Both 试验 and 实验 seems to be translated into "experiment". What is the difference between the two words? Can they be used interchangeably or not?

  • I thought you were native Chinese born and raised near Beijing? On Baidu there are many pages explaining the difference.
    – BertR
    May 25, 2012 at 12:56
  • 4
    Anyone can propose a question here even he knows the answer already, as long as the question can benefit the community. This site is a little quiet now and I think more such questions are welcomed,at least in my opinion.
    – Huang
    May 25, 2012 at 14:33
  • Well said, Huang!
    – Alenanno
    May 25, 2012 at 21:37
  • 1
    @BertR I am a native. But one day I came cross this I had to reference a dictionary. So I think this would benefit the learners also.
    – fefe
    May 26, 2012 at 3:27
  • Me too, I mess up these two since I was in 珊瑚實驗小學 and later 某中學實驗班
    – George
    Aug 20, 2013 at 11:20

2 Answers 2


实验 is used for operations and activities done to test a scientific theory or hypothesis. An example: 经过反复实验,证明这一结论是正确的

试验 is used to inspect the function or effect of some physical thing (something that already exists). It's typically done in some lab. Some examples:

  • 新农药要经过反复试验才能推广
  • 试验新机器
  • 新办法试验后推广

Simply put:

实验 - An experiment

试验 - A trial

  • butwho, Welcome to Chinese SE. As the note below says, when providing an answer, please try to provide context/reasoning behind why you've answered as you have. Otherwise, you can leave a comment. Thanks
    – user3871
    Aug 19, 2013 at 12:14

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