It just sounds that way because it's so different phonetically. Four adjacent syllables can have four different pitches. (In Mandarin; it could be twelve in Shanghai.) That rarely happens in English so it makes it sound like they're talking faster. I've studied Chinese and can carry on a rudimentary conversation. I can assure you that it's spoken more slowly than English, which makes it a dream for a foreign student. I can actually pick the words I know out of people's speech who aren't talking carefully for my benefit. Try that in Spanish or Czech! You must not be an artist because many people find Chinese characters beautiful. In fact calligraphy is considered an art in the Orient and they hang up beautifully painted quotes by professional artists on their walls like paintings. Again, it's one of those things that you get a new perspective on with a little study. There's a certain amount of logic to the composition of the characters, and the way the brush strokes flow is very graceful. As for efficiency, it's certainly not efficient to write by hand, but as far as I can tell computer software puts it on a par with English. And as I noted earlier, there is evidence that Chinese people read faster than we do. This is the Linguistics subforum. We're all recoiling in horror and making the sign of the cross at you. Begone, evil spirit! More seriously, each language comes with its own way of thinking, because our most important thoughts are almost all formed in words. The more different the language, the more different the thinking. Being multilingual is a tremendous advantage. Just give the U.S. economy and culture a few more decades to collapse and see how many people still find it useful to learn English.