I am considering learning Chinese.
My favourite word is EXIT but I have no idea how to say it. There is no correlation between their ideograms and the sounds made.
The picture is just looking like a screaming man about to jump through a hole is it not. Self explanatory really.
Even when there is a sound in the Chinese language, it can mean more than one thing. Many words (eg chopsticks) can mean something else eg chopsticks means “bear a son quickly”.
That could get confusing in a shop? … “Hello, I wonder if you could help me; I’d like to bear a son quickly, so I can eat my dinner…”
It’s so abstract and it can only affect the way the Chinese think overall (or represent that they think differently from starters to have come up with such).
About 100 years ago, it was estimated that only 1% of the population had mastered the language. It begs the question to whom does it matter then if you get something wrong.
Some geezer called Thomas Wade romanised the language about 100 years ago to help non-Chinese speakers learn the language. Today the Chinese themselves use this system.