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Party : 派对 vs 聚会


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派对 is a loan word.

聚会 is something I have also heard which I believe is the proper word. 

 

Are both commonly used on mainland China?

 

Are both commonly used in Taiwan?

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派对 is very likely (or mostly) a subtype of 聚会.

When a (Chinese) friend of mine says (s)he's going to a 派对 (party), I will imagine there are wines and dances and music and it's gonna be (somewhat) noisy there. And when (s)he says (s)he's going to a 聚会 (gathering / get-together), I will imagine they will simply have a meal or afternoon tea or sth like that and chat with each other or play some simple games or go to a karaoke, etc.

A picnic with friends or relatives can be called a 聚会, but never a 派对(party).

 

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At least to me, 生日聚会 can take many forms, from music+dance+wine to a night in karaoke to a picnic, but 生日派对 is a party for someone's birthday.

Traditionally, a grand meal prepared for someone's impartant birthday (aged 20, 30, 40…) may be called a 生日聚会 but not a 生日派对. 

Since both party and the term "派对" are foreign to the majority of mainland Chinese, the term is most likely still used in a narrow sense.

 

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