct 1 '20 at 18:16
  • @Shurim I am not certain, but wouldn't 「現在の私」 mean something along the lines of "the person I am today". So that would make the full example mean "the Japanese of the person I am today". I guess that in a way means the same as "my current Japanese", but isn't that the wrong focus? The "currentness" is about the 日本語, not the 私, if that makes sense. – user40476 Oct 2 '20 at 23:41
  • @APK Thank you. I've already found that question in my search, and while it's about the same topic, it unfortunately doesn't answer my question. – user40476 Oct 3 '20 at 0:02
  • I found 「彼の現在の給料」 meaning "his current salary" in an example sentence on jisho.org, so that would speak for 「私の現在の日本語」 in my case. – user40476 Oct 3 '20 at 0:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy