Chinese does deserve its reputation for heartbreaking difficulty. Those who undertake to study the language for any other reason than the sheer joy of it will always be frustrated by the abysmal ratio of effort to effect. Those who are actually attracted to the language precisely because of its daunting complexity and difficulty will never be disappointed.
I came across this guy who wrote a long article on why learning Chinese is hard. At first I thought, “Bah, just another angmoh whining away”. But as I read on, I began to see that, hey, Chinese IS damn hard. It’s just perhaps that I didn’t notice it too much, since I am a Chinese, and my primary school was conducted in Chinese. But his article explained in detail how Chinese is more difficult than other languages, the barriers he faced.
So I’ve been through all that hurdles to mastering Chinese without even realizing that they are there! Count me blessed! =)
The full 7639 words here.