I was reading a Chinese book when I came across the word 麪粉.

I didn't know how to read the first character, so I performed a search on Google translate. According to Google translate, both 麵粉 miànfěn and 麪粉 miànfěn have the same pinyin, and both mean flour.

My impression from living in Hong Kong is that only the first word "麵" is encountered in everyday usage, e.g., wonton noodles is written as 雲吞麵.

Are there any real differences between 麵粉 and 麪粉?

  • 3
    That's so-called 异体字, that is, different spellings for the same character. Shouldn't be any difference in meaning.
    – dan
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 23:54
  • As dan noted, it is 异体字. Just like color and colour in English. Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 5:29

2 Answers 2


「麪」is a variant type of「麵」(「麪」is a more standard form in the old ages, and both are simplified to「面」now)and the meaing between them is not quite different.


麵 and 麪 both means flour while 面 means face or side in traditional Chinese. 面 pronounced miàn while 丏 pronounced miǎn, the ancients created the pictophonetic characters 麵 and 麪 with two different phonetic indicator with the same syllables. 麵 and 麪 are interchangable in traditional Chinese, but later 麵 was treated as the formal form while 麪 as the variant form. Both are simplified to 麺 not 面 (combined with a 麦, meas wheat, the simplified form of 麥, and a 面) in mainland China, but in simplified Chinese 面 covers the meaning of 麺, that means 面 is a super set of 麺 (麵 and 麪) in simplified Chinese. Though 麺 is right when used for flour but hardly anybody used it. This is a strange case in Simplified Chinese. There is another similar example, 餘 means rest or remaining while 余 means me (used in classic Chinese) in traditional Chinese. 餘 was simplified to 馀, but also 余 covers the meaning of 馀, that mean 余 is a super set of 馀 (餘) in simplified Chinese. The same as above, 馀 is also right when used for remaining but hardly anybody used it.

  • 麵 is simplified to 面 in mainland China (简化字总表). 麺 is used by Japanese (means noodle, not flour) not Simplified Chinese.
    – tsh
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 1:58
  • I don't have one. But a Google search lead me here: xh.5156edu.com/html3/18572.html . Hopes it is correct. has no meaning, no words listed. To my understanding, it could only be used as person name. But covers the meaning of flour or noodle. Also 简化字总表 did include 麵 simplified into 面. Could you find out any resource suggest 麺 is the simplified version of 麵 in mainland?
    – tsh
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 2:16
  • The last right-falling stroke of 麦 in Japanese standard is longer than in simplified Chinese standard, the character 面 is on the last stroke in Japanese standard, while in simplified Chinese standard it is on the right side. Yes, 麺 and 馀 is hardly used in mainland China currently, but still exists in Chinese Xinhua Dictionary.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 3:01
  • But "麺 Exists ≠ 麺 Has relationship with 麵"
    – tsh
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 3:03
  • Are you ever noticed that 麺, miàn, 同"麵" (麺, miàn, the same as "麵") in the URL you mentioned? Even in Japanese, 麺 is same as 麵 in traditional Chinese.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 3:20

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