Due to an awful 'hack' instituted in FTM 7 when the maps feature was introduced and continued through to FTM 16 you needed to add your places as a comment / location. It was called the slash delimitor.
The hack was to avoid adding a description field.
So you should enter place detail as [say] street address/town country. The first bit is a comment the second after the slash was recognised as a location which it attempted to plot and add to the map legend report in FTM 7 and above.
Most users of FTM never used the crude map feature and never bothered to learn or understand the slash delimitor even although it is in the FTM in program help
When you import your data into FTM 2012, your places are likely to contain both places and descriptions/comments that you will have to go through as a once-off exercise and resolve. FTM 2012 has some great tools to do this.
FTM 2008 and above have an excellent description fields associated with the Place fields so you can have a place and say a street address all correctly entered and resolved. The Place hierachy feauture in the 704 patch for FTM 2012 has further enahnced this capability.
It will all sound a bit complex but in fact once you have a look at FTM 2012 and have a look at the Places workspace you will get the hang of it.