trevelyan on October 23, 2014 (0) | reply
Short answer: I don't know how to say bubblewrap in Chinese. Will float the question around though.

On the tech issue -- usually that error should be triggered if the title is substantively similar to something that has already been posted, as the title of the "post" in the system needs to be unique. Maybe there is a bug in the part of software that handles this, and it is coughing up blood on uncommon characters like / . Not sure....

trevelyan on October 19, 2014 (0) | reply

Hope it helps. Let us know if you have any questions. :)

trevelyan on October 8, 2014 (0) | reply

I hear 进, but a better answer is probably that the sound could only possibly be "jin" because there are no characters pronounced "zhin", which means Chinese speakers have a bit of leeway as to how clearly to enunciate in practice....

If this doesn't make sense, look at our dictionary and compare the "zh" and "j" entries (use the "browse by initial" menu on the right). A quick look will show that Chinese has evolved in a way that makes the distinction I think you are talking about irrelevant in practice. So we have "jia" but not "zhia" and "jiu" but no "zhiu", etc.:

The one exception would seem to be the finals that start with the vowel u (i.e. ju and zhu, juan and zhuan, etc. ) but even this isn't phonetic overlap so much as just laziness in the pinyin standard. The "u" which follows "j" is pronounced like the vowel-sound "ü" in lü or 绿 (i.e. with umlaut) whereas the "u" which follows "zh" is pronounced like the vowel sound "u" as in lu or 路 (no umlaut).
trevelyan on October 8, 2014 (0) | reply

Grace slows it down and says it a bit more clearly, but it's definitely 进水! :)

trevelyan on October 8, 2014 (0) | reply
Most university-level Chinese courses are pretty much the same in my opinion, so I would personally optimize your plans for whatever environment is going to motivate you to do things in Chinese. For me this would mean a decent-sized university (more students mean more social activities and stuff on/around campus) in a part of the country you would like to live. Pollution is a real concern if you are even thinking about staying through the winter. I would personally go south/southwest to Hangzhou or Chongqing rather than risk Beijing or Harbin at this point.

In major cities AirBNB rentals tend to be more expensive than hotels or hostels. If your school is providing you with an actual study visa (i.e. not a tourist visa) they may be able to set you up in a dorm -- something that will also encourage you to get out during the day. Apartments in 2nd tier cities will be available for 500 USD / month or less too, so as long as you have a place to stay for a week or two after arrival, this is something that you can productively leave until you get here.

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