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Earlier when I was in China I learned "便利店" (biànlì diàn) to mean "convenience store". I think from looking it up in the English Wiktionary.

But now that I'm in Taiwan when I used it people didn't understand it and then corrected me to use instead "便利商店" (biànlì shāngdiàn).

When I check on Google Translate it supports both.

So is this a PRC vs Taiwan difference? Or is it generational? Or are they straight synonyms?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's a PRC vs. Taiwan thing. It's like American English vs. British English. You'll find many words are different in Taiwan.

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You can just search it on Chinese Wikipedia, when you found the page of the phrase you are look for, there is a drop down menu on the top left, look the picture below.便利商店Wikipedia
In this drop down menu, you can choose what kind of Chinese language you want to see. "台灣正體" is for Chinese speak in Taiwan, "大陆简体" is for Chinese speak in main land china. This is a way to see how character was used in both Taiwan an PRC.

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Yes I've been using this feature of Wikipedia since I've been in Taiwan. I'd known about it for years but not needed it before. – hippietrail Feb 5 '14 at 4:15

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