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I was watching a Chinese movie about the Monkey King (孙悟空), and after he sprung out of the rock, he said "我出世了". I looked it up and understood it to mean "I was born". Are the two terms interchangeable or is one more formal than the other?

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出世 has more use scenarios than 出生. When used for people, it's same as 出生 (出生 is used more commonly for this case); but it could be also used for things which come into being.

(1) [vouchsafe;come into being;be born]∶人的出生

(2) [come out;be published]∶问世;产生

(3) [be above worldly considerations;be not involved in the material world]∶超脱超脱人世束缚。佛教用语,佛教徒以人世为俗世,故称脱离人世束缚为出世

(4) [rise above this world]∶高出人世

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出生 is used for humans and animals mostly. 出世 is used in ancient novels for heroes and great persons, also used for lifeless things like treasures and rarities.

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The quick answer is that 出生 means "to be born," that is to emerge from a womb and live on. 出世 means "to be reborn," in the Hindu/Buddhist sense.

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