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This snippet is from 标准教程HSK4上 chapter 7 (my translation):

小李:你的鼻子怎么流血了?快用纸擦擦。
Little Li: Your nose is [how] bleeding? Quickly get a tissue and wipe [it].

小林:我还不习惯北方的气候,估计是天气太干。今天天气不是很冷,你怎么穿这么多?
Little Lin: I am still not accustomed to the north's climate, [my] estimate is the weather is too dry. Today the weather is not very cold, how come you wear so much?

I don't understand what caused 小林's nose to bleed. The logic seems to be something like this:

  1. 小林 is now in the north [of China].
  2. 小林 is not accustomed to the north's climate.
  3. 小林 estimated the weather is "too dry" [估计是天气太干], but this was incorrect.
  4. ???
  5. 小林's nose is bleeding.

I'm going wrong somewhere here.

Question: Why is 小林's nose bleeding?

It seems like 小林 has predicted the north's weather is drier than it actually is. But I would expect an underestimation of the dryness to lead to 小林's nose bleeding, not an overestimation.

  • Apologies if this sounds offensive, but growing up in a Western country, I've personally felt that the way of bringing up Chinese kids 20-30 years ago (don't know about now) was a bit "overprotective", and that any random weather condition that someone isn't accustomed to will be blamed for any random symptom. – dROOOze Oct 28 '19 at 2:44
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    There might be some logic to it? "A dry climate or heated indoor air irritates and dries out nasal membranes, causing crusts that may itch and then bleed when scratched or picked." kidshealth.org/en/teens/nosebleeds.html – user3306356 Oct 28 '19 at 2:51
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The weather caused the problem of his nose. Specifically, he suspected it's too dry.

It seems that you misunderstand the word 估计 in the context. It's not an estimation actually. It's his suspection instead. I'd interpret 估计 as reckon, suspect, feel, and etc in this context.

So,

我还不习惯北方的气候,估计是天气太干 // I am still not accustomed to the north's climate, I reckon (it's because) the weather is too dry.

  • 估计 simply means "guess" here – Tang Ho Oct 28 '19 at 3:43
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    @TangHo I think it's more than 'guess'(猜测). 估计 denotes the sense of "more likely"(可能/很可能) here. It usually implies one makes judgements based on certain data, not a blind 'guess'. – dan Oct 28 '19 at 4:16
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When he said "天气太干" he actually meant "空气太干" (air is too dry)

Chinese believe one of the causes for nosebleed is 體內燥熱 (dry heat inside body), and 干燥空气 (dry air) is a cause of 體內燥熱

To reduce 燥熱(dry heat), one should drink often and avoid fried, greasy food (fried food raise body temperature, greasy food is harder to digest thus put stress on the system, make it over work and heat up, causing nosebleed)

我还不习惯北方的气候,估计是天气(空气)太干

I am still not accustomed to the north's climate, I guess it's because the weather (air) is too dry.

估计 simply means "guess" here

  • 'Guess' is not an accurate interpretation for 估计, strictly speaking. – dan Oct 28 '19 at 4:26
  • But he 's just guessing – Tang Ho Oct 28 '19 at 4:57
  • @dan "guess" is a correct translation. Your interpretation (猜測) is too literal, and not strictly appropriate under a colloquial context like this. This is an English word usage nuance. The correct translation is: "i'm still not used to the northern climate, I think/guess that the weather's too try... – dROOOze Oct 28 '19 at 4:58
  • @droooze If, in English, 'guess' and 'reckon' are the same for the context, I'd agree. I can't comment on English. I'm not an English native speaker anyway. – dan Oct 28 '19 at 5:12
  • @dan yep, it is - it is colloquial usage. Colloquial language is often the hardest to translate across the languages. – dROOOze Oct 28 '19 at 5:13
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Simply to answer your question:

Your understanding it right —— Lin underestimated the dryness which caused his nose bleeding.

Lin says: 我还不习惯北方的气候,估计是天气太干。which means:

Lin failed to expect the climate is so dry, so he failed to moister his nose to prevent bleeding.

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