A few weeks ago I learned 仿佛 fang3fu2 to seem, as if, similar. However today I encountered the similar looking 彷彿 fang3fu2 in the subtitles for the Hello Mr Billionaire movie that is in Simplified Chinese.

Cedict says that 仿佛 is a variant of 彷彿 but also seems to indicate that 仿佛 is the simplified form for 彷彿 (however I'm not totally clear on this). Baidu actually redirects 彷佛 to 仿佛. Microsoft's pinyin input also suggests 仿佛 and doesn't offer 彷佛 as an option.

The subtitles use 彷彿 three times.

Incidentally, the subtitles also use 彷徨 which Cedicts defines as pang2 huang2 to pace back and forth, to hesitate, to be indecisive

In Simplified Chinese, which is more standard: 彷彿 or 仿佛 ?

  • It's just 异体字. The simplified standard is 仿佛. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 5:50

2 Answers 2


For simplified Chinese 仿佛 is correct. I don’t know the history of 彷 and 仿, but I can tell you 100% it is 仿佛. Whatever subtitles you’re watching can be wrong.


I believe 仿 is simplified version of 彷, which actually is not much of a "simplification", so why bother?

I've seen some pretty old printed books, mostly from HK, containing 100% un-simplified characters and 彷 appears in them.

  • How about this 彷徨 word? It is in Cedict as a simplified word, defined as pang2 huang2 to pace back and forth, to hesitate, to be indecisive. Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 21:50

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