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I guess one of the obvious differences would be the tones used in Chinese. Tones don't exist in English. There is therefore a fair bit of learning from scratch involved here. I know many people who just ignore tones, thinking they can learn them "later". This is not a good idea. Tones cannot be applied to words like painting a house after building it. Tones have to be learnt as integral parts of words, not unnatural add-ons. There is the additional difficulty that some tones change in conjunction with other tones (what we call "tone sandhi"). The add-on approach could lead to very unnatural and self-conscious speech.|
Next, pronunciation of individual sounds. We may tend to use approximations from our own native languages. But the differences would be immediately obvious to native Chinese speakers.
Next, native English is spoken not by pronouncing each word distinctly and equally, but as connected speech, where words connect with each other smoothly according to rules, and also, content words are stressed while function words are often barely heard. And within individual words, one syllable is stressed more than others. Native English speakers may be unconsciously incorporating all these into their Chinese. The existence of tones in Chinese would make this additionally confusing. Because, now you have word stresses, sentence stresses and connected speech from English juxtaposed with word tones and sandhis from Chinese. This could lead to some very interesting sounds.
Apart from the above, culture plays a huge difference. Differences come from personal boundaries, from how we relate to each other, and also from conventions we follow in communications.
A simple example: In many Asian cultures including Chinese, people give direct instructions and advice to friends as well as acquaintances. They may tell casual acquaintances or even strangers, things like "You don't look well. Don't go to work today. Come here, let me give you some tea. Just lie down here for a while. Here, use my bed".
There is a kind of closeness, lack of boundaries, between people of Asian cultures, that allows them to interact like this. People speak spontaneously, and no one gives a second thought to it.
Western cultures place lots of distances and boundaries between people. People do not give direct instructions or advice. Also, some people resent such advice if offered, displaying an attitude of "you are not my father/mother. I can take care of myself".
Advice in western culture, if at all given in a similar situation, would be some casual, indifferent-sounding, lukewarm and insipid remark like "I'd take the day off", or "I'd take the day off if I were you".
The meaning of the above remarks is, "If I were in your position I would not go to work today. Of course, what you do is entirely up to you. This is just my opinion. Please don't take offense. I know I m not your father/mother and I know that you are capable of thinking and deciding what is best for yourself..."
Any statement of advice in western culture has to be crafted very carefully, with a great deal of thought put into it, in order to not sound "condescending" or "offensive".
A westerner speaking in Chinese could unknowingly be bringing such cultural differences into his sentences. He could therefore sound very uncaring and stand-offish even if his language were otherwise clear.
One's attitudes, values and beliefs influence language greatly.
Lot's more, but this should do for now