I understand the sounds and inflections are distinct, and that the only commonality is the initial consonant. But what if it were a conversation between two speakers with different native dialects, where wine has been drunk, and the person speaking has a speech impediment, and the person mishearing is very old and hard of hearing. (In other words, this question is about mistakes in communication and records as opposed to accuracy.)

This is not a serious question, per se, but more of a fun question for literary purposes, playfully looking for a speculative (non-materialist) connection between the game of Yi, mentioned in the Zuo Zhuan and Analects, and the Battle of Muye.

  • I would say it is possible. But, always, it can be distinguished from the context. Jul 20, 2017 at 3:58

2 Answers 2


It may be possible if we say only one word, 奕 or 野, quickly and ambiguously.

When they are combined with other words, we have these words to judge it.

牧野 is the name of a place, and we always use this term as a whole.

奕 usually goes with 博 or 對 to form 博奕 or 對奕 for games.

Even somebody mixes 奕 with 野. It is not so easy to mix 博奕 (Bó yì) or 對奕 (Duì yì) with 牧野 (Mù yě).


To me, these two words are very distinctive and I had never encountered a case for these two words which confused my understanding. I just can't think of any occasion off the top of my head.

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