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I have found those translations of a "table-tennis table":

乒乓球桌
乒乓球台
乒乓球案子

Searching for pictures of them, all 3 appear to be the same thing. On http://www.mdbg.net/ I only found 乒乓球台 .

Are those words interchangeable? Which is more commonly used?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

All three terms refer to the same thing - table tennis table.

乒乓球桌 is a commonly used (1.58M results on Google, 2.60M results on Baidu) layman's term.

乒乓球台 is the technical term (both Baidu and Wikipedia use this term) and is commonly used (2.14M results on Google, 4.19M results on Baidu) as well.

乒乓球案子 is rarely used (0.21M results on Google, 0.13M results on Baidu) from my own personal experience.

When used by itself,

refers to a table.

refers to a platform or a stage.

案子 refers to a long table or a plank used as a make-shift table.

If you are discussing about table tennis in general, you can also use 球桌 or 球台 to refer to the table.

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As a chinese, I usually call table-tennis table "乒乓球案子", it is correct in some area of China, but it is not formal.In china ,we call table-tennis table "乒乓球台” formally

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乒乓球案子 is informal, kind of dialect in some areas.

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1  
Peng, would you mind adding more detail? –  Alenanno Aug 24 '12 at 9:02

And in Cantonese, it is

兵乓波台

pronounced, roughly, as BING BUM BOR TOI, but often the second sound is shortened and quick, to BING um BOR TOI.

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2  
兵乓波台 = bing1 bam1 bo1 toi4 (Yutping) –  dda Aug 17 '12 at 15:13

The first two are both commonly used. I have never heard of the third one, but a look on google shows usage. I suspect the third one is used more in Northern China, but this is just a guess.

So yes, since they refer to the same thing, you can use them interchangeably, but I'd stick with the first two just to be safe.

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Yes, agree that the third one is quite rarely used. –  杨以轩 Aug 17 '12 at 2:38
1  
The third one is quite commonly used in northern China. In Beijing if I use the former two in casual conversations with my friends they'll be like "wow, why do you sound so formal". –  NS.X. Aug 17 '12 at 18:33
    
Thanks @NS.X. I thought so. 案子 used in this way just sounds so Northern to me. The only time I (I was originally from Shanghai) would use 案子 is in the sense of a crime case. –  deutschZuid Aug 17 '12 at 20:33

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