The time has come to decide what goes in the FAQ.
I think the best way to organize ourselves is for everyone to provide some contribution, so we'll proceed like this:
This question will be edited and updated (half of it, so we preserve this "instructions" part) with the FAQ that, when completed, will be moved to the actual FAQ link up there.
Propose a point in each answer. For example "Translation requests" with some description. I'll post some on my own as a start too.
If you agree with the answer, vote it up; if you disagree with it, vote it down. (Explain why in this case).
For those who don't know, the actual meaning of upvotes and downvotes in Meta mean agreement and disagreement, respectively.
If you want to express something more than a vote, use the comments below. If the comments aren't enough for a certain matter, create another meta post so we can discuss more in depth and then when it's decided, come back here and vote consequently. For minor changes like a change in wording, just edit the answers.
I think it's all for now, if you have questions, you can use the comments under this question.
Note: I think that when this FAQ is ready, we can think of a Chinese version provided by native speakers, but for now let's do the English one. :)
The Chinese Stack Exchange Site is for experts, language enthusiasts and people who have interest in the Chinese language. Whether you're a native speaker or not, this is the place for you. This site is about discussing about the finer points of the language, but also about less expert questions that might be encountered both when learning the language itself or when you're just interested in how it works.
Can I request translation? This is not a translation service, so we will close any translation request that does not show research effort.
Should I post in English or Chinese? Questions and answers can be written both in Chinese and English on the Main Site only. The Meta site should be in English only, though. This is a request by the Stack Exchange team so they can communicate with us. So, on the Main site you can choose either language, but we suggest a guideline that has been used on other Stack Exchange sites as well:
- If the question is in English, please answer in English;
- If the question is in Chinese, please answer in Chinese.
In either case, if you're not as comfortable in the question's language, you can provide a brief but complete answer in the original language, and then a more detailed answer in your preferred language. Other users may help improve your translation. Translations are not mandatory, they are just helpful for users who are not fully bilingual. But keep in mind that if your answer is correct without providing a translation, the OP might not consider it as much as it deserves.
Can I ask for resources?: The short answer is: It depends.
There are already a few common resource questions collected under the resources tag. We also set up a question that groups resources for learning or improving your Chinese; you're free to add more material to it, but make sure you read the instructions before posting. If you do ask for another list of resources, please be very careful how you phrase your question. Open-ended, chatty questions are explicitly discouraged on the Stack Exchange network. The "Real Questions Have Answers" post gives this advice:
"You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page."
We're not saying that you should never ask for a list of suggestions, but when you do, you should ask for something as specific as possible. A source of example sentences, or board games to practice speaking, for example. Avoid vague questions like, "What are some good web sites for learning Chinese?" as they are going to be closed.
If you do have a chatty, open-ended question, visit our chat room.