1. Chinese doesn’t have tenses, or singularity vs plural. No changes in verbs.
2. One single character for comparative and superlative respectively: 更 and 最. But in English, some time you append “er” and “est” to the end of a word, sometimes you use “more” and “most”. There are thousands of adjectives, so you have to memorize the case for each of them.
3. The number of commonly used characters in Chinese are only 4k, while that of English words is 20K. True that one is character the other is word, but in Chinese you know words automatically if you know the characters, because each character has meanings. For example, who knows what does “**estuary**” means when seeing it the first time? But in Chinese, it is just “river mouth”. Technically, it is a new word, but the effort to memorize it is trivial. As a result, any Chinese users who have received high school education will unlikely encounter any characters that they don’t know on mass media, but English users even with a university degree constantly do.
4. Even you don’t know a not commonly used Chinese character’s meaning, you can have rough idea. Like **鲟**, you can know it is a kind of fish by observing this character’s structure, and that is enough in most cases. But can you speculate the meaning of its English counterpart “**stargeon**”? I don’t think so. Maybe ppl will guess some kind of doctor due to its similarity with “surgeon”.
5. One Chinese word/phrase has only one single meaning generally speaking, while English words have an average of 2 or 3 perhaps. Why “sanction” means both allow and disallow? The word “note” has 10+ meanings… English has to endow a word with multiple meanings, because otherwise, if one word for one meaning only, there will be 60K regular words.
6. ~~One Chinese word has only 2 – 3 syllables, while that number for Enlglish maybe 4 – 5. Like “statistics” and “explores”, one word with 7 syllables.~~ One Chinese word has only 2 – 3 sounds, while that number for English may be 4 – 5. And one sound requires a mouth/tongue/throat movement. Like “statistics” and “explores”, one word with 7 sounds, therefore 7 mouth movements, but in Chinese, one has 3 – 4, the other has 2. So you can speak Chinese at a leisurely speed, but have to rush yourself in English. When listening to English, I feel like I am listening to firecrakers, or someone is whipping the speaker to make him speak fast. And if you look at news hosts when they are speaking, like Jake Tapper, their mouths are like having a spasm. A language is elegant and graceful only if it is unrushed.
7. English has so many “s”, “ds” and “ts” sounds, making it sound like using a spoon to scrape a pot, or a snake hissing, which is really creepy and gives me goose bumps. The pronouciation of “beasts” always drives me crazy.
8. Sentences in Chinese are shorter and easier to understand, while in English sometimes one sentence is just a whole paragraph. That is due to its simple grammar. It cannot have long sentences.
9. You cannot pronounce an English word even if you are staring at it. For example, Uyghur. I saw a video asking English speakers to pronounce it and a large proportion couldn’t. But in Chinese, as long as you can see it, you can pronouce it, unless it is some rarely used word.
10. You cannot spell an English name even if you know how it sounds. For example, try to spell Netanyahu. Why it is not Netan**i**ahu with an “i”? And “Zelenskyy”. If you didn’t memorize it, you will spell it like “Zelanski”. Imagine you want to talk about a celebrity with your friends in a chat but don’t know how to type his name and have to google it first. This is not a problem in Chinese. As long as you know the pronounciations of their translated names, you can write or type them with no problem.
Downsides of Chinese:
1. It doesn’t use spaces between words. This is a huge pain. I wish 100 years ago when scholars introduced punctuations into Chinese they also brought spaces into the language…
2. It has different measure words for different nouns… For flowers, you use 朵; for cars, you use 辆; for airplanes, you use 架. Don’t know why not just use 个 for all of them.
3. The grammar is so simple that most Chinese native speakers cannot speak it correctly due to the lack of regulations and rules. If you watch street interviews of Chinese ppl, most of them speak with tons of fillers and grammatical mistakes.
4. Too many accents, and they are so disparate.
5. Uncommon words are difficult to type. The pinyin gives you a pool of all chars of the same sound, and you have to choose each character one by one from the pool. This is espacially true when typing ppl’s names.
Westerners consider Chinese difficult mostly because it is different from their own European languages. For example, the overlapping between English and French words is 70%. You know English you already know 70% of French words. Of course French is simple to English speakers.