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What's the difference between 氷 and 冰?

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冰 is the standard Chinese form of the character (also Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao). It is commonly used in Chinese, while Japan does not currently use it at all. (It is on the JIS X 0208 standard though.)

氷 is a form that from the Chinese point of view is a rare alternate (the 通用規範漢字表 lists is as such, hence expects that people might encounter it somewhere), but is normal in Japan (and Korea).

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    Does 氷 really occur in Chinese though? Any examples?
    – Eddie Kal
    Mar 7, 2022 at 17:10
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    Well, there are 42 hits on ctext.org (all post-Classical), and most of them are not character-dictionaries. Anyway, 通用規範漢字表 is specifically listing 氷 as an 异体字, which it does not do for characters outside of those that no-one is likely to encounter. But in general, that definitely holds: 冰 is Chinese (including Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc.), 氷 is Japan, Korea, Vietnam (冰 is also used in Vietnam, but as a Nôm character). Mar 7, 2022 at 17:38
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    冰 is in JIS第2水準, which means most Japanese fonts support this character. From a Japanese point of view, 冰 is a 旧字体 of 氷. Recently it was used in this monster's name, and I have never seen someone complaining 冰 cannot be displayed properly.
    – naruto
    Mar 8, 2022 at 2:05
  • Yes, my list happened to be wrong. Replaced part of the answer. Mar 13, 2022 at 14:56
  • Interesting bit of trivia: while 氷 is the only currently accepted Korean form (taught it middle schools, allowed in names), the Japanese Wikipedia consistently employs 冰 when referring to Korean people who have this character in names. Mar 17, 2022 at 13:48

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