The words "眞" and "真" are frequently used, but the word "眞" in the dictionary is not the traditional form of "真" (either in Hong Kong and Taiwan), and I have never been able to find the word "眞". But why the word "眞" is not the traditional form of "真" in the dictionary (either in Hong Kong and Taiwan), and the word "眞" has never been found? Is "眞" a old-style Chinese grapheme (旧字形)? It is a traditional & standard Korean character and Japanese character (Japanese character when used in name of persons, such as Imperial Princess Mako) anyway. So, what are the differences between them?

I think the differences between them are 眞 is treated more like a variant than the actual traditional character for 真. The 真 is commonly used, but the 眞 is used when printing old traditional Chinese books. But this all seems quite contrary to my understanding for this character. So, is 眞 an old-style grapheme?

Is there a viable reason why 真 would be picked over 眞? I would like to ask those who are in the know to help me.

3 Answers 3


真 means real, truth, and sometimes very. 眞, however, is a Japanese Kanji(?) character that has very similar meanings. 眞, also, might be part of the Korean Hanja(?) script which is a mixture between Hangeul and Chinese script, although this script rarely seen today.

I'm also unable to type 眞 on my Chinese keyboard(windows one so both traditional and simplified) so I'm pretty sure 眞 is not part of the traditional and simplified scripts.

A very important thing to know for Chinese enthusiasts is that traditional Chinese might not necessarily have the same characters as old Chinese(some characters are left out). This might be the case for this letter but I've only seen 真 in texts(even old magazines) and very very very rarely 眞.

I'm not necessarily an expert in Japanese and definitely not fluent in Korean, but with some google searches I'm pretty sure that these are the differences between these characters :D

  • I can input 眞 with my Chinese keyboard. Using IME to judge whether a character is part of a script is not really the best way and even in Japanese the modern standard form is "真". Sure, "眞" is not the standard form in either mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, but that does not mean it is not used. A quick Google search of “眞實" gives a lot of results so clearly the character is in use in traditional Chinese. Commented Jan 3 at 6:26
  • “Even old magazines", well here is an example from a old newspaper: tcmb.culture.tw/zh-tw/…. So again, the character is in use, although I agree the use is rare. Commented Jan 3 at 6:36

眞 and 真 are the 'same' character but are encoded differently in Unicode. One way to ascertain this is so is to use the Unihan database e.g. , (scroll down to see dictionary data). zdic.net also agrees: '眞,同真'. There's a table of this and similar variant ways of writing at https://kanji-database.sourceforge.net/ucs/ucv.html

As has been pointed out, 眞 is preferred in traditional (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea) and 真 in 'simplified' contexts; I believe in Japan the first form is the one most often used.


I am a native Simplified Chinese user, but I am not a language expert. I would like to share some of my feelings and some tests. First, at first glance, this character seems to be the traditional Chinese version of the character "真" (zhēn) for me. Although I haven't specifically studied traditional Chinese characters in my education background, I am familiar with them due to frequent reading, but I don't know how to write them at all. In my opinion, this is a traditional Chinese character. Then, I conducted tests in the software. This software can automatically convert between Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

character converting program

It surprised me that in the software, this character is not the corresponding one. It cannot be converted from traditional to simplified, nor from simplified to traditional.

then I did some search:

https://www.zdic.net/hans/%E7%9C%9E this one says they are the same character

https://zh.wiktionary.org/zh-hant/%E7%9C%9E but this one says 眞 is from Japanese and Korean.

I am also interested to hear how people from Taiwan and Hong Kong perceive this.

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