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In this post, I am discussing characters in traditional writing.

When reading as zhan4, I wonder what the difference between 佔 and 占 is. Is there a division in use by meaning? Or, is one totally preferred over the other?

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  • 佔 is not used in simplified Chinese.
    – fefe
    Oct 8, 2023 at 8:16

2 Answers 2

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When reading as zhàn, the word meaning to occupy/seize has historically been written with both 「佔」 and 「占」.

The following may give an indication of the preferences of the spellings in various Traditional-Character-using areas, based on how publicly-available dictionaries record vocabulary:

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  • I just want to add, I checked my hongkong published dictionary and it listed both as equally acceptable (佔優勢。∥也作「占」。) Perhaps it is part of the modern internet, but I do think alternate official characters are intermingling a lot in the current day (^_^)
    – zagrycha
    Oct 8, 2023 at 6:52
  • @zagrycha In this answer, I made sure to mention what the primary entry (the entry where the full definition is given) was. If your dictionary is a 詞典 (not 字典), you can check as well.
    – dROOOze
    Oct 8, 2023 at 6:57
  • sorry for the confusion, and to be clear I am not at all disagreeing with your main post. Yes it is a 詞典, and this dictionary usually does not list alternate characters at all, unless it considers them equally accptable to use-- things that are just considered general 異體字 get no mention in that dictionary at all-- not a 𤔡 or 盐 to be seen even though I see both in hk, they aren't recognized enough. Anyway it was just an anecdotal note I thought was interesting of things mixing (^_^)
    – zagrycha
    Oct 8, 2023 at 7:11
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/zhan1/

divine; practise divination.

to divine

As in 占卜

/zhan4/

occupy; seize; take possession of

As in 佔領

"Occupy" and "seize" are human activities, therefore, it has radical: 亻 (human)

The two characters are only related by having similar phonetics since 占 is the phonetic component of 佔

Notice: 占 is also used as the simplified character of 佔, Therefore, 佔領 in simplified Chinese would be 占領, and it is read as /zhan4 ling3/ not 占領 /zhan1 ling3/

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