On a Mac, with a pinyin input method, if I type "shen," the first choice offered is what I expect.  But if I select it, what goes into the text file looks different.  Are the differences merely artistic (font design)?

In the image, the lower shén is what I have always seen until today.  The upper is what I'm getting now which is unfamiliar to me.  (If I tap the '1' key, the underlined letters will be replaced by the same hanzi that is already there from the OCR.)

enter image description here

From an image that looked like the lower one, Cisdem OCR produced the upper.  I used a Java tool called DimSum to convert to simplified and then back to traditional, and both were the same.  DimSum also gives it the meanings I expect (God, unusual, mysterious, …).

I said "differences" (plural). The OCR also got the following three glyph differences:

enter image description here

I suppose the middle one is just artistic)

  • 1
    Looks like you have a Japanese font selected on your application rather than a Chinese one. Try changing it.
    – Mou某
    Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 18:07
  • Close. 范阮煌 nailed it. Matter of language selection rather than font. Although I had an input methods for Chinese, it wasn't in my allowed languages. I have the font set to "Menlo" (fixed width) but when a font doesn't have a particular glyph, MacOS tries to automatically substitute a font of a similar style.
    – 伟思礼
    Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 20:46

1 Answer 1

  • 神 & 平: Yes, those are just variants of the same character (there is a slight difference in the first stroke of 安 as well).

    • Your computer seems to be defaulting to Korean character shapes. If you're learning Chinese, try adding Chinese to the preferred language list in System Settings (and if you've got Korean in there too, make sure to move it above Korean). Or just explicitly set the font to a Chinese one.
    • Those "Korean" character shapes were in use historically in China and I've seen modern fonts with those shapes that are in use in China too. But most of the time you're going to see 神 and 平 in CN/HK/TW, so it's important to choose the correct font and default language.
    • For many more examples of regional and historical variants, take a look at the Wikipedia pages for Han unification and Variant Chinese characters.
    • Also, read this answer for an excellent summary of how the variants came about.
  • 諒 & 給: No, your OCR software failed to detect those characters. They are completely different from 師 and 始.

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