Chinese is not nearly as difficult as you might think. It's a tonal language meaning the tone with which you say the words affects the meaning, however once you have got that part down, it's got some really good advantages. The main one being that the grammar is very basic. There are no verb conjugations and tenses are all relatively easy as well. God knows how many hours that would have saved me in the French classroom.
But this was for proficiency in both speaking and reading. I imagine the reading bit would be quite a bit more difficult than the average language because it's not enough to know the pronunciation to read it, you have to know the character for it as well.
Ye I mean obviously if they include reading it gets a whole lot more difficult, but these days (what with digital translation) reading is really not that necessary. Sure it would be nice to be able to read and write perfect Chinese, but actually the most important and most enjoyable aspect is obviously speaking. I spend a lot of time in China (currently typing from Shanghai), and worked there for 3 years, and it's not really a barrier to personal or professional life.
Just worried someone might see this and be put off learning what is a very useful and interesting language.
Edit: And just to add, I can not write Chinese at all (forgot it a long time back due to not using it), but can get along texting and typing fairly well due to the way the system works. Texting and typing are far more relevant these days than writing.