Do both of them mean "difference?" Not sure if they are the same part of speech or if they are interchangeable.

  • some answers seem to come up with questionable distinctions, see dictionary examples, 差异 #3436 difference; divergence; discrepancy; diversity: 能力(年龄)方面的差异 discrepancy in ability (age) 方言上的差异 dialectic difference 这两个地区气候差异很大。 These two regions differ greatly in climate.这对孪生姐妹性格差异很大。 The twin sisters are very different in character. 1) 差别,不同。 2) 奇异,反常。 差别 #4396 difference distinction disparity dissimilarity; distinction; unlikeness:年龄差别 disparity in age 数(质)量上的差别 quantitative (qualitative) difference 仅是口味差别 dissimilar in tastes only 社会结构上的差别
    – user6065
    Mar 11, 2018 at 15:49
  • unlikeness in social structure 男女差别 disparity between men and women 毫无差别。 There is no difference at all. 二者之间差别很大。 There is a world of difference between the two. 实际上并无差别。 There is practically no difference. 二者之间差别很大。
    – user6065
    Mar 11, 2018 at 16:03

3 Answers 3


Both 差異 and 差別 mean "difference"

  • 差異 = (physical) difference

  • 差別 = (physical or metaphorical) difference


这两张牌全无差異/这两张牌全无差別 (these two cards have no difference)

the two cards are physically the same

对我而言,有机食品和普通食品之间並无差别 (to me, there's no difference between organic foods and common foods)

the two products have the same food value to me

you cannot replace 差别 with 差異 here because the difference between them is not physical but of value in your opinion.

One more example for 差别 used to describe metaphorical difference:

输给彼得或输给保罗是一样的,没有什么差别 (lose to Peter or lose to Paul are the same, there's no difference)

the main point is you lose

Again, you cannot use 差異 instead of 差别 here because the focus is not on the physical difference between 'lose to Peter' and 'lose to Paul' . The focus is on the win or lose result)


In addition to Tang Ho's answer, one of the major difference between these 2 words is:

差異 is usually used when measurement is involved.

Say if you're comparing the weather between 2 countries:

  1. The weather between Canada and Africa differ greatly
  2. The temperature between Canada and Africa differ greatly

Note that some of the metaphorical differences (as mentioned from Tang) might not be as 'measurable', such as culture, knowledge, etc.


simple to say

差異 = difference; divergence; discrepancy; diversity; odds; variation


气候差异 difference in climate

文化差异 cultural diversity

看法上的差异 difference of opinion


差別 = difference; division; distinction


缩小城乡差别 narrow the gap between town and country

年龄差别 difference in age

质量与数量上的差别 qualitative and quantitative differences

你去不去没什么差别。 It makes little difference whether you go or not.

refer dict: https://www.jayxun.com/what/7AJv

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