Seems like a stupid question, but I have been wondering about this. Have any linguists studied this question?
Listening to Chinese people talk, I sometimes get the feeling that they tend to lecture one another more than English speakers do. For example, when you have two businessmen sitting in a coffee shop, the conversation is often awfully one sided. One guy raves on about what he did to get the contract, how tricky company A is, how you have to do X to get Y. The other guy just sits there and listens to this stream of (mostly) garbage.
Perhaps exactly the same thing happens in English, but maybe not, maybe there is a difference.
There have been plenty of times where my own eyes have glazed over as somebody has bored me to tears with a repetitive, irrelevant lecture in Mandarin. But maybe it is just that my Mandarin is not good enough to get their real message, or maybe I was asking them the wrong questions, or perhaps I didn’t give the right signals that I understand them and there was no need to continue explaining.
What do people reckon?
Is Mandarin more repetitive and garbage filled than English?
Do Chinese have tend to waffle and lecture more than English speakers?
I’m seriously interested in what linguists have to say about this. Maybe Ironlady has some ideas?