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is there a difference between 投诉 and 抱怨? All I know is that they both mean "complain".

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

投诉=complain (to a department)

抱怨=grumble (usually talking to a friend)

If you look at the character, 诉=suit, 怨=grudge

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It's right that they both mean complain, and that is because "complain" has different meanings. If you look up complain in a dictionary , 抱怨 is corresponding to the

1.To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.

and 投诉 is corresponding to

2.To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.

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Whoever downvoted this, it would be nice if you could put a comment here/edit my answer and hopefully help other people, because I think this is a common one. (I was asked the same question in real life before) –  Liam Apr 23 at 22:16

抱怨 is to complain 投诉 is to lodge a complaint

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投诉 means to complain in the legal or "formal" sense.抱怨 means to complain in the social sense.

They both meant to "complain," just in different contexts.

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投诉 is to express your discontentment to some organizations or institutes; 抱怨 is usually used to grumble to people around you.

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