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Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく (to mean that something has caught our interest)?

Some quick googling shows that both 興味が湧く (~11m hits) and 興味が沸く (~9m hits) are widely used. Is one of them simply a typo error, or are both of them correct?

What is the difference in nuance and usage between 興味が湧く and 興味が沸く?

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Which kanji should we use for the phrase 興味がわく

湧く. You should be able to verify this in a dictionary, such as here, #4.

What is the difference in nuance and usage between 興味が湧く and 興味が沸く?

One is spelled correctly while the other is not.

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I think both are correct. "湧く" means just "exist" in you and "沸く" means "boil", so "沸く" makes us feel a nuance with more excitedly than "湧く", I think.

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Although 興味が沸く seems to be a somewhat common error, I do not think that it is accepted widely enough to justify calling it correct. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Feb 10 '13 at 1:25
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